As Center Battle Comes To End, Mason Cole Ready For Anything

Center Mason Cole prepares to snap the ball in last week's preseason game at Minnesota.
Center Mason Cole prepares to snap the ball in last week's preseason game at Minnesota.

Kliff Kingsbury has yet to make the announcement of who his starting center will be.

That includes to the guys involved: veteran A.Q. Shipley and second-year man Mason Cole.

“We haven’t been told anything yet," Cole said Tuesday after practice. "Just like (the media), we’ll see what happens. My whole mindset throughout all this has been, if they think he’s the guy, then I’ll be the guy that can come in if someone goes down. My whole process in football has been, ‘What can I do to help the team?’ If that’s being the sixth man this year, filling in when guys go down, then I’m ready for it.”

The two have have been listed as co-starters on the preseason depth chart. Kingsbury rotated them at center between series in the third preseason game in Minnesota, and neither are going to play Thursday in Denver. Kingsbury said he will make an announcement next week, but it has seemed to trend toward Shipley starting, with Cole serving as the top reserve along the offensive line.

That would include tackle -- where Cole played his last year in college -- if need be.

“If I need to, I can start at any of those three positions (inside)," Cole said. "I don’t think I can start at tackle, but if I had to, I would do it.”

REASON FOR THE SNAP CLAP

There has been plenty of conversation about using the snap clap as the Cardinals' cadence, especially after it has drawn four penalty flags the past two games. But Kingsbury has a simple reason for wanting to use it.

"There are some real positives to it when you're talking about being able to carry the same snap count at home and on the road," Kingsbury said. "That's the biggest thing -- the consistency of it, using one snap count pretty much full-time."

TERRELL MCCLAIN CUT

The Cardinals released veteran defensive tackle Terrell McClain Tuesday, a day after acquiring veteran defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. It was a slight surprise, given that McClain had been expected to be part of the depth the Cards needed. But the addition of McDonald, along with the trade for Bruce Hector and the late surge of rookie Michael Dogbe changed the equation.

The team also signed center Jacob Ohnesorge, leaving the roster at 87 players right now. The Cards must be down to 53 by Saturday afternoon.

HAASON REDDICK RETURNS

Linebacker Haason Reddick (knee) was back at practice Tuesday on a limited basis, Kingsbury said, for the first time since getting hurt in the first practice of training camp. Kingsbury added that he still is not sure if Reddick will be able to be ready to play against the Lions in Week One.

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