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Cardinals rookies are getting all the reps

Tempe, Arizona — The Arizona Cardinals continued the
rookie-only minicamp Saturday, giving first-year players a
chance to make an impression on the coaching staff without
any veterans around.

That in itself makes for an interesting weekend, Cardinals
coach Ken Whisenhunt said, though it has its benefits,

“It’s certainly, from the standpoint of intimidation
factor or being more comfortable it’s easier when you
don’t have the vets in here because everybody feels like
they are on the same level,” the coach said.

That said, Whisenhunt noted that with so many rookies —
only rookies — there are plenty of instances where guys
simply do not know where they are supposed to be.

“When you’ve got some veterans, that helps some of their
nervousness from that perspective,” he added. “It’s an
interesting time.”

Right tackle Bobby Massie, a fourth-round pick out of
Mississippi, admitted he wouldn’t mind having some
guidance out on the field.

“I like having a vet because I don’t have another right
tackle, it’s just me,” he said. “So I’m trying to ask the
guard and everything, what I’m doing and he doesn’t know,
he’s focused on his own position.”

Massie said he feels good about the weekend so far,
though, adding that he has enjoyed getting all the work at
right tackle.

And that’s the real benefit of this weekend, as guys who
would not normally be getting as many reps get a chance to
impress the coaching staff, including sixth-round pick
Ryan Lindley, who comes to the Cardinals out of San Diego

“When you’re the fourth guy with veterans you’ve got to
take what you get in camp,” the rookie said. “Right now
I’m just looking forward to using the reps and getting
just learn from your mistakes and don’t make the same one

For Lindley, there has been plenty of opportunity to not
only make mistakes, but correct them. He and Nevada’s
Tyler Lantrip are the only QBs in camp, so if the coaches
aren’t throwing passes, they are.

Which means, if his right arm isn’t tired yet, it likely
will be.

“Probably by tomorrow I will a little bit,” Lindley said
of feeling it in the arm, “but I try to keep it loose.”

As Whisenhunt said, though, this weekend is as much about
seeing how players respond to adversity — be it soreness,
learning new schemes, working with unfamiliar players or
adjusting to the weather — as it is just making plays on
the field.

“I told these guys, this is an evaluation for you not so
much athletically — you have to have the athletic skills
to play in this league — but it’s really about who’s
going to correct their mistakes, who’s going to learn from
this process, who’s going to be able to make those plays
when they’re really tired, when they’re sore, when they’re
confused,” he said. “[Friday], at the end of practice,
some guys were so out of it they couldn’t even line up

“Listen, at some point in an NFL game that happens to
everybody, and you’ve got to be able to fight through that
and focus and make your plays. The good players do that;
the pros do that, so that’s part of the evaluation.”