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Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Massie's play could lead to more action

By Josh Weinfuss

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals right tackle Bobby Massie's progress this season came through in Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons.

After a training camp riddled with more than 40 mental errors, Massie saw his first playing time of the season and notched just one mental error.

"Which really, he should never make," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. "It's a generic protection call. But luckily his guy didn't come so it wasn't a sack. Those are the things that plagued him in training camp. Talent's not his issue. It's making sure he's got on the right guy."

He was active for the first time this season against Seattle and didn't play, but heading into the longer week, Massie found out he was going to see the field Sunday against the Falcons. But for how many plays and for how long? That was only something the coaching staff could answer.

Massie was given a series in the first half and played well enough to stay on the field for 21 plays throughout the Cardinals' 27-13 win. It was obvious he's improved mentally from training camp and that stuck with Arians.

The second-year product out of Mississippi said conditioning wasn't an issue. He went home tired and feeling good about what he left on the field.

"I showed I can play," Massie said. "That's what I think I showed. It was a big thing because I had a lot of mental errors in camp and I showed that I just eliminated that."

Massie felt he played well enough to earn more snaps.

"I think I did but it's not up to me," he said. "It's up to the man upstairs."

That's Arians, not the other man upstairs. Between Arians and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, they'll decide how many reps he'll see during the final eight weeks of the season. With starter Eric Winston on a one-year contract, Massie could be the future of at right tackle.

He was thrown into the fire last season, starting all 16 games as a rookie. His second half of 2012 was a 180-degree difference from the first half. In the first eight games last season, he allowed 13 sacks compared to none in the final eight.

This season, Arians and Goodwin are bringing him along slower and the improvements are already evident.

"The biggest thing I told Bobby is you just got to cut [the mental errors] down," Goodwin said. "Because obviously, you put a guy on the field like that you gotta trust him and he's starting to build that trust back in me. He did a good job last week."