Lining up to begin OTAs

Posted by Darren Urban on May 20, 2014 – 10:05 am

There are, in the end, few starting spots that will truly be up for grabs as the Cardinals move toward the regular season. That’s reality. But as the Cards begin organized team activities today, there are some things to watch for. Through the Phase 2 work, there have been certain people running with the first unit. For instance, on the offensive line, Bradley Sowell is the first-team right tackle and Paul Fanaika remains the starting right guard. Bobby Massie and Earl Watford are with the second team. I don’t know if that is going to change before we get to training camp — I’d be a little surprised if it did — and camp will be when Massie and Watford will have to make their push.

At tight end, there’s been a lot of work for John Carlson and Jake Ballard and I think Rob Housler is going to have to work hard to stay up on the depth chart, although with his skill set and Bruce Arians’ love for multiple tight ends there will be plenty of work to go around. On defense, Kevin Minter and Daryl Washington are your inside linebackers, although Larry Foote is there to step in if Washington can’t be there. On the outside, Matt Shaughnessy and Sam Acho are getting reps although I’d expect John Abraham to be the starter when he’s around (remember, all this work is voluntary right now).

The rookies, meanwhile, will be worked in slowly. It was interesting to see first-round pick Deone Bucannon basically shadow Tony Jefferson at strong safety during the Phase 2 run-throughs of defensive plays. That’s one way to learn on the job. I anticipate a two-field system like last summer for the young players, although we’ll see if Arians sticks with that. I’ll have more after today’s workout.


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Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Lining up to begin OTAs”

  1. By mdcards4life on May 20, 2014 | Reply

    we have monsterof a line with Calais Campbell,Dan Williams with Alameda Ta’amu rotating in & Darnell Dockett. I can’t wait, Go Big Red!!!

  2. By azdesertrat1953 on May 20, 2014 | Reply

    Now it has started as far as I am concerned.
    Now we will start to see where we stand, with Everyone.

    Thanks Darren.

    GO CARDS!!!

  3. By D on May 20, 2014 | Reply

    “and camp will be when Massie and Watford will have to make their push.”

    As O-Linemen, that’s a sweet pun.

  4. By Edward on May 20, 2014 | Reply

    @darren When will we hear from D-wash on the expected delay of his season start?

  5. By Darren Urban on May 20, 2014 | Reply

    Edward —

    RE: DWash

    I happened to talk to Daryl today.

  6. By joe67 on May 20, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, I have said this before, but you have no idea what it means to a loooong time Cardinal fan and an out of stater to have a web-site like this and get all of your reports so we know whats going on. Thanks so much to you and all the staff for making this site possible.

  7. By shannon robinson on May 20, 2014 | Reply

    I had the pleasure with my Pa of watching Todd Bowles play strong safety for the Washington Redskins. His helmet stuck way above his shoulder pads so that was his identifying mark as he moved around the field. This was at a time when hits were timed for airborne receivers and nobody came over the middle unscathed. Todd Bowles brought the wood and was a playmaker on the ball. I am so happy that Mr. Bowles gets to run his defense with a player he can coach to emulate his style of of what a Safety is all about. Wait’ll you see it, he’s going to bring back some memories.

  8. By shooter28 on May 21, 2014 | Reply

    The only reason why Sowell & Fanika are on first team is because camp n OTA’s are just now starting n they were starters last year. I dont see either starting. Fanika is pretty bad & Sowell isnt much better. RG Earl Watford who was drafted in round 4 in 2013 is expected to start this year. He came outta tiny James Madison so he basically red shirted last year because he needed time to digest the playbook & develop in Bruce Arians very complex pro offense. It had nothing to do with anything physically. RG Earl Watford is 6″4 300 not fat whatsoever pounds of all muscle. The man is ripped. He also has excellent athleticism & moves very well in space like LG J. Cooper. I think the starting RG position will come down to a battle between E. Watford & UDFA A. Steen.

    Anthony Steen is a very good right offensive guard. He was projected to be draft between the 3rd & 5th rounds but fell due to an injury. He tore his Labrum last season at the end & offseason surgery which is most likely the reason he went undrafted. I’ve had the same surgery , mine was torn all the way around n it is that big of a deal, especially for a RG. Steen is 6″3 n 315 pounds n is a very good RG n could play OC in the NFL. The knock on Steen is his arms are a tad shorter at 31.5INs but he more than makes up for that with how polished he is. Steen is a technician & has extremely sound fundamentals & is very technically sound. Steen is a very cerebral player n uses that to his advantage onthe field sbowing an excellent understanding of angles, consistently beating his man with leverage n excellent fundamentals. He lead his team in knockdown blocks as a senior n finished 2nd as a Junior. Being Steen had the injury & how deep this draft was were the reasons he went undrafted but Arizona benefits big time. Arizona signing this kid as a UDFA is truly a blessing for the Cardinals in disguise. Steen projects very nicely in the NFL as a OC (Center) as well & if he loses the battle for starting RG ( Which he stands a good chance of winning. He played in a pro offense at Bama so his learning curve wont be nearly as steep as Watfords n is very smart) I think Arians & his staff will starting grooming him now as the heir apparent the Lyle Sendlein at C. Im Hoping Watford wins because of the raw power & physicality he brings n I think he will but Steen was a steal for Arizona. Here’s my prediction for the 2014 starting line.

    LT- Jared Veldheer LG- Jonathan Cooper OC- Lyle Sendlein RG- Earl Watford RT- Bobby Massie.

    Backups- Swing OT Bradley Sowell, OT Nate Potter, OC/OG Ted Larsen , OC/RG Anthony Steen, OG Paul Fanika.

  9. By br on May 25, 2014 | Reply

    Dont think we keep 10 olinemen either, starters look good, but i disagree with right tackle it will be Sowell, he will beat out Massie, ad will hhave earned it, remember he was thrown into a no win situation at LT last year, and did a very respectable job, improved by leaps and bounds, I would be content with Sowell at LT again this year as i believe he has a high ceiling and is only going to get better and better ( dont get me wrong, love the veldheer sighning, think he is the answer to our long long long search for a solid cornerstone LT) but since we didnt get Z. Martin/ND to be the cornerstone at RT, I truly believe Sowell can be that guy at RT and we can slide him over to LT as needed, Nate Potter can slide either way RT or LT, so maybe Massie’s lack of versatility makes him the “odd man out”, that and mental mistakes! Maybe Massie can slide in to RG/LG???

  10. By ored on May 21, 2014 | Reply

    not so sure we keep 10 o-lineman,but good to hear nice things about steen,would not be surprised if the o-line was a strength this year,the thing they have to work on will be gelling as a unit,i think the talent is there.

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