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Watford, Sendlein start; Cardinals name their captains

Posted by Darren Urban on September 8, 2015 – 1:46 pm

The offensive line is set. Bruce Arians said Earl Watford will be the starting right tackle against the Saints and Lyle Sendlein will be the starting center, joining guards Jonathan Cooper and Ted Larsen and left tackle Jared Veldheer. What’s more, Arians said the plan is for Watford to remain the starting right tackle even after Bobby Massie returns from suspension. That doesn’t mean Watford can’t lose the job, but it’s a huge statement for Watford, who has been looking for a starting role.

As for Sendlein, I felt since he was signed he’d find his way into the starting lineup. A.Q. Shipley provides depth at center and guard, but he’s had a hard time holding on to starting jobs thus far in his career and Sendlein played well in the preseason. More on the offensive line later on the homepage.

— The Cardinals named their captains. Offensively, it’s Veldheer and Carson Palmer. Defensively it’s Patrick Peterson and Calais Campbell. On special teams, it’s Justin Bethel and Mike Leach. Arians said more than 20 players received more than three votes, which spoke to the depth of the candidates and leadership for the Cards.

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37 Responses to “Watford, Sendlein start; Cardinals name their captains”

  1. By robert on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    as i said in a previous post, massey did not play well..now BA need to get McClain in for Larson..the OL is critical….if they can’t protect Palmer, he could get knocked out for the entire season. I’m serious..keep this post..if we protect Palmer we have an 11 win season

  2. By Lynn on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    Darren:

    While I congratulate Earl Watford, naming him the starter beyond the 1st. two weeks, says more about Bobby Massie than about Watford. It seems there’s more to the story than just the suspension. I don’t believe anyone would have thought that Watford would have won the job this year, and I feel strongly that the staff would not jeopardize performance or injury for spite. I hope I’m wrong, but I’m staying tuned.

  3. By Scott H on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    I’m really hoping that Iupati’s return will be the piece that brings this line together. Geez, with the high draft picks and FA additions over the last two years. you would think this would be a line we would all be feeling more excited about. But the trifecta of Iupati’s injury, the failure of Shipley to be an un-grade over Sendlein, and a 2015 1st-round pick who is nowhere near ready to go….I am less excited than I was right after the draft, that’s for sure.

    Clearly, the center position is going to have to be a high priority for next year.

  4. By Scott H on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    Lynn –

    You presented an interesting perspective on Watford over Massie and who that may really say more about. Looks like we have the same situation at center. Because I think Sendlein being named the starter there says more about Shipley than anything else. How can it not??

    I like Lyle, always have, seems like one of those hard-working guys who HAS to work hard because, well….the God-given talent is limited. But while I am happy for him, I’m not really thrilled that – after being cut a few months ago – he is now the best we have at center. If it was good enough then, he wouldn’t have gone anywhere.

    But at least Sendlein is solid enough that he’s not a glaring liability who’s mistakes might get one of our QB’s killed.

    And at least we ain’t playing Kahlil Mack every week.

  5. By Steve on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    Darren: PFT reported today that Michael Floyd did some catching today on the sidelines during the teams workout, any idea if he plays Sunday?

  6. By Steve on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    I just read about Floyds status on the site, sorry Darren.

  7. By shane on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    Robert,
    idk what game you were watching or if you know how to evaluate talent but massie did not look bad .. and was solid for the cards last year ..

  8. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    So Floyd’s status is still up in the air. Funny thing is, I find myself almost forgetting about him after being AWOL all preseason. I like our receiving corps even without him — although obviously he helps make it even better.

  9. By Lynn on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H.

    My thoughts exactly on both players, and both posts. I seem to recall a National magazine rating Bobby Massie very highly last year. Something doesn’t seem to fit.

  10. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H,

    I got to agree with you. You would think if you went out and signed a top LT, drafted a guard #7 overall, signed a FA guard who was an all pro and 1st round pick, then added another 1st round pick at tackle, this would be the best line ever.

    yet, people are still worried if Palmer will survive. I find it all pretty interesting. You could argue about the picks but You can’t say SK didn’t try.

  11. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    Just thinking about those 3 CBs. Would you say Patrick Peterson is as important to this defense as Palmer is to the offense?

    I mean, knowing the style of defense we run and the importance placed on PP covering the #1 on an island, (whether you like Bethel or not) can you see Bethel stepping in and the defense surviving?

  12. By Darren Urban on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: PP

    I don’t know if I’d quite go that far, because of the QB’s importance. No question you are right that if Peterson got hurt there would be problems. But it’s easier (not easy, but easier) to mask PP injury than it would to be Palmer.

