One breakdown of the offensive line

Posted by Darren Urban on July 6, 2012 – 9:47 am

As I have mentioned before, work of sites like and are always fun to look at because they break down video and try to take a deeper look at some of the game. Whether it’s always accurate you can debate — ultimately, it’s opinion, just like every scout or coach has on players or plays — but this time of year, it’s food for thought.

On FO recently, blogger Ben Muth decided to break down the Cards’ offensive line in their regular-season finale against the Seahawks. Muth, a one-time Stanford starting tackle who had an NFL cup of coffee, admits the Cards are his favorite team (he is from Phoenix, prepping at Pinnacle High School.) It’s just one game he studied, so you can’t make sweeping generalizations on what it means for each player. He does note that guard Rex Hadnot struggled, not a great way for Hadnot to finish up and perhaps a reason the Cards were willing to cut him. He praises the steady play of guard Daryn Colledge and center Lyle Sendlein. He goes deep inside that LaRod Stephens-Howling run where right tackle Jeremy Bridges basically blocked three guys during the coure of the play.

(Side note: These are the things Bridges does sometimes to make me think he can hold off Bobby Massie for a while.)

He also talks about the improvement he has seen from Levi Brown since the last game he broke down. His quote on Levi:

“He played with much better balance in the running game and wasn’t getting thrown off blocks as much. He also did a nice job sitting down on bull rushes throughout the game, a feat that was even more impressive considering he was matched up against Red Bryant for the majority of it. Of course, he still can’t pass off twists because he has no lateral quickness. He did allow a sack, although it was off a linebacker stunt and not a straight twist. Brown also gave back 20 yards in penalties. Still, this was best performance I’ve ever seen Levi Brown give. So there’s that.”



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28 Responses to “One breakdown of the offensive line”

  1. By SteveG on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    These kind of assessments always point up how truly little I know about the game.

  2. By D on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    This upcoming season as far as the offense, will depend on two areas that can either hurt or help each other out. The Off tackles and the QB play. I am assuming the RB’s will come back healthy and productive along with the WR play….
    Brown needs to continue how he left off, Massi needs to learn as much as he can from Bridges quickly and the Qb’s need to be decisive to get rid of the ball timely

    I put more running plays at the begginning of the season in the playbook and more dump off passes to The Hyphen and the TE until everyone on that side of the ball is comfortable….

  3. By DontTakeLoses on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, Levi damned in that praise, no?

  4. By Dre on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    We need big things from this unit to improve

  5. By fred on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    I hope the line improves, way to many false starts from levi ,if penalty start to add up do you think Massi can start?I did like the way they played the second half of the season still room for improvement .

  6. By Christo on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    Lol so giving up a sack and giving back 20 yards in penalties is an improvement?

    Great job on not even kicking the tires on Gaither, Bell, or McNeill over the past season and a half, Russ and Co.

  7. By joec on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    @Christo hold off judgement till we see if the teams that paid them get their monies worth and didn’t AZ work out bell?

  8. By AndyStandsUp on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    Not to sound critical, but Muth’s observations are based on one game.
    Good thing Timmy Smith’s career wasn’t based on one SB appearance or he would’ve have been an unqualified HOFer.

  9. By Tyler Durden on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    Urban, Please stop making personel predictions….you have shown in the past that you are woeful at it. You don’t know what you’re looking at and you just listen to the chatter around the team and relay the mis-information that Whiz and his coaches give out sometimes to prevent teams from getting a bead on what they intend to do. Your most recent mis-reading of personel was Beanie Wells last year…you essentially intimated that the coaches we’re down on him and he didn’t look that good in camp…of course all he did once the season started was rush for 1,000 yards and 10 TD’s….just report facts please….

  10. By Andy Kw on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    Here is what the Cards should do on the O-Line:
    The Cards obviously keep Sendlein at Center. This team should also sign a veteran to back him up. I’m pretty sure Ryan B. needs probably a year or 2 to really become a nice backup Center.
    The Cards should keep Levi Brown at left tackle. Our team should release D’Anthony Batiste. He only started 4 games with the Falcons and that was in 2007. Our team should sign T Stacy Andrews (a former NYG) because he has the experience this team needs. And backing Andrews would be Nate Potter.
    Our team should definitely keep Jeremy Bridges. I am hoping Massie starts this season but if he doesn’t, I expect him to start the next season. Bridges is capable of being an elite tackle but if Massie starts early, he will be better in the future.
    Colledge and Snyder are obviously the starting Guards. Senio Kelemete will definitely play a key role as a backup. If not, we could trade him for future draft picks. We should definitely sign back one of our former card player Leonard Davis. He might be aging but he is definitely a Guard we need to pick up to really boost our offensive line. Our team needs more experience. Our team keeps signing undrafted free agents to backup our starting offensive linemen but what our team needs are mentors. These undrafted free agents have potential but not as much as the veterans do. But whatever happens, I hope the OL improves.

