Bobby Massie’s rookie season was really a tale of two halves.
Pressed into a starting role from the beginning, the fourth-round pick out of Ole Miss struggled mightily out of the gate.
According to ProFootballFocus, Massie allowed pressure on 14.5 percent of his pass blocking snaps in the season’s first seven games, surrendering 47 total pressures: 12 sacks, two QB hits and 33 hurries.
However, things turned around shortly thereafter, as the rookie found his footing and allowed a total of just 14 pressures over the final nine games.
Based on that, most figured Massie would be the team’s starting right tackle this season, but the addition of veteran Eric Winston just before training camp sent the second-year pro to the bench.
With the current group of linemen struggling to keep defenders away from quarterback Carson Palmer, head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin have hinted that Massie may find himself back in the lineup some when the Cardinals face the Falcons Sunday.
“We’re hoping, we’ll see how the game goes,” Arians said. “But I’d like to get him in and get some action.”
Arians said Massie has looked good the last few weeks, and is likely to play at least a series. From there, they’ll “see how it goes.”
Massie is certainly looking forward to the opportunity to get back on the field, saying he’s made sure to practice every week as if he was going to play. He admitted having to sit so much has been frustrating, but understands that the NFL is a business and all he can do is continue to work hard.
“It’s not my call to say who goes out there and who doesn’t,” he said. “I just do what I can during the week during practice and wait to see what the decision is Sunday.”
Massie said he stayed sharp and improved by facing Arizona’s first-team defense. For someone like Massie, who was looking to earn a first-team spot, that was his way of showing the coaches what he was capable of. And while that may be a difficult situation, he said it’s one he could not afford to fret about.
“You can’t look at it that way because that’s going to be your ticket onto the field,” he said. “You can try to pout and be mad that you’re not out there playing on Sundays, but during the week is what counts.”
And if he should see the field Sunday, Massie believes he’ll show everyone he’s improved from the end of last season.
“The thing that haunted me last year was the pass protection,” he said. “So the thing that I did in the offseason and all through this season is just make sure I don’t give up any sacks.
“In practice, in walkthroughs, just make sure I become a dominant pass protector in this league.”