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Arizona Cardinals’ GM Steve Keim: Bobby Massie has made strides

LISTEN: Steve Keim, AZ Cardinals GM

One of the more intriguing storylines as the Arizona Cardinals enter training camp was who would man the right side of the offensive line. The position battle for right tackle remains unsettled and may last deep into August.

Bobby Massie and Bradley Sowell, former teammates at Ole Miss, reunited in Cardinal red during 2013 and are now competing against each other to start at right tackle. The Cardinals also brought in veteran offensive tackle Tyson Clabo for a visit, but no deal materialized.

The team signed former Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans offensive tackle Eric Winston on a one-year deal before the 2013 season. Winston stole the starting position from incumbent Massie, but was not re-signed by the Cardinals and remains a free agent.

Sowell started 12 games last season at left tackle, following Levi Brown’s trade, while Massie saw action as the backup right tackle in eight games.

“Both those guys have been battling hard,” Keim said on the Doug and Wolf show Friday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Bobby actually showed some real strides as we got to the middle of OTAs and our final minicamp. He did a nice job. He’s got all the physical tools.”

According to Pro Football Focus, the Cardinals’ offensive line was ranked worst in pass blocking and 26th in run blocking during 2013. Keim feels like this weakness was addressed in the offseason after signing Jared Veldheer to a five-year deal and getting 2013 first-round pick Jonathon Cooper back from a season-ending injury.

“We feel like we’ve made huge strides along the offensive line, which was obviously much-needed,” Keim said.