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Beanie Wells surprised the Cardinals took a running back

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 29: Runningback Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 29, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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When the Cardinals drafted running back Ryan Williams in the second round in April, it sent a strong message to Beanie Wells.

Taken in the first round just two year ago, Wells was supposed to be the present and future of the Cardinals backfield. Quickly he realizes he could be running out of time to prove himself.

“This is definitely going to be my year without a doubt,” Wells said on The Fan AM 1060, via Thursday. “This is my third year and three strikes and you’re out, and I’m definitely not striking out. I am ready to tear it up. It’s my time and I am ready to go out and prove that.”

Wells was a big disappointment in his second year, although he showed plenty of promise as a rookie. He just needs to show he can stay healthy. Perhaps drafting Williams will help him do that -- and motivate him.

Wells says it was “shocking” when the Cardinals took Williams.

“I didn’t think we really needed a running back, especially in the second round,” Wells said. “But obviously they did. I just take it on as more competition and prepare the same way . . . I wasn’t angry. You know the ins and outs of the business. If they don’t like the production at a position, they’re probably going to get another one. This game is like a candy store — if you don’t like the candy you taste, you get another piece.”

Williams could wind up replacing Tim Hightower on passing downs more than he replaces Wells. Either way, the team’s young backfield is one of the deeper spots on a roster with plenty of holes.