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The Tough Part Of Being The New Guy, Even As A Veteran

The Arizona Cardinals signed veteran offensive lineman Pat McQuistan to replace the injured Jeremy Bridges, who tore ligaments in his thumb in the team's last preseason game. The Cardinals are his third team and this year is his seventh season, but that doesn't mean that change is an easy thing, even when you have done it a few times.

After his first practice with the team I asked him what the hardest thing is about joining a new team. As he, an offensive lineman, sat at his locker, nestled comfortably between the lockers of defensive linemen Nick Eason and Vonnie Holliday, he was about to explain, but Eason spoke up for him. "Sitting in the d-line section," he quipped, which prompted an "exactly!" from McQuistan.

McQuistan was the only offensive lineman to be out of his area. Even practice squad member Steven Baker has his locker with the other O-linemen. That will probably get changed soon, though.

With his serious answer, he explained that the toughest thing is "just learning a new system." He said that you have to learn the terminology of the new team. "Really, there are no new plays in football," he explained. "They're just called different things.

Whats does McQuistan bring to the table?

"Versatility. I can play guard. I can play tackle. I've played a little jumbo tight end. Just versatility and toughness."

What do his teammates have to say already? Eason welcomed him as I was talking to him. "We're glad to have you...McQuistan," he said and he looked up at the name written in ink above the locker. "Helluva guy."

If you don't mind not sitting with your position and getting picked on a little bit, then I suppose being the new guy isn't all that bad.

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