  13. By Cards4Ever on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    Scott and Lynn,

    i think you guys are looking into it too much. Facts are that massie is going to be a free agent and has played well so will probably ask for a lot on the market and the Cardinals aren’t going to be willing to pay that. Look for massie to be shopped. Some time this season. The hope is Humphries gets his sh*t into gear and can be the tackle they need. As for Earl Watford being the RT going forward, all camp long Coach stated how well Earl was doing in ALL positions except center and that he’s too athletic not to be on the field. And also, Arians doesn’t like to mess with the continuity of the OLine, example is Johnathon Cooper last year. Probably the better candidate but wasn’t ready in the beginning. Job has to be lost once given to.
    Go Cardinals!!

  14. By Coach K on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    If Humphries is having such a hard learning curve at tackle, why not give him some looks at left guard. A smaller area to block and his weight and long arms would be an asset inside and he would not have to deal with fast outside pass rushers.

    He can continue to be a swing tackle, but I would start working him at left guard as well. That’s an expensive man to have sitting on the bench. At least get him some reps inside and teach him two positions. Versatility is an asset for a lineman in today’s NFL.

  15. By rod on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    I hope Watford holds his own for these starts, not to replace Massie but because Carson needs him to.

    Go CARDNELZ !!

  16. By TucsonTim on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    “Dud: Usually the steadiest of the group, the form of Lyle Sendlein (-29.1) has seen a sharp decline. Only one center had a worse rating with him with a lack of control of blocks in the run game and too much pressure allowed in the pass game being the charges laid against him.”

    Let’s not forget the PFF review of the 2014 OL. Disappointing that we didn’t fill that need.

  17. By rod on Sep 8, 2015 | Reply

    @TucsonTim

    I’ll bet a billion dollars that we draft a C fairly high next year ! Keim will see to it.

  18. By Eazy E on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    I agree with Watford being the starting RT while Massie is suspended, but when he gets back, he should start. I don’t believe in a player that is a starter and is good losing their job because of injury or suspension. Lyle starting over A.Q. is an easy decision honestly because he is just better than A.Q. I’m not worried about that position because Lyle is a good, underrated player at C. What the heck is up with Larry not being a captain?! He should be a lock every year!

  19. By Darren Urban on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Eazy —

    RE: Fitz

    Fitz wasn’t a captain last year either.

  20. By clssylssy on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    We got a glimpse of our 0-line and offensive protection in preseason in the “dress rehersal” against the Raiders, and our 1’s were shredded. We need Michael Floyd in there to help Larry block so we can keep from losing our QB(s) because the Saints defense will be in a “take no prisoners” mode. We have had all of the off season and preseason to fix our problems and we are essentially in the same place we were as the postseason ended…Keim drew one, and shuffled the Cards O-line resulting in pretty much the same hand. The constant upgrading of this team should be a work in progress if we are to remain competitive. To hear fans make excuses…”he tried to tix…”(past tense) sounds like the same mentality of settling for mediocrity that HAS BEEN associated with the Cardinals FO.
    Meanwhile the Saints have been busy this week working out kickers, and WR Hakeem Nicks, and the good news is that CJ Spiller and Jarius Byrd will not be playing against the Cards.
    What has Steve Keim done to help this team win against the Saints on Sunday? The signing of Barkley would indicate he still hasn’t gotten his priorities in order! We NEED to WIN NOW!

  21. By Scott H on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Oh, I agree, the efforts to up-grade along the O-line have DEFINITELY been made by the front office. Not faulting them for not trying.

  22. By Scott H on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Cards4Ever –

    So…Massie is their best option but they are not going to play him because he is going to be a FA and they don’t want to have to pay him? Next off-season? Um…I don’t see that thought process as making sense for a front office. And I think if they WERE going to “shop” him, they would ABSOLUTELY want to play him so he could be on display and create interest. Because I really don’t think Bobbie Massie has any real value on the trade market right now.

    That’s just me.

  23. By Scott H on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Can’t help finding it interesting that a guy like Fitz isn’t elected as one of the captains, but….if this is something the players vote on, I can’t question that.

    And Palmer / Veldheer are excellent choices. I’m glad that Palmer is seen that way by his teammates.

  24. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Love that Watford starting, really like him, what he brings. With that stature, athleticism, wondering why wasn’t a Tackle earlier? Does he have short arms or some other measurable that might have deterred?

  25. By clssylssy on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Scott…
    I too find it strange that Fitz was not voted a Captain but have had the impression that the organization wants the QB to be more of a face for the team, and every organization has it’s internal politics. Linemen often don’t get the love so it’s nice to see a relative new comer(who is not in a glam position) be voted a Captain. I get the impression that Fitz is very much for the younger guys being more in the spolight and he is just trying to finish out his career while passing the reigns.
    I know many who only watch the Cards to see Fitz and I think Fitz himself believes the team to be bigger than one person.

