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Greg Dortch earns role in offense during remake of receivers group

What a difference a year makes.

After the 2022 season ended and when Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort and head coach Jonathan Gannon arrived, this is what the wide receiver room looked like:

On the active roster in alphabetical order were Andre Baccellia, Marquise Brown, Robbie Chosen (formerly Robbie Anderson), Greg Dortch, A.J. Green and DeAndre Hopkins.

Rondale Moore and Antoine Wesley finished the season on injured reserve while Auden Tate and Javon Wims were on the practice squad.

By the time the June minicamp ended, the only ones remaining were Baccellia, Brown, Dortch and Moore.

Now almost a year later, as the calendar flips to April, Baccellia and Dortch are the only ones standing. Baccellia shuttled between the practice squad and the roster last season and played in five games. By the end of the season, Dortch  had gained the confidence of the coaching staff with his play-making ability and that led to the trade of Moore to the Falcons for quarterback Desmond Ridder.

Added to the mix last year was free agent signing Zach Pascal, who is mostly a special-teams contributor, and third-round pick Michael Wilson.

Fast forward to this year where Chris Moore was signed this month as an unrestricted free agent, while those added as future contracts after the season concluded were Daniel Arias, Dan Chisena, Kaden Davis and Jeff Smith.

Clearly, the position will be a focus in the early stages of the draft, but Dortch has established a role for himself.

When asked about Dortch at the combine, Ossenfort said, “Greg’s made a lot of plays. Greg’s made a lot of plays before I got here. Greg made a lot of plays when he got an opportunity. Greg’s a guy who’s always ready to take advantage of whatever opportunity he gets and when he’s taking advantage of those opportunities, he earns more opportunities.

“So, Greg does a great job for us. He’s tough, he’s physical after the catch for a smaller guy. He took a step as a punt returner last year. Greg made a lot of plays for us and he’s going to make a lot of plays for us next year.”

Gannon noted the focus Dortch showed while learning the new offense last year, saying at the NFL meeting this past week, “What I love about G is, I said, ‘Hey, man, like, you got to make sure that you’re concentrating on these certain things, and you got to do a better job of these things.’ He took that to heart and he worked on them, and he got better at those things.

“He’s self-aware. I mean, ‘OK, like JG said, I need to work on this. This is what he wants to see, this is what I’m going to work on. This is what he’s going to see.’ He did that. I appreciate that. The thing I really love about him is that he’s got a smile on his face and he loves ball, and he loves to practice. He loves to play, he loves the process, loves to compete. I’ll line up with him.”

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire