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Surprises Abound On

Arizona Cardinals’ Depth Chart

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Paul Fanaika And Bobby Massie Are Not Surprisingly Holding Down The Right Side Of The O-Line, But Names Like Kenny Demens And Darren Fells Might Just Be Household Names By Season’s End

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By Wayne Schutsky
Modern Times Magazine

August 5, 2014 —The Arizona Cardinals released the first depth chart of the preseason recently, and there are some surprising features.

But, this all has to be taken with a grain of salt because it will change a lot before the season starts.

That being said, Paul Fanaika and Bobby Massie seem to have firm holds on the right guard and right tackle spots, respectively. This was seen as an area of concern going into camp, but Coach Bruce Arians has commented that both players have performed exceptionally well during camp. I wish the same could be said for the left side, but Arians has publicly called out former first round left guard Jonathan Cooper for failing to live up to expectations.

Cooper, for his part, took the comment as extra motivation to get better and owned his subpar performance so far.

One big surprise is inside linebacker Kenny Demens’ inclusion in the second string spot behind Larry Foote. The former undrafted free agent played two games for the Cardinals last year before moving on to the practice squad. He’s slated ahead of veteran Ernie Sims on the depth chart.

Tight end Darren Fells is also making waves in camp. He’s big (6’ 7”) and has shown an ability to hit hard on blocks. He’s a former power forward without much football experience, but his toughness and blocking ability could ultimately win him a roster spot and spell the end of the Rob Housler era in Arizona.

He’s slotted behind Jake Ballard and rookie Troy Niklas at one tight end position. Housler is in the second-string behind starter John Carlson at the other. But, the team is unlikely to keep five tight ends and Fells’ stock is on the rise.

Rattlers
In what is becoming an all too common trend, the Rattlers once again let an opponent get back in the game after holding a big lead early. Luckily, the team was able to survive this team with a 52-48 win over the Portland Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.

The team took a big first half lead, but squandered it in the second half, letting Portland go up 48-45 on touchdown pass with 55 seconds left.

Rattlers quarterback Nick Davila responded by leading his team down the field before fullback Alex Singleton scored a 4-yard touchdown to give Arizona the lead.

The Arizona defense then sealed the win when defensive back intercepted a pass with five seconds left.

The Rattlers move on to play the San Jose SaberCats in the National Conference Title Game for a chance to advance to ArenaBowl XXVII. The Rattlers are 2-1 against the SaberCats this season.

Wayne Schutsky is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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