Doing the offensive line math

Posted by Darren Urban on August 3, 2013 – 9:21 am

Bruce Arians said he was still a long way from choosing his starting offensive line. At the same time, he said he did know “who the eight are. Or nine,” ostensibly the guys who will be on the roster for the offensive line. In other words, the pool he’ll have to choose from when it comes to those starters.

The question is, to which eight — or nine — is Arians referring?

The list mostly seems straightforward. Barring any roster moves, you figure Jonathan Cooper, Eric Winston, Lyle Sendlein, Daryn Colledge, Levi Brown, Nate Potter and Bobby Massie will all be around. That’s already seven. But at the same time, that’s four guys who basically only play tackle — Brown, Massie, Potter, Winston — and that may be too many for guys who couldn’t move inside if necessary. Someone may need to show some versatility. Or maybe they all don’t make it.

I think Earl Watford, as a fourth-round pick, makes this team, but he may be this year’s Senio Kelemete — he may have a hard time being active on Sundays.

Let’s say, for a moment, Arians is planning on keeping around all those tackles, maybe working some at guard. Let’s say he leans toward keeping nine offensive linemen. With Watford, that’s eight already. Who else? Vet guard Chilo Rachal? Guard Paul Fanaika, who has come on and has been working with the first unit with Colledge out with injury? Do you consider Mike Gibson, who can be a guard and center, the backup center or is Cooper — who played a little center in college — your default backup at the position should something happen to Sendlein?

Or perhaps the Cardinals will end up picking up someone off the waiver wire after final cuts. That, with this front office, does not seem far-fetched at all.

Regardless, it sounds like Arians and his staff, a week into camp, have already narrowed down their potential linemen quite a bit. It’s not a surprise. What it does do it reiterate, once again, how many roster decisions are made long before we get to the end of the preseason.

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Posted in Blog | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Doing the offensive line math”

  1. By hummer53 on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    I’d keep Paul and Chilo and put Earl Watford on practice squad. Don’t think he would be claimed because a team would have to put him on their active roster.

  2. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    hummer —

    RE: Watford

    I think Watford has enough potential that he would definitely be claimed by someone.

  3. By Andy Kw on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    I have to agree with Darren, I think Watford is the future replacement of OG Daryn Colledge. Earl Watford was drafted in the 4th round and showed a lot of promise. Like what Darren said, he is too raw right now to start but with some experienced Guards to help him, he will be a monster in the future.

  4. By Andy Kw on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    Mike Gibson is a guy a favor as a backup but Chilo Rachal is nice too. We have so much talent

  5. By AzDesertRat1953 on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    Well one thing is for sure, it is nice to have all this talent through out the 90 to choose from.
    One thing I am not missing, as to what QB are we going to play. The past Three years of spin the bottle with the QB’s was just Crazy!

    We need to keep Earl Watford around. If anything use him in a trade if possible. Darren is right he has to much potential to go unnoticed. I am sure there is more than one team that would look at him as an upgrade to there depth on the O-line, a 4th round 23 yr.old 6’4″ 295 lb. G will kinda stand out.

    GO CARDS!!!

  6. By ored on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    i know injuries played a major part in our poor o-line play last year,but at the same time there did’nt seem to be an urgency to solidify the line and secure quality depth,it was like there was an assumption guys will step up and we’ll be healthy next year,but we never had either good or enough guys to step up.

    what keim and BA are doing is a revelation and making it seem effortless,i guess planning ahead helps.regardless of our record this year,those two and M.B.have shown real forsight and planning for success,even in the toughest division.

    it will always be “next man up” as long as there are injuries,but at least have someone good enough for that role,older vets will be good for short stints,asking them to relive there glory years as full time starters is a bit much a la porter,i think he would have been fine if used properly.there were so many coaching/management blunders last few years,too bad for fans and players alike.

    once we finish weeding out the bad contracts from prior administration this team has mucho potential,good drafts,solid vet pickups,good mix of youth and experience,great future vision and plan-keep reloading with fresh talent in the pipeline,we don’t need no stinking top ten pick anymore,thank you very much.

  7. By Ezz on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    I probably missed it, but what did happen to Kelemete? Is he in camp or was he let go?

  8. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    Ezz –

    RE: Kelemete

    Senio is in camp.

  9. By D-Willy on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply


    I know there is a lot of money invested in Brown and Colledge that could hurt us next year if we were to release one or both, but do you think there is a possibility one could be traded? There are a few teams out there to look at as possible destinations. I could see Brown going for a 4th or 5th round pick to someone like Miami, San Diego or Denver. And I could see Colledge going for a 5th or 6th. That would eliminate the penalties next season right?

  10. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    D-Willy —

    RE: Trades

    Trades are always possible, but in the NFL, trading a player is the same, in terms of how it affects the salary cap, as cutting a player.

  11. By Mark in Chandler on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    I am thinking 9 OL. I am also expecting Brown to eventually play RG and Potter to start day one at LT. As to the final 53 I think it comes down to Fanaika and Rachal. I want to see them in a game.

    One area no one is talking about is who is leading at the 4th safety spot. I am assuming 10 DBS. 6 CB and 4 safetys. Matthieu, Johnson and bell are in but who will be the 4th?.

  12. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2013 | Reply

    Mark —

    RE: DBs

    I don’t think 10 DBs is a lock. But if I picked a fourth safety, it’d be Jonathan Amaya, who is really good on special teams.

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