Ongoing task of rebuilding the O-line

Posted by Darren Urban on March 17, 2014 – 12:15 pm

The Cardinals got themselves a left tackle. That was the main goal of free agency, and it was accomplished with the Jared Veldheer signing last week. Questions remain about what the offensive line will look like for the Cards in 2014, with veteran Eric Winston still a free agency and Daryn Colledge released. In reality, three of the positions are set, barring something crazy:

LT — Veldheer
LG — Jonathan Cooper
C — Lyle Sendlein

There are questions about the other two spots. At right guard, the Cardinals are hoping 2013 fourth-round pick Earl Watford can step into the starting role after watching all last season. Watford looks the part, a big, athletic, not-sloppy-at-all 295 pounds. On the roster right now, the main competition should come from either Paul Fanaika, who started at the spot all last season after Cooper’s injury, or free-agent signee Ted Larsen. I don’t see them adding another guard in free agency, but we’ll see. The draft is a different animal, but again, I don’t see another guard in the offing.

Right tackle is a different story. With Winston unsigned — and who knows if he is coming back here — the options are Bobby Massie (the leader in the clubhouse right now), Bradley Sowell and Nate Potter. I think they see Sowell as a reserve swing tackle who could back up both spots. Potter is in a big offseason; he had a lot of chances last year to step up and he did not. He’ll be fighting for a spot on the roster. I could see them still signing a vet right tackle as a free agent at some point, and it would definitely be an option in the draft.

The Cardinals are not done trying to upgrade the line, one way or the other.


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15 Responses to “Ongoing task of rebuilding the O-line”

  1. By scott on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    Eric Winston was rated as the 10th best right tackle in the league last year. He wants to be here. I have to think he would be willing to give the Cards a deal (imo). That would give us two very good/great tackles, super solid center, potential all pro left guard and right guard as you said from existing roster. Seems like a no brainer. So my only question is do you know if he is asking too much or are the Cards just dragging their heels for some reason?

  2. By Rich on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    Its too bad about Massie. Either he doesn’t have the brainpower to play the position, or he just doesn’t work hard enough at preparation and playbook and film. In either case, it doesn’t bode well for him. If he would “buckle down” and study and put the hours in preparing, he could be the long term answer on the right side. If not, he needs to go. Also, I think Sowell will eventually be better than people give him credit for. But he does set up right now as a good swing tackle. I see another tackle coming in the draft. Mid-rounder.

  3. By Rich on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Keim trades down out of the no. 20… 1st round pick. This is the kind of draft you want more picks in.

  4. By D on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    Do you all hear the price dropping for many of the UFA’s out there??? It’s now getting Keim’s sweet zone of dealing making…not that many good CB or Right Tackles left on the market but their demands will be going down this week…

    I think once they either sign a UFA or Resign Winston at R. Tackle-Potter probably won’t be on the roster…as far as the #1 round draft pick…it will be best player available for DL or CB. (you don’t take a TE or Safety in round 1 unless your in the top 10 range and Keim won’t take a QB or WR to sit on the sideline this year.) With Benard, Acho, Okefor and Abraham at OLB I doubt they can get lucky enough for one of the top 3 pass rushers at OLB to fall down to 20 and the players that are left on the board at 20 probably couldn’t beat out our 4 OLB on the roster.

  5. By Big Ken on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    With the great depth at OL positions in this years draft I can see using 5th or 6th round pick on a guard or tackle prospect. Most definitely a couple of UDFA’s for the practice squad.

  6. By cdubbb on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply


    To bad about Massie? Why? Did you read the article? SMH fake armchair scout

  7. By Chris on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see them trading down in the draft. If your BPA early on is a Center, would you pick him?

    The left side is set with Veldheer and Cooper.
    I expect Warford to take the RG. So everything changes. Souns like a good time to also change the Center, right? Get younger, cheaper and better without having to sacrifice the much wanted continuity on your OL.

    Regarding RT: I would be stunned if Massie doesn’t start.
    a) He is talented (Remember, last offseason both PFF and Keim called him their breakout candidate)
    b) He should have figured out that scheme with an entire offseason to learn on it.
    c) You hope the current OL – coaches do a better job than Grimm. And even he turned Massie around.

    I just hope BA gives him a chance to win that spot, he could do big things.

  8. By Itsallinthecards on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    I’m excited to see if Ted Larsen can push Lyle at the Center spot. If you look back at the last two years for Ted Larsen he’s played better at center than Lyle Sendlein. In 841 snaps playing center he’s only allowed 1 sack, 3 hits and 7 hurries. Adjusted for snap count those are better numbers than Lyle had during the last two years.

    I’m also hopeful that Bobbie Massie can get back in the starting lineup. Before last season Steve Keim was asked who his sleeper pick was for the entire season and he mentioned Bobbie Massie. Bobby was one of the top tackles in the entire league during the latter half of 2012. I realize that Bobbie had too many mental errors to play this year but hopefully with a year in the offense he can turn it around.

    It would be great to have a talented young nucleus to build around with Veldheer (age 26), Coop (age 24), Larsen (age 26), Watford (age 24), and Massie (24).

  9. By georgiebird on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    To say that Jonathan Cooper is a lock at LG is almost laughable. Just for Cooper to come back and be a productive player in 2014 would be a positive. When a 6-2 and 300+ guy breaks his leg, there are no guarantees.

  10. By joe holst on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    Massie will get the nod. Spend a second rounder on a right tackle. Use the tight ends to chip and help out Massie, The should draft a WR in the first round to protect themselves in case they have to cut Fitz and his 23 million next year. I see DEE Ford as there 1st pick

  11. By Coach K on Mar 17, 2014 | Reply

    Sowell may be better at right tackle which requires less lateral quickness. Winston should be resigned for another year. Not just for his experience, but for his leadership in the locker room. There are several good quality o-linemen who will be available late in rounds 5 and 6. One that comes to mind is Kadeem Edwards, the guard from Middle Tennessee St. Another is Tackle Cornelius Lucas, OT from Kansas St.

    As I have mentioned before, this draft is so deep in talent, I think the best thing
    the Cardinals can do is try to trade down, or out of the first round and stockpile an extra two or more picks. I believe this will be possible as I believe most of the top quarterbacks are going to slide in this draft much like last year. Bridgewaters