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A wise man once said you can’t grow without change, but when it comes to the Cardinals, it appears they like it when their players change positions as often as they change their clothes.

They call it “position flexibility,” which they also will tell you is the new trend in the NFL.

Although that may be true, it seems a little odd that a team many still consider a Super Bowl contender has had as many as 16 players who have completed, or are in the process of, switching positions – one side to another or to an entirely different spot.

“It’s a more-you-can-do league, you know,” coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday as the Cardinals continued their third week of offseason team activities at their Tempe practice facility. “If you want to be on the roster, especially if you’re in the second 20 (on the overall depth chart), you better have a lot of flexibility. Especially if you want to dress on Sunday.”

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It’s not just second- and third-stringers having been asked to switch jobs, however, to make them more palatable to a coaching staff looking for flexibility. Nearly one-fifth of the roster has or will be making some type of switch.

Jared Veldheer and D.J. Humphries are flip-flopping starting tackle spots. Backup center Evan Boehm is moving to starting right guard. Running back Andre Ellington is getting exclusive reps at wide receiver. Converted running back Brandon Williams is still learning how to play cornerback.

This year’s first-round draft pick, Haason Reddick, is being converted from a defensive end to a potential starting NFL inside linebacker, a position he’s played only once – in the Senior Bowl. Second-round pick Budda Baker, who played all five defensive back positions in college at Washington, likely will be called upon to play all five again here with no real designated, primary role.

Meanwhile, inside linebacker Alani Fua is being asked to learn how to play outside linebacker. Cornerback Harlan Miller, a rookie a year ago, has switched to safety. And Cole Toner, drafted a year ago out of Harvard as a tackle, is now a guard getting much of his work at center, which he’s never played before.

Doesn’t that feel just a little drastic for a team that went 13-3 a couple of seasons ago and advanced to the NFC title game?

“It might be, but at least up front for us I think we’re still pretty inexperienced, so the position switches for us, I mean, they’re going to be good for me, especially,” Toner said. “I get to play all three – guard, center, tackle – which will be great for me, great for my repertoire of skills and being able to come in for guys, I guess, as a backup.”

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Boehm, a third-round pick out of Missouri a year ago, started every game at center his final three years in college. He never played the right side until late this past season. He was drafted under the assumption he would be Arizona’s center of the future, but that apparently has changed as well.

“I just need to get better every day. I said that on the field today,” Boehm said Tuesday. “I’m lucky to have a guy like Jared next to me, even though he’s changing, too. He still knows the offense, knows what we need to do, and if I have a question after the play, he lets me know.”

For Veldheer and Humphries, the transition should be smooth enough. For others such as Miller, the second-year pro out of tiny Southeastern Louisiana, it’s a process that could take time just as it has for Williams, and just as it did for Deone Bucannon, the safety-turned-inside linebacker who is sidelined following offseason ankle surgery.

“It’s basically like learning the defense all over again, so it has been a challenge,” Miller said. “But I’ve been picking it up pretty good so far. I’ve had a couple of mental errors, but not too many.”

Miller revealed that he’s been getting instructions on how to play both safety positions, which adds to his flexibility. Including cornerback, he feels he can now be counted upon at all three spots and that not only gives the Cardinals extra depth, it could prolong Miller’s professional career.

“Especially the start of a career,” he said, laughing.

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Arians brushed off any discourse about so many players making so many changes, suggesting that a side-to-side positional change is “just muscle memory” and likening it to a simple repetitive task such as “going to the golf range and hittin’ balls.”

“But corner to safety,” he said, “that’s a little different. Harlan played some of it last year really well. He’s doing extremely well right now. Safeties that are nickels, they’ve been doing it their whole life.”

And what about Reddick and Baker?

“Well, Budda’s playing all the positions he plays whenever he gets here (after completing his college courses),” Arians said, “but Haason, he’s just a natural.”

Reddick said his eyes have already adjusted to his new position – and there could be times when the Cardinals line him up as a pass rusher on the edge or near the line as opposed to just manning the middle of the field. But the switch to inside linebacker, he said, “makes me have to think faster and have to know my job that much more.”

“Every day I’m getting better and better, working hard, and trying to make sure that if I’m starting on day one, that I’m ready to go on day one,” said Reddick, who likely will start if Bucannon isn’t ready when the season begins. “Rather than playing like a rookie, I want to be playing like a vet.”

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Reach McManaman at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.