Losing Lyle

Posted by Darren Urban on November 26, 2012 – 4:50 pm

First, a disclaimer: I think Lyle Sendlein is a good guy.

Sure, the center and I hail from the same high school — the local football powerhouse Scottsdale Chaparral. (Although Lyle, being much younger, was actually a part of building the program to where it is today. When I went to school there, a .500 season was tremendous and often the team would get kicked around by the likes of Mesa Mountain View, but my graduating class did have Darrell Bevell as quarterback, and he was good enough in the sport to eventually reach his current post as the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator.)

Yet I digress.

The high school gave us an immediate connection, but Sendlein was also a great story, son of a former NFL player who was undrafted in 2007 (and not happy about it) yet worked to eventually become a key starter for a Super Bowl team and a man who not only has been the team’s starting center for a few years but has earned the respect of his teammates to the point he has been named one of the captains for a few years now. He’s a stand-up guy who is always willing to answer questions, win or lose, knowing that people want answers either way. You know he’s tough, after playing almost the entire 2008 season with a torn labrum. Is he a Pro Bowl center? Maybe not. But he has been steady, and he has been an important cog to the Cards’ offense.

The news that he is done for the season hurts the Cards. Yes, some of you will point out the offensive line has not played well, and to that I cannot argue. But much like the loss of Levi Brown, the benefit of Sendlein, I believe, will be felt much more with his absence than anyone could tell with him in the game. Now, I don’t know if the “wheels just might come off” now that Sendlein (No. 63, pictured below) is out, but it will make an impact and it’s arguable it will make the greatest impact of all the offensive line injuries this season, including Brown’s triceps and Adam Snyder’s quad.

(It’d be a good argument, because Brown’s absence has certainly been felt.)

If nothing else, it’s losing a veteran player who means something as a presence both on the field and in the locker room. On a team that needs that steadying influence during a losing skid, that can’t be good.

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Posted in Blog | 33 Comments »

33 Responses to “Losing Lyle”

  1. By Nick Pepe on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    This is a microcosm of the whole season. A bad blow. The one constant of the OL, gone.


    I know it’s early and you probably can’t speculate a timetable, but I’m curious is an MCL tear any better (for lack of better word) as far recovery time than the more familiar ACL, or is the recovery period the same for both?

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member
    Still going to the Jets game !!!!

  2. By Darren Urban on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Nick —

    RE: MCL

    I do not believe an MCL takes as long to return from.

  3. By graetschinger on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    allright, let lose the rest of the season!
    get good draftpicks, change the coaching staff and start all over again…begin with the qb, than secondary and the oline
    thats sucks

  4. By MIKE G on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–That’s a tough loss for the Card’s. Anytime you lose your starting center and Captain–it is huge. Lyle is really underappreciated and has been solid for the Card’s virtually his whole career. The Cardinals certainly have had their share of injuries this year on offense. This is not good news going forward. I just hope this losing steak does not really get out of hand like losing 10-11 in a row. I just don’t know if we have the horses on offense to get it done. Anytime the line changes personel during the year–consistency will be hard on offense.

  5. By Alan on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Well with all the people wanting coach Whiz to lose his job (though i think unfairly) maybe in the long run this helps his cause because it just goes to show how beaten up this team has been this year and it can’t be overly fair to judge his coaching when he keeps losing so many valuable pieces to the offense…

  6. By kauaicardsfan on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    We got who we got! Next man up needs to step up!!!!

  7. By cardsalltheway on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Well, at least Ken W. won’t have to think to much on what to do. When a player is injured you just replace him. It’s not like when a rookie offensive lineman deserves to start or get playing time.

    Epic Ken W. failure of 2012 # 1 ~ Waiting until half the season was over until starting Nate Potter(I was about the only person repeatedly commenting that he should’ve been playing). If Nate Potter had been in then maybe K. Kolb wouldn’t have been injured, instead we have the “doghouse” as seen below in # 2.

    Epic Ken W. failure # 2 ~ Using only 1 RB(the tiny LSH) when we only had 2 RB’s or should I say not playing(1 carry in 2 games) William Powell and placing him in the Ken W. “doghouse” despite his fantastic performance almost every opportunity he got including preseason where supposedly there is “fair” competition?

