Rough road for Massie

Posted by Darren Urban on October 26, 2012 – 3:45 pm

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, 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.

Posted in Blog | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “Rough road for Massie”

  1. By SteveG on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    Bad news is we are forced to play a rookie, good news is next year he will NOT be a rookie in any way shape or form, plus a long year at the tender mercies of John Lott, he (along with his fellow rooks) will be a great deal stronger and have more experience than we wish they had to get….

    Been a rough year for injuries at all the blocking positions, but the experience gained will pay off after (hopefully) this year’s post-season run for many years!

  2. By Safety Guy on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    Why dont they consider using McQuistan

  3. By Darren Urban on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    Safety —

    RE: McQuistan

    I don’t know that they haven’t considered it.

  4. By Brent on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    Rough is an understatement. Hopefully it gets better for Massie as the season goes on.

  5. By joe holst on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    they better draft 7 offensive lineman next year.

  6. By in fitz we trust on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    ATLEAST he is still a rookie and has that excuse.

    Cant really expect much out of a 4th rounder; although there has probably been a 4th round tackle, or even later round, to play at a higher level.

    At THIS point, The sky is the limit for this guy; ESPECIALLY with Hall of Fame ( player ) Russ Grimm at the helm.


  7. By john the draft guy on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    I love Massie is out there. Sure he has struggled, but he is getting invaluable work. Unless he is mentally weak, this will make him stronger.

    I think only Matt Kahil has played great as a rookie that I am aware of. Again, I think he will be solid next year.
    Much like Levi Brown, he struggles with speed, but has good power in the run game. If he locks on, he usually can move you.
    I personally would like to see a LT in next years draft and Brown to the right side and Massie in to guard. Obviously, Grimm and Whiz have more insight but from the outside, it would be fun to have a big powerful right side to run behind.

  8. By Scott H on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    I feel bad for this kid. This has turned out to a bad situation for him…right now, at least. His being forced into the line-up from day one and the fact that it seems like he has to go up against one beast after another every week is just putting a huge spotlight on him – for the wrong reasons. He got obliterated on national TV against the Rams a few weeks ago and now he gets to be in the same national spotlight again against ( oh, goody! ) the 49ers on Monday. Could very well be another miserable for him and, consequently, for Skelton and, consequently, the Cardinals on Monday night.

    The D should keep us in the game like they have all year. But without a dramatically improved performance from the offense, forget it. That would mean solid pass protection, running the ball effectively, and sustaining drives that end in at least 3 trips to the end zone. And the running-the-ball thing goes out the window if we fall behind early. Is this offense capable of such a game? Probably is as optimistic as I will dare to be right now. Will I believe it until I see it? Absolutely not.

    Despite whether they have won or lost so far this year, they have pretty much played at the same level all year ( the lone exception being the Eagles game ). That level of play will NOT beat teams like the 49ers. Hell, it hasn’t even been good enough to beat the Bills and Rams! So, either they are going to rise up to another level ( and I mean CONSISTENTLY ) or they are a 7-9 team, at best.

    Keep wishing they would prove me wrong, but…

  9. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    If Synder can’t make it, first game day active for Kelemete?

  10. By Darren Urban on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Kelemete

    That sounds probable.

  11. By Dynosoar on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    Massie said. “I’m not dominating like I was last year, so it’s rough.

    This makes sense. Last year in college, he faced one or two elite (NFL calibre) players each week and they may not have been opposite him on the line. That’s what each rookie faced in college, a couple NFL calibre players on the opposing team.

    Now they’re facing 53 NFL calibre players on the other side of the scrimage line each week. It makes sense that most rookies struggle they’re first year.

    Still, sometimes a trial by fire makes a player stronger. I just hope this trial by fire makes Massie stronger. If his confidence and work ethic stays strong, it will.

    Let’s protect Skelton and show Smith a lot of turf.

  12. By Bob Boise on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    Give McQ a chance…he has the experience and did well during pre-season for the Cowboys..didn’t give up a sack in extended minutes.

  13. By georgiebird on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    The criticism of the OL is way over the top. In most NFL games, the QB is getting rushed by super-quick defensive players. Those teams could be the Giants, Saints or Packers. These teams plus others have QBs who can get rid of the ball immediately- On the other hand, QBs who process the play slowly can’t cope with the defensive speed.
    When Warner was here the OL gave him enough of time to get to the playoffs on two occasions. None of the OLs on our two playoff teams were that good. All they had to do was make the initial block, Warner took care of the rest.
    Currently, we have an offensive team that has:
    1) a dearth of explosive players on offense
    2) below average QB play
    3) an OC that has no imagination (an anti-Haley)
    Everyone is talking about drafting great OL players. Last night, Khalil on Minn almost got his QB killed and Khalil was about the best in the draft.
    OL performance will improve when the QB improves, when the RBs improve, when the WRs stretch the field/make catches and when our defense stops giving up critical scores at the beginning of games.

