About your new left tackle

Posted by Darren Urban on October 3, 2013 – 9:39 am

Bradley Sowell gets his first start at left tackle for the Cardinals against a familiar face — Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who leads Carolina in sacks with three, was SowellblogUSESowell’s college teammate at Mississippi for three years.

“I’ve been trying to text him,” Sowell said. “I told him, ‘(Help me) keep my job for at least one week.’ ”

That brought laughs from the surrounding media. It’s the calm before the storm with Sowell, who as the left tackle is immediately going to be under the spotlight. The expectations are probably tempered, given that Sowell came into the league undrafted and has been released once already. He played left tackle in college. That’s his natural spot (Cards teammate Bobby Massie was the right tackle for Mississippi at the time.) He knows coach Bruce Arians and offensive line coach Harold Goodwin from his rookie season in Indianapolis, and they know him.

Arians said Sowell, playing right tackle, struggled with then-Ravens’ pass rusher Paul Kruger in last year’s playoff game. But Arians said he talked to linebacker John Abraham and other vets who have gone against Sowell in practice and “they think he’s got a great future.”

It doesn’t mean the Cards or even Sowell have a good handle on how he will perform. There’s only so much you can learn as a lineman — defensive or offensive — in practice, where hitting is limited (although the Cards have been in full pads almost every Wednesday.) Sowell admitted he’s a guy who likes to go hard in practice, and that’s a fine line that must be walked in a sport where no one wants to get hurt during the week.

“I’ve been going against our first team guys (on scout team) so I am feeling pretty confident,” Sowell said. “I’m as ready as I can be, I imagine. I won’t know until I get out there, but all I can do is try my hardest and see what I’ve got.”

Sowell is comfortable in the offense, thanks to his season with Arians in Indy. At 6-foot-7, 315 pounds, he’s more of an athletic tackle than power guy. He admitted he was surprised he was cut from the Colts, but acknowledged it became a numbers game. With Arians and Goodwin in Arizona, this became a natural landing spot, and, given Levi Brown’s issues, it’s probably not a shock Sowell has entered the starting lineup.

“I know Coach Goody is going to find guys to bring in that fit the system well, that fit his coaching style well,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “It’s just comforting knowing that he hand-picked (Sowell).”


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22 Responses to “About your new left tackle”

  1. By Dynosoar on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    In the photo of Levi and Sowell side by side (home page article), Sowell looks too young to have arms like that.

    Pittsburgh has won Super Bowls with an athletic O-Line instead of a large/power O-Line. I’m good with this move. I also like that Levi gets a fresh start and Big-Ben has needed that help a lot. We only had 1 sack in one of our games this year, things may not be so dire.

    Man, those are big arms.

  2. By Dynosoar on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply


    I really like the new infographics you’ve been displaying this year. We need one of Bruce Arians and Steve Keim and the changes they’ve brought. That may need to wait until the offseason.

    Looking forward to a Calais infographic, perhaps after he blocks another field goal.

    If we get to the Super Bowl, will you do an infographic of the entire team?

  3. By grabling on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Levi Brown was a huge mistake! Cards fans will never forget how graves and whisenhunt pass on Adrián Peterson.

  4. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Hey, careful what you wish for (and I did advocate this move) 😉 Sowell appears to have upside, but surely it’ll be bumpy.

    I loved Levi… the person. He topped out and did not improve. He literally should have been taking ballet lessons to be lighter on feet while his tricep was healing; instead he got heavy footed. Took Graves and Whiz 5 years to hang with Levi, Keim and Arians gave it 4 games. BRAVO.

    If you move like that at a key position like LT… says a lot about decisiveness.. so door #2… what you got?

    Here’s hoping Moch Campbell Dockett Mathieu PP DWash and Abraham create havoc for that kid kid coming in.. Go CARDs.

  5. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    PS: Josh Freeman released. Darren: Head case? Or just Adderall dependant? Recall that game he had against the Cards a couple years ago? One of better performances I can recall for sure. High ceiling on talent.

  6. By CoolDaddy79 on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Sorry Levi but it was time, for you to go years ago.

  7. By Andy Kw on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    You said that we got a conditional draft pick for the Levi Brown trade. Do you what pick we are getting? A 3rd, 4th or 5th rounder?
    And what is a conditional and unconditional draft pick? I never knew what either of those meant.

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

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Conditional

    It means the pick will be based on his playing time. What it might be hasn’t been dug up yet. Specifics were not announced.

  9. By georgiebird on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Now that Levi is gone, the Cards should go 12-0 for the rest of the year. That Levi was holding us back- the whole team. Levi was our George W. Bush- blame him for everything- bad tackling, 3rd down conversions, missed FGs, turnovers. So glad to get rid of that Levi. Clear sailing from here.
    Oh, so now the new whipping boy will be ???????????.

  10. By Eric G on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Sowell, you have tiny shoes to fill He can’t possibly be worse

  11. By George on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply


    Not to beat a dead horse but I took your advice and looked up Levi Browns pre-draft status. I went on, yahoo,,, among others. Brown was rated as high as the 2nd best tackle to the low of 6th best tackle. He was rated no higher than the 8th best player to out of the top 20. The point is, there was no consensus of Brown being a top 10 pick as compared to Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas or Adrian Peterson. In the previous blog, I was responding specificly to your “outrage” comment. While Cardinal fans did not take to the streets with pitch forks demanding the heads of Grave and Whiz, we certainly weren’t dancing in the streets like it was 1999. At best, there was a cautious optimisim. As fans, of course we wished it would have worked out. Especially, with such a critical position as left tackle. While he will always be judged to Adrian Perterson, it is not unfair. His draft status suggested he was to be a dominant player. We all know what Peterson has done. I agree with the Copper pick at #7 this year. He can pull, trap, very athletic guard. He may turn out to be injury prone, a bust, a perenial pro-bowler or a hall of famer. Time will tell. Evan with the injury, I support the pick. Back then, I was not thrilled with the Brown pick. I know no one has a crystal ball, just giving my opinion. Brown is gone. Time to move on. Go Cards!!!

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

    George —

    RE: Levi

    I didn’t say everyone was thrilled. Never argued that. But this idea that everybody on earth thought the Cards should have taken Peterson over Brown at that moment, besides the people making the actual selection in the Cards’ war room, isn’t true. If Peterson was such a sure thing, five other teams wouldn’t have passed on him either. That’s all I was trying to say.

  13. By George on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply


    RE: LEVI

    Fair enough.

  14. By georgiebird on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Adrian Peterson and Beanie Wells were both often injured RBs who left college after their Junior years. Someone would have been hard pressed to crystal ball who was going to be the better pro.
    You win some and you lose some but I think the Cards lose a lot more than they win.

  15. By George on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply


    It is easy to feel like the Cards don’t do well in the draft. But, I look at this roster and I see Fitz, Peterson, Washington, HoneyBadger, Calais, Floyd, Ellington, Housler, Roberts and others. Good young players drafted by the Cards. Not a bad group to work with. As Cardinals fans, we have seen too many bad seasons and top 10 draft picks. When the Cards miss on a 1st round pick, it is usually a spectacular miss. It is not always their fault. Sometimes there are injuries, sometimes a sure can’t miss doesn’t work out and sometimes they have drafted players not worthy of being picked as high as they were. I freely admit, as a fan, I can be very critical. That is just because we all want to see them win. I have a lot of confidence in Steve Keim as GM. I have been very impressed with the way he is putting the roster together. He knows what he is doing and I believe the future is bright. While I agree with you that no one has a crystal ball, no one was saying that Levi Brown was a better football player than Adrian Peterson coming out. The only reason AP fell to #7 was because teams feared the injuries he sustained in collage. He was healthy at the combine, he was healthy for the pro day workouts and he passed every physical. Every one knew if he could stay healthy, he would be special. No one was putting a special label on Brown. The hope was he would be good enough. You do not draft good enough at #5. You always pick best player available. Keim understands this.

  16. By johnnybluenose on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Please. Can we have no more discussion about Levi Brown vs Adrian Peterson.

  17. By CreditCard on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Wake up bird land. Cards coaching staff has now shown their hand of pure guessing. Agreed Levi has not performed well, but a good coaching staff would have figured out his and other tackles potential long before the season started. They are literally rolling the dice that Sowell will perform better than Brown.

  18. By ored on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    big enough,athletic,played the position in college,young,healthy,high energy,and confident…just needs to walk the walk now,definately in his corner pulling for him.
    stay healthy and learn the pro game and tecnique this year,refine that and get stronger next year and the o-line will be looking much better.

  19. By Kevin S on Oct 3, 2013 | Reply

    Eric G —

    I am fine with getting rid of Levi, but people say what you just said (Sowell “can’t be any worse”) far too often. We heard some fans saying that last year about Lindley when Skelton was not performing… and we quickly learned that yes, it’s quite possible to be worse.

  20. By Coach K on Oct 4, 2013 | Reply

    I have this crazy feeling that Sowell is going to be a Pro bowler. I just got this strange feeling he is much better than people think.

  21. By wnycardfan on Oct 4, 2013 | Reply

    Kick ass Sowell. He’s going to make mistakes, can he learn from them and be an upgrade from Levi? If we get a yes, then good enough for me.

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