    Epic failure # 3 ~ Not really having “fair” competition and/or not treating all players equally hence: pulling them out of games for making “mistakes.”

    Epic failure # 4 ~ Letting his emotions dictate QB replacement(reminiscent of cutting M. Leinart which was the beginning of the downfall years ago) or toying with the QB position.

    Epic failure # 5 ~ Not adjusting to players. Actually, this is not limited to the 2012 season.

    Epic failure # 6 ~ The draft, not limited to only Ken W.’s failure.

    I’m sure I’ve missed some, would anyone like to assist?

  8. By Gilbert on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    More than the loss yesterday. Loosing a good tough player.

  9. By jocards on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Man, things just keep getting worse for this team. The last thing we needed was another injury on the O-Line…..As far as our QB situation it stands to reason that Whisenhunt is very secure in the knowledge that he will return as head coach in 2013. I just don’t see him throwing a rookie QB on the field for a team that is 4-5 and has a 13 point lead on the road with a chance to make something of their season with a win unless he believed his job was safe no matter how the team finished the season. Understand that I do not think John Skelton is a viable NFL starter long term but I do believe that in the here and now he gives the team a better chance to win than does Ryan Lindley. By pulling the trigger when he did coach has painted himself into a corner. Kolb is not ready, he likely feels as though he can’t go back to Skelton or there would be very legitimate questions raised all over the place as to why he made the change in the first place…So given those circumstances he has left himself almost no options.If he goes back to Skelton the team and the entire football world wonders why he pulled the plug on a 4-5 team that was leading by two scores to go with a guy that had never taken a snap in the NFL…So now it is Lindley, there is no other choice until Kolbis healthy. I think the timing of this move was ill advised to say the least. I can only assume that coach feels there is no way his job is in any jeopardy what so ever….maybe he’s correct.

  10. By john the draft guy on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Well, that sucks.

    What’s his outlook for returning next year? Back by training camp.

  11. By Blair on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    With 56 sacks given up last year I would have to say the drop off really wasn’t that big without brown. Last year the line was in the bottom three, this year it may be the worst. Either one is bad.

  12. By phillycards on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    One of the few non dennis green players. He corrected that curve in his snap after about 3 yrs. He over acheived we need to look at the next guy there.

    And I think our problem with depth lies at the foot of whiz not graves. Think undrafted free agents. They go where they want.
    everybody has injuries but the best coaches get decent undrafted players will wait their turn in december. Look at new england.

  13. By DontTakeLoses on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Yea, Lyle is really a stand-up guy. Godspeed on recovery.

    Ohrenberger to the rescue?

    I think he can play, especially at Center where run blocking not quite as important as Guard. we’ll see how smart he is, real fast. But two vets on either side will help.

    All is not lost.

    Btw, had binocs on Bethel on that long TD. Looked like he actually got his hand on that ball…sometimes its that close, bros/sis. Like the tough drops by Larry and Andre in Q4 in Atlanta.. these were games decided by one or two plays… depleted as we were… we were right there, again …

    … like the Terminator… “we’ll be back”. Go Cards.

  14. By Credit Card on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply


    Please rely the message to Mr. Sendlien — he is a fan favorite. Local kid. Good work ethic. Dad a fire-fighter. Good attitude, and solid community work. Appears never to complain, tries his hardest. Hope the best for Sendlien — hope he returns as a Cardinal.

  15. By Patrick on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    I did not understand why Justin Bethel was in the game for the play where he was beat for a touchdown. Granted it was decent coverage and a good throw…. But he was in the game as the fourth string strong safety. One thing is to platoon Wilson with sanders and Johnson, but then we have to go deeper and throw a fourth string rookie in there?!

  16. By Patrick on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    I keep hearing how Whisenhunt should not be fired because the cardinals do not have a good quarterback, but who is responsible for evaluating the cardinals quarterbacks. Who decided we should go with Anderson, Hall, Skelton, St. Pierre, Kolb, Lindley, and Bartell? Whoever is doing that evaluation and signing off on the evaluation should be fired.

