All-Access with Cole Toner — Aug. 14: Guard or center ‘fine’ with him
During training camp, Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Cole Toner will join Doug and Wolf every morning on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station, to give an inside look at the daily grind of camp and a personal view of how his 2017 preparation is coming along.
The Arizona Cardinals actually played some starters in their second preseason game last Saturday night, but not for long.
Offensive starters played just one series, since it was a 14-play, 70-yard touchdown drive to start the game. Reserves would go the rest of the way in Arizona’s 20-10 win over the Oakland Raiders at University of Phoenix Stadium.
That meant a lot of reps for second-year center Cole Toner. Toner, along with fellow offensive linemen Tony Bergstrom, Ulrick John and Kaleb Johnson, played 54 snaps against Oakland — the second-most on the team.
So how did Toner feel about his play?
“I think I played pretty good,” he said Monday morning. “It was good to get guard and center reps. I think I started a little slow at guard because I didn’t play any guard in the game in Canton, but once that first drive was done, I felt really comfortable there and I feel I played well.
“I was happy with my performance.”
Toner’s versatility should serve him and the Cardinals well, and realistically should mean he’ll be able to nail down a spot on the 53-man roster. He can play anywhere on the line, but his newest position, center, could be his calling card for years to come.
“I think the more I get comfortable there in dealing with guys who play nose guard and dealing with inside techniques — those are techniques I’ve never used before. Some of the techniques at guard and tackle are similar, but at center it’s different with how you approach blocking different guys,” Toner said. “So when I get comfortable with that, I feel good at playing center, but either way, it’s fine with me.”
Toner should see more extensive duty Saturday night when the Cardinals host the Chicago Bears in their third preseason game in Glendale.
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