  11. By tentpeg107 on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, that’s a back-handed compliment of Levi’s work: “So there’s that.”

    Ouch. Wonder if someone will step up and “take” the LT position. Then we could trade Levi to a team who needs a Guard (which Levi really is).

  12. By Jzoully on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    Levi is a great tackle, lets just say that his bar is much higher, meaning we won’t be seeing sacks over and over again. Levi will have to be a wall, meaning in my opinion that Levi has to go 6-7 games before giving up sacks. Also I believe that Levi has to improve his run blocking, so he might be able to become a probowler if he shows improvement.

  13. By cardsalltheway on Jul 6, 2012 | Reply

    “No lateral quickness and gave up 20 yards in penalties” in the last game of the season.

    It’s amazing someone still thinks he can protect our QB’s and is still our starting LT going into 2012.

    I predict L. Brown will give up at least one sack during the first game of the season against the Seahawks, probably to rookie outside pass rusher Bruce Irvin.

    On the flip side, as long as the new bounty rule has no effect on us then Haggens, Acho, Dockett, and Washington could cause havoc against the Seahawks like they did in last year’s final game – each recording a sack.

    Also hoping for O’Brien Schofield, Quentin Groves, and Quan Sturdivant to do much more this season.
    Long shots – Arizona LB Paul Vassallo and Arizona State LB Colin Parker or any other hopeful surprise(s) this summer/fall. And LT Nate Potter, if only R. Grimm could develop someone?

  14. By Eazy E on Jul 7, 2012 | Reply

    Not the best comment talking about Levi. The best he’s ever seen Levi play and he had this many yards penalized and allowed a sack and so on and so forth.

  15. By clssylssy on Jul 7, 2012 | Reply

    Pretty much everything that is written about the Cards is based on how we struggled last year before our guys got their legs and our defense kicked in. I get tired of reading the tired, regurgitated words of writers who know nothing about the Cards and little about football; Ben Muth is an exception as he has some creds being from The Valley. If our offense can get it together as much as our defense, we might finally get taken seriously as a threat in the West. Winning our opener against Seattle is going to be critical so I’m excited at the prospect that our offense might have a few surprises. Of course, that always leads to the QB issue which makes me nervous. I think we have good depth and am anxious to see how having an off season is going to effect the development of our QBs. It’s really good to hear positive things about people like Bridges and Brown who rarely get a mention . I recently saw McNabb’s name surface again as possibly signing with the Cards, which I think would be a step backwards…any thoughts? I also seen where four of the players in the concussion suit have named their teams along with the NFL and the helmet company and hope the Cards are taking note as it seens we have a ticking time bomb of our own. With less than 30 days to the HOF Game, it’s good to hear some news out of the Card camp. Thanks Darren . I’m feeling the Red Sea Rising Up…GO CARDS! WE DO THIS TOGETHER!

  16. By Peter in Canada on Jul 7, 2012 | Reply

    Poor Levi is the Rodney Dangerfield of the Cards. Even when he has a good game people dwell on the mistakes. Or even if there is doubt that they are his mistakes i.e. the penalties and sacks people assume the worst. Maybe the blocking scheme put him at a big disadvantage on the sack and maybe a call was blown on the penalties. The coaches have seen all this and re-signed him anyway. Doesn’t that count for something? It does in my mind.

  17. By CreditCard on Jul 7, 2012 | Reply

    Sendlein was a find. Undrafted, becomes a leader and captain of the team. Love his work ethic, and steady play. He even dogged out a season being injured. His play and attitude has got to rub off on other OL. As far as Brown in concerned, the coaches know he is playing a difficult position and they (the coaches) want to win as much if not more than the fans. Brown has skill, he did improve over last season. Beginning of the year, his foot work was visibly slow. If a novice like myself saw that — I’m sure opposing teams did and strategized over it as well.

  18. By DUECER54 on Jul 7, 2012 | Reply

    Ya, no kidding. If Levi had 16 great games like that, he would have given up 16 sacks and 320 yards of penalties, all by himself!! Not good.

  19. By johnnybluenose on Jul 8, 2012 | Reply

    hey Tyler Durden. did you take a “be nasty” pill yesterday? darren does a great job keeping us informed about our cardinals, in my opinion. as for wells, he did okay but he needs to be better. yes, he got 1000 yards rushing (just barely) but he got 228 of them in one game against saint louis who were not great against the run last year (or the pass either). take that one game away and he’s not very impressive. he also had games last year where he rushed for totals of 20, 27, 33, 42, 51 and 53. sure, he was not always healthy and our qb situation probably did him no favours but wells still lacked something. he does not compare well to someone, for example, like marshawn lynch, who just keeps running and running until six guys finally jump on him. if wells is able to give that kind of effort on a consistent basis then we would have a real threat at running back and we would be very hard to beat. in my opinion.

