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Cards’ Rich Ohrnberger moves from backup to starter

November 28, 2012: Cardinals start new center vs. Jets

Rich Ohrnberger was the center of attention Wednesday, both literally and figuratively.

The three-year veteran has played in all 11 games this season. This week, though, he slides into the starting center position after the season-ending knee injury to Lyle Sendlein.

“I’m just going out there,” Ohrnberger said, “trying to keep things the way they’ve been and do as best a job as I can.”

Sunday will be his first-ever start at center and only his third start overall.

In contrast, Sendlein’s 75 consecutive regular season starts were the third-most among centers in the NFL behind Baltimore’s Matt Birk (107) and Houston’s Chris Myers (91).

“At least Rich has been getting some reps in practice with the second team,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “So hopefully, and he’s played some this year, the transition will be smooth enough.”

Ohrnberger believes it will be.

“It’s really no difference,” he said. “Right guard (his natural position) you have your right hand on the ground. Center you have your right hand on the ball.”

Admittedly, Ohrnberger will have more responsibility. It’s typically the center’s job to call out the blocking assignments before each snap.

Add to that,having a rookie quarterback making just his second career start, and doing so on the road in a hostile environment

“(Ryan Lindley) has shown great poise all season long, even when he was just in a reserve role,” Ohrnberger said. “His confidence is unwavered. I have a lot of respect for Ryan. We’re comfortable with each other so it’s good.”

Comfortable enough to have his hands between your legs?

“Always have been,” Ohrnberger said with a smile. “I accept all comers really when it comes to that.”

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