Andre Ellington is in Phase 2 of his transition from running back to wide receiver.
The Arizona Cardinals still can't line up the receiver against a defense -- based on NFL offseason workout rules -- but quarterback Carson Palmer believes the ex-tailback can bring an added dimension to the offense with his run-after-catch ability.
"Everything changes when he's got to line up and there are 11 guys across the ball and he, post-snap, has to make decisions," Palmer said Tuesday, via the team's official website. "That's difficult. But he runs really good routes, and the thing that really excites me is, once he gets the ball in his hands, what is he going to do with it? He's not a receiver, he's a running back when he has the ball in his hands."
Ellington said he feels comfortable in his route-running ability, now he needs to understand "hot" calls and sight adjustments.
He also needs to show his route-running can be executed as a defender is pushing him off course.
"I'm just trying to make myself more valuable so whenever coach calls on me, he can put me wherever," Ellington said of moving to receiver.
For his four-year career, the 5-foot-9 speedster earned 112 catches for 999 yards. The past two seasons he's seen his snaps dwindle as he earned just 45 and 34 rushing attempts.
The move to receiver is often not easy, but the Cards re-signed the speedy wideout to be a complement to big-bodied Larry Fitzgerald and down-field threat John Brown. If Ellington can continue to progress once he faces a defense, Arizona will have added another threat to an already balanced offense.