  20. By shannon robinson on Jul 8, 2012 | Reply

    Andy Kw, Your approach means we keep 10 offensive linemen on the roster? We can only keep 8 on the 53 and two practice squad players to give us two offensive lines for practice. Levi Brown was the best OLineman for our system in the free agent market. We upgraded substantially when we signed Adam Snyder – go look at the last two 49ers games when Adam and Dockett are going at it. Adam was even reticent about how Dockett would receive him on the team. The backup center is Snyder and Bartholomew is practice squad elligible. Either Cris Stewart or DJ Young is the last offensive lineman on the practice squad. All this changes with unusual performance by somebody new. Free agents not signed by now have been passed up by 32 teams. Good analysis ClssyLssy!

  21. By Peter in Canada on Jul 8, 2012 | Reply

    Tyler Durden –
    After the disaster that was 2010, I think the coaches were disappointed in a lot of things including the RB’s and their fumbling issues. They traded Hightower for a back-up lineman and drafted Williams high up in the second round, among other reasons to get Beanie out of his comfort zone. Williams went down and to Beanie’s credit, he responded admirably. I don’t think that at the time Darren’s statement was wrong. It was Beanie’s response that ultimately made it wrong.

  22. By Scott H on Jul 9, 2012 | Reply

    ARRRRGH! Hate this time of year. Still 3 weeks away from training camp and the days drag like molasses. It’s just painful. With all other major sports, it seems like the seasons never end. With football, it’s the OFF-SEASON that never ends. I know, that’s what makes football special and unique and the beautiful thing that it is. But the WAITING….it’s killin’ me.

  23. By drstiegler on Jul 9, 2012 | Reply

    Reasons to be HOPEFUL –
    1. a strong interior line: guard to guard we are strong which allows for a solid chance at productive running game. Better running in the middle allows for PA passing game to develop which Heap and Housler should benefit from.
    2. Excellent D: Top 5 this year is a possibility. We will go as far as our defense takes us this year. The Ravens and Trent Dilfer proved that it can be done but it isn’t sexy. We had sexy with Warner and now we will take whatever we can get. We can benefit from turnovers and aggressive defensive play leading to short fields for the offense yielding more wins hopefully.
    3. Special Teams: PP and LaRod have shored up this area and made this a strength for the Redbirds. Big returns usually cause big momentum swings and this cannot be underestimated in football. Feely has been one of the more consistent kickers in the NFL for years and those 3 pointers will add up and win us at least 2 or 3 ballgames.
    4. Receiving Corps: Probably the best in the league when Floyd’s potential is added in there. Fitz, Floyd, Roberts and Doucet on the field at the same time – wow! How do you stop that if the QB has enough time? Someone is going to make a play for sure. Then add Williams or Beanie coming out of the backfield, that is impressive.
    Darren, thanks for all the good info. and the interesting intelligent perspective on the team. Us diehards really appreciate it. Go Redbirds! We Do This Together!

  24. By Eric Y on Jul 9, 2012 | Reply

    @johnnybluenose ,

    You pretty much summed up my exact thoughts on Beanie, though I think his knee was a pretty serious issue that definitely held him back. I think we have a good crew of RBs if they can stay healthy. ALL of them need to be healthy.

    @ Darren

    What are your thoughts on the RBs? We’ll likely have 4, no? Is Smith around this year?

  25. By Darren Urban on Jul 9, 2012 | Reply

    Eric Y —

    RE: RBs

    Given the injuries to Beanie and Williams, I’d think they’d cover their bases, keep Alfonso and have four RBs on the roster, plus Sherman as FB.

  26. By brad oneill on Jul 10, 2012 | Reply

    tyler durden- Darren is allowed to have opinions, he is probably one of the most cautious bloggers in sports as far as spewing his opinions so if you would kindly just take your head out of that dark stinky place and hit the showers we all would appreciate it.

  27. By truths4all on Jul 10, 2012 | Reply

    Make no mistake, Muth is being kind in his understated one game summary on Brown. Since Brown has no lateral quickness (also known as slow feet), Brown would be better utilized as a guard using his strength in more confined pass blocking space and run blocking straight ahead. As a guard, the only questions are whether Brown has the minimum level of quickness to get out and be the pulling guard on those type of rushing plays. Allowing one sack and giving back 20 yards in penalties (against a so-so Seahawks team) equates out to 16 sacks and 320 yards in penalties over a 16 game season. You either have quick feet to go with your strength, bulk, and technique that tackles must have or you don’t. Slow feet is why Brown has allowed sacks, near-sacks (QB rushes), collapsed pockets, and penalties as a Cardinal. If Brown cannot produce any real improvement in his lateral quickness, the Cardinal offense will remain bogged down. Remember, all NFL teams already know about Brown’s liabilities and that is why they eagerly assign their speed rushers against Brown.

  28. By Sport245245 on Jul 10, 2012 | Reply

    brad oneill: All I can say is “Right On”

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