There is no other way to describe right tackle Bobby Massie’s rookie season other than rough.
That’s one of the words coach Ken Whisenhunt used. It’s the word Massie used. It’s the reason Whisenhunt is usually wary of playing rookies from the get-go.
“It’s going through struggles,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s basically what it is. You can see only so much in practice and, with the rules now, even in training camp. A lot of times you don’t see (then) what you see in-season. In terms of stunts, techniques. How do you simulate a spin move by the Minnesota defensive end, because that guy does it really well? Dwight Freeney, you can practice (for him) all you want, but you’re only going to see that in games against certain players. He’s going through some tough times.
“That’s why when people say, ‘Play the rookie,’ well, I understand that. But you have to understand you will go through some growing pains with them.”
Massie, according to profootballfocus.com, has already allowed double-digit sacks. They aren’t all him — one sack he “allowed” against the Vikings came after Brian Robison went well around the Massie block and quarterback John Skelton needed to get the ball out sooner — but he knows he isn’t playing like he’d like or needs to be. He doesn’t consider much how it could have been different had he been able to sit and learn this season.
“I don’t really have time to think about that,” Massie said. “If the circumstances would have been right, it would have been nice. But I’ve gotta play. Can’t think about that.”
Whisenhunt said that with some rookies, there is a fear of lost confidence when things aren’t going well. He isn’t worried about that with Massie, however, and Massie said it isn’t a problem.
“I still feel confident, but things aren’t going the way I’m used to them going,” Massie said. “I’m not dominating like I was last year, so it’s rough. But I haven’t lost confidence. This game ain’t easy, man, so I just have to keep getting better.”
Whisenhunt said the sacks the Cards have allowed are always going to be blamed on the offensive line and “that’s glossing it over,” he said. Other things are involved. “Regardless of the statistics, we haven’t been good enough in that area,” Whisenhunt said. “We have to play better. We’ve been trying to do that.”
— Whisenhunt continues to be optimistic safety Kerry Rhodes will be able to play Monday, and sounded the same when it came to special teams captains fullback Anthony Sherman and linebacker Reggie Walker. He sounded less so about guard Adam Snyder, but the former 49er “wants to play,” Whisenhunt said.
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