  14. By Chuck 1 on Oct 26, 2012 | Reply

    If the Bucs can handle the Vikes rather easily, what does that say about the ability of the Cards players and coaches?

  15. By Sarah on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    Let’s telegraph our line problems to the opponent.

  16. By Darren Urban on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    Sarah —

    RE: Line

    Seriously? You don’t think the 49ers watch film? You think this is a secret? All they have to do is come to this site and read all the blog comments that you all make, they have a pretty good idea of what is going on, right?

  17. By cardsalltheway on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    Nate Potter should be getting some reasonable playing time for seven reasons…

    1. D’Anthony Batiste isn’t that good, in fact he currently ranks among the worst LT’s in the NFL.

    2. It would probably make Mr. Potter more valuable to the team while promoting player development.

    3. It would remove the stigma that says N. Potter must be THE WORST LT in the NFL since he’s behind D’Anthony Batiste.

    4. It would promote the “team” concept and make him work for his money instead of making him feel like he ain’t worth much of anything sitting on the bench of probably the worst offensive line in the NFL.

    5. It would show that Ken W. is able to give confidence to rookie O Linemen(who only play because of injury) and not only to old veteran kickers who lose games for us.

    6. D’Anthony Batiste I’m sure could use a breather now and then.

    7. Mr. Potter at 6’6′ 300 pounds with quick feet just might do better than D’Anthony Batiste and would confuse and/or force his defensive opponent(s) to work/think more.

    The weather Monday nite…

  18. By Christo on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    We need an overhaul on this team. Starting at the Top.

    Graves really felt we needed the 2nd best WR prospect over the countless OL prospects? We acquired the WORST rated G in the League last year with Snyder. We re-signed the WORST rated T in the League last year with Brown.

    Enough with Grimm, the guy cannot get it done. Other teams have had challenges on their OL’s and none fare worse than us. Factor in our OL has been TERRIBLE for years and the decision should really be easy.

    At least it would be for an Organization that demands excellence, are we that Org?

  19. By Bass-iCk on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    The Cards OL just hasn’t came together…. but they hold weekly meetings on top of the QB.

  20. By Bass-iCk on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    We are on pace to give up 80 sacks…. nuff said.

  21. By Rick on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    C`mon cards lets shut up those niner fans that think they are invincible they seem to have forgotten that we were the last team to actually make it to the superbowl in the nfc west. Lets go cards!!! Cant wait for Monday!!!

  22. By scubasteve12 on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    Why is Sarah always posting other articles on this site? Is Darren not good enought for her?

  23. By Craig on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    Hit the Nail on the Head Christo!

    couldn’t have said it better myself

    also agree with everyone who says Grimm must go, I really can’t believe that our athletes are as bad as they are coached on the line

    one last thing our play calling stinks, I know before the play starts when the Cards will run and when they will pass, so predictable

  24. By Scott H on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    Christo –

    Well said. The O-line has been a liability ( and that’s putting in Kindly ) long enough. Can’t keep doing the same things – with the same people – and expecting a different result. Never mind insanity – that is just stubborn and stipid and, worst of all, in-effective. I am ready to be done with Russ Grimm. While I acknowledge that he certainly does not have a lot toi work with this year, it just seems like someone who is supposed to be among the better O-line coaches in the NFL should be able to produce better results in these situations. And as previously mentioned, the O-line has been an issue for years now. Time to turn this page.

  25. By truths4all on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    It is good that Massie has come to reality and understands now why he was not a first round draft pick. Hopefully this realization will spur him on to become a better player than he dhould have been. His technique, his reads on the defense, and his strengths all need to be improved in order for him to make it to the next level up.

  26. By Sarah on Oct 27, 2012 | Reply

    scubasteve, Darren is great !

    Re Darren, yeah for sure the other team is on it, I guess it is sort of wishing it wasn’t the case as it is such a big exposure problem with protection. I think you just summed it up too well …kidding here. Hey good exposure to others site what the heck, the Cards site is the best one in my opinion with rabid followers.
    I will say it is funny how many writers come to it and pickup what you say and make a story out of it or quote directly, that is a compliment to your experience and tenure with the team, solid knowledge of the game and team. You are always a good quote for someone, you should be getting a residual off of it !

  27. By Chuck 1 on Oct 28, 2012 | Reply

    Sarah, that was a gracious response.

  28. By scubasteve12 on Oct 28, 2012 | Reply

    i think sarah was being sarcastic

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