  17. By frustrated on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Actuallly, the pass protection out of the shotgun formation might improve. It seems that during stretches of play that Sendlien tips the snap count and that deprives the OL of any advantage that it has in knowing when the ball is going to be snapped. I do not wish him ill though.

  18. By georgiebird on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Sendlein is the only center listed on the roster- and that includes the practice squad. Maybe this will create an opportunity for someone to try a few games at center.
    Of all the guys to miss more than a game this year, only Beanie (8 games) and CC (2 games) can even be considered pretty good players. Our core guys like Acho, DD, DWash, PP, Larry have all been healthy. The guys we’ve lost like Levi, Kolb, OB, RW are marginal players that most people have complained about in one way or another (lack of talent/injury prone).
    Our IR list is about the shortest in the league- so let’s stop the injury excuses.
    And Sarah, I agree with you about Skelton.

  19. By truths4all on Nov 26, 2012 | Reply

    Please with all due respect, enough of this nonsense about how badly the Cards missed Levi Brown.

    Make no mistake, Brown is only missed when a derelict head coach and clueless front office neglect the essentials in building a decent offensive line by refusing to place any importance on drafting, signing, or acquiring decent prospects with talent. Instead, they have chosen to continually pat themselves on their backs and tell everyone how smart they are in mining the dregs and finding gems where no other team could.

    Well the truth came out with a crushing whack of reality to the side of Cards fans’ heads when Brown went out and everyone found that the roster was bare of any real NFL caliber offensive linemen. Only under this scenario of gross mismanagement could it ever be mistaken that Levi Brown and all of his bad technique, slow feet, lack of strength when he was bull rushed often, and terrible anticipation/timing could be said with a misguided straight face that he is missed simply because the team had no NFL caliber offensive linemen ready to play.

    The Cards coaches and front office were caught with their pants down and we all found they had no one ready to play these equally important positions to the success of the team. The fact that Baptiste has been on the roster all of these years and yet was totally unable to properly play offensive tackle should be grounds for termination. I recall where Baptiste lined up on the defensive and when the ball was snapped, he went to double team Colledge’s man, leaving the DE a direct path to sack Skelton.

    Under Whisenhut, the Cards will always be the Keystone Kops of the NFL. Really, make no mistake, the success of the Super Bowl years were all attributed to Warner. How do we know this. Simple, when Warner left, so did any fear the other NFL teams had for playing the Cards.

  20. By in fitz we trust on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    another man down, this year has really been a disaster. At least we got the wins out of our system early. lets just stay healthy and play our “cards” right.

    Darren, any news on the continuous sellouts? last Sunday i noticed massive sections of empty seats? is the streak still alive?

  21. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    In Fitz —

    RE: sell outs

    The streak is still alive.

  22. By wnycardfan on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    he’s a good guy, player. A center of consistency in a whirlwind of chaos. I like him and wish him the best. Its a blow and it will hurt

  23. By rdixon50 on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Speedy recovery, Lyle.

    Thought Bethel had great coverage on Givens on the TD. One more inch and it’s an incomplete pass.

  24. By smack28 on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Ok, CARDSALLTHEWAY, I’ll play your game. Here are a few more epic fails of Whisenhunt. Maybe a few are obscure, but it continues to raise the same questions that have plagued his team on the field:

    He never committed to Warner as the starting QB the year we made the Superbowl. Remember, it was a battle that Leinhert lost more than Warner won. Had Leinhert played better in that pre-season game against the Raiders, Warner would have been backing him up.

    First round draft selection of Michael Floyd over a pass rusher or O-lineman. Floyd is exactly what I thought he was going to be. He is slow, runs lousy patterns that lead to the inability to separate, and has very little impact on the offense now. Some will say this is Graves’ job, but Whisenhunt endorsed the move to draft WR. Absolutely dumb move by this organization.

    Not naming a starter until the end of pre-season showed a lack of confidence in all options. How could he go through a whole offseason, training camp, and pre-season and not get behind someone early? I wonder how many teams have actually been successful playing the game he played with these QBs? This was not a Warner/Leinhert scenario here.

