When the Cardinals began offseason workouts, Levi Brown was relegated to conditioning and strengthening exercises as he recovered from last season’s surgery to repair a torn triceps tendon.

Brown wasn’t particularly happy about the limited role, even grumbling about it to local media.

“I guess they overheard,” Brown quipped on Thursday. “They got me right back out there, it seemed almost immediately.”

Brown was back at his customary left tackle position, taking on an increased workload as the Cardinals’ organized team activities (OTAs) concluded this week.

Contrary to past opinions, that’s a good thing.

It’s good for the media, who benefit from Brown’s intelligence and underappreciated, dry humor. It’s good for his linemates, who missed his voice and presence.

"He's our leader out there," center Lyle Sendlein said. "He leads us on the practice field, he leads us in the locker room and he leads us every Sunday so we're very excited to have him back out there."

Brown is also good for first-year coach Bruce Arians, who continually refers to him as “an elite player.” And he's even good for the fan base, which finally gained an understanding of Brown’s importance to this unit in an absence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder kind of way.

When Brown went down in the preseason, three non-playoff teams -- the Dolphins, Rams and Bills -- held a sack parade on departed quarterback Kevin Kolb early last season, sacking him a whopping 22 times in less than three games.

You can certainly make an argument that Brown has not lived up to the expectations that accompany a fifth overall pick (2007). But as one media member noted on Thursday, it’s tough to find a team that is happy with its left tackle play.

Like the quarterback position, it’s obvious when the left tackle isn’t playing well. But like the quarterback position, the left tackle position is extremely difficult to master.