  26. By Cards4Ever on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H.

    Who says Massie is the best option right now? Yes he was our starter last year and played well. But if Watford proves to be just as effective, coach isn’t going to pull him. Obviously if Watford plays like crap then he will be pulled. But if all things are equal, Watford, who didn’t make the bone-head decision to get suspended will remain in there.

  27. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    I think people overstate the problems with our O-line. It is going to be fine this year. Iupati being hurt obviously doesn’t help, but at least he’s not out for the season like when Cooper went down his rookie year.

    They looked bad against the Raiders, but the starting unit was fine in the other games.

    I also think this whole concern about Palmer going down is a little misplaced. His injury was a fluke thing that happened without contact. Palmer’s been one of the tougher QB’s in the league in terms of being able to take hits throughout his career. Yes, he’s getting up there, but so are Manning, Brady and a lot of other guys. Worrying every second about Palmer going down isn’t productive. He played every snap, I think, his first year here, behind a worse O-line than we have now.

  28. By liquidchaoss on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    I hate to be a downer but this offensive line is going to suck again. All the off season moves and still the oline will be bad again. This is one time Arians plan to get a cheap player to over perform failed, which was Shipley. He should of gotten that Raiders center instead. Now the Cards are back to Sendelein is just is horrible.

  29. By Scott H on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Cards4ever –

    OK, I may have taken from your post that you felt Massie was their best option and, no, you did not say that. My bad. You did say he has played well / is a FA next year / will probably ask for a lot / the Cards won’t want to pay that.

    OK. Some of that is debatable ( he has played well ) and most of it pure speculation. But you seemed to conclude that these were factors in Watford being named the starter over Massie for 2015. And, again, I don’t see that as a reason they would choose that course of action.

    I might actually guess maybe they really DO like Massie and they hope naming Watford the starter lights a fire under his ass to get it in gear. Because Massie’s 2-game suspension kinda sets the stage for them to do that.

    Whatever the case, I am sure whoever the coaches feel is the better player will be playing at some point. And that’s all that matters.

  30. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Luckily, Saints defense is in disarray.

    We need to get off to a huge start this year. Schedule in the middle of the season is not horrible, but 6 of 8 games on the road would be tough on anyone. And finishing up at Philly, home vs GB and Seattle… three likely playoff teams. We need to start out 4-0. All those first four games are winnable.

  31. By mindset839 on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Watford is a no brainier over Sowell but Seindelien worries me a lot. He is no where close to being an average center let alone a good one. Unfortunately this line is going to be a problem all year. Veldheer is by far the best of the group and he was getting thrown around like a rag doll by Khalil Mack and Mario Edwards. Let hope they get healthy and gel quickly or this could be a long year. They need Lupati back to help with the running game but my biggest concern is Palmer’s health.

  32. By Scott H on Sep 9, 2015 | Reply

    Kevin –

    Agreed, about getting off to a good start. More importantly, win the games you SHOULD win. If playing in the NFC West with Seattle has shown us anything, it’s that giving away ONE game that you should have won can cost you the division. And then, when you can’t win the division? At best, you are a wild-card and you are on the road for the playoffs. At worst, you don’t even make it as a wild card. Remember 2013?

    In 2013, we dropped the opener against the Rams. Last year, there was the debacle in Atlanta. I knew that day we had just lost the division. Both should have been wins because we were clearly the better team.

    Regarding the Saints, we might have to hope their D is in some disarray. Because even w/out Jimmy Graham, we know that offense is gonna roll. Brees is one of the smartest QB’s in the league and he will use EVERYONE to move that team down the field. That Cooks kid looks like their version of John Brown, so….that off-sets the loss of Graham. And Ingram REALLY emerged at RB for them over the 2nd half of the year last season. They are balanced and have an elite QB running the show.

    Could be a shoot-out, so our offense is gonna have to keep pace and trade punches with Brees.

    I don’t WANT to have to win games against bad defenses but….no reason not to take advantage of a weak D when it’s there to be taken advantage of!

  33. By Eazy E on Sep 10, 2015 | Reply

    Darren-

    What the heck? Of all the 53 men in our locker room, Larry doesn’t get chosen! He should be an automatic from the jump.

  34. By tony on Sep 10, 2015 | Reply

    And how is Fitz not a captain??

  35. By tony on Sep 10, 2015 | Reply

    Its almost as if the cards are trying to run fitz outta town, maby not but i just get the felling there trying to make him decide to pack up his bags
    ..been a cards fan since 8 years old…

  36. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2015 | Reply

    Tony —

    RE: Run Fitz out of town

    That would make the $22M guaranteed they gave him in February kind of odd, wouldn’t it?

  37. By dkerry5242 on Sep 11, 2015 | Reply

    Very surprised that Sendelein has been named the starter again. How did the coaching miss that far on Shipley that we wound up having to re-sign and start Sendelein? I just hope Sendelein protects Palmer.

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