    Finally, why would you go into the season knowing you are thin at RB and not even explore the idea of bringing in a serviceable backup? I know LSH is a good guy and a nice scat back, but come on? He is not an every down back. When Williams & Beenie were limping around during training camp and pre-season, did it not cross anyone’s mind that maybe they should kick the wheels on a back like Cedric Benson? Surely, the plan was not to rely on LSH or Powell considering size and stature. If this team was going to recommit themselves to the run game, they did nothing to show that with any of these dumb moves this past year.

    And speaking of Ryan Williams, I am still scratching my head over that selection in 2011. Again, last need during that draft was RB, and they burn that 2nd pick by taking RB? They could have drafted Brooks Reed, Kyle Rudolph, or even traded up two spots to grab an up and coming QB – Colin Kaepernick.

  25. By D on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    What was your mascot– the Fighting Artichokes?

  26. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Mascot

    So, so disappointing. Chaparral is the Firebirds.

    It is Scottsdale Community College that is the Artichokes.

  27. By wnycardfan on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    lots said I agree with here. Biggest thing I was going to comment on is the injuries and how to some this gives the coaches/FO a PASS on this season. “gee, with all the injuries, of course they are going to lose, so its not their fault, give them another chance”.
    Phewy on that. Sorry, if you are going to use track record to grade people (as you should) they get an F. If you are going to go off of the “what have you done for me lately” attitude, again an F. Injuries happen in the NFL, some have it more than others. What did they do to prepare for it? Poorly coached and/or back up prep. Look at Green Bay when they went to super bowl as a comparison. Where are the back ups that can kick some butt?
    The mis management of personnel and this team is glaringly obvious and other teams would be getting the pink slips ready. I wasn’t too high on Ken’s marks after the Warner year based on what he did with QB’s etc… so I admit that, but in some towns’ that one year would have been enough to eject him. So I see it as he already got 2 freebie years after last playoff run to fool around and keep it going. All he’s done is made it sub-par. QB’s have been a joke with various personnel (we couldn’t just have one ok QB, we had to have 6). No dpeth on Oline, RB corp is not stable, DEF has shown improvements for sure, but I give that to the new coach. But OFF has stunk for 3 years. Anyone going to be held accountable for that (perhaps we’ll get the sacrificial asst to appease the fan base). I’m frustrated. Injuries or no, they have the TALENT to at least play competitive week in and week out, but we haven’t seen that.

  28. By donttakelosses on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Cards win in NY. Go Cards.

  29. By Zach on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Georgiebird – our Iinjuries have all starters and crucial players. QB1-out 8+weeks, RB1 out 8 weeks, RB2 out for yr, LT out for year, OLB – out for 2nd half of yr, C out for 2nd half of yr. All big injuries on offensive side of the ball have caused HUGE problems.

    Take any playoff team and take away their LT for the yr, QB and RB’s and see how well they do.

  30. By brad oneill on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    this has been the worst season I can remember as a cards fan, I have been avoiding these comments because I have nothing positive to say. But I have to give props to Lyle, the guy has been a warrior, it breaks my heart when the good ones go down like this. I think all the injuries this year are a direct result of the lack of training time. The nfl needs to re-evaluate their softer easier training schedule and let these guys bang full speed in practice so they can do it in the games without getting hurt.

  31. By ben on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    i’m sorry for your buddy getting hurt, i wouldn’t wish ill will on any of these fellow’s, but if he is an important cog in this offense, than he has to be let go. since the superbowl season, Mr Sendline has been on of the constants on this o line, and there has not been any time since then that they have improved, time to go in a different direction, no matter how classy or good of a guy the player is.
    just my opinion, and i do realize opinions are like a s and everyone has one

  32. By MIKE HADZINSKI C.M. PUNK on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply


  33. By Cert 33 on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Sendlein was the rock on a very shaky O-line. He will be missed. Although I am not a big fan of Whiz, taking a shot at him for cutting Leinart? C’mon Man! Nobody else has been letting him play either. For that matter, I think that all the USC QB’s are wayyyy overrated. Palmer, Cassel, Leinart, and Sanchez have had single seasons where they played well but long term, fuggedaboutit. Now there are posters talking about us drafting Barkley? See above. Draft a blue chip RB to compliment Beanie and Hyphen (and 2 or 3 tackles) instead.

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