- Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Staff Writer
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After playing the large majority of 2014 next to Ted Larsen, Veldheer will play alongside free-agent signee Mike Iupati this coming season. During their six practices together, Veldheer has started to learn a lot about his new offensive line compatriot.
Most noticeably was Iupati’s personality. For as large of a human being as Iupati is at 6-foot-5 and 331 pounds, he’s not as equally outgoing -- at least to the media.
“He’s such a happy-go-lucky guy,” Veldheer said with a smile on his face. “I take it that you guys know that.”
But Iupati talks when it’s necessary.
“He’ll let you know the stuff that he’s not quite clear on or the stuff that he’s clear on,” Veldheer said. “Which is nice. You never want someone that’s unclear on something to say they got it because then it’s frustrating if it’s not quite there.
“He’s very forthcoming with what he wants to know on one play versus another play which is great because we’re able to hammer it out and we got it.”
The two are building a rapport every day, little by little, Veldheer said.
It’s tough, however, to see exactly what kind of impact Iupati will have on the offensive line and the run game because pads are still collecting dust somewhere hidden away in the equipment room.
“Mike’s not a soccer player,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “He’s a physical guy and this is not the time to be physical. He’s picking up all the nuances of our pass-protection scheme, [it’s] a lot different than San Francisco’s was. We ask a lot more than some teams do and he’s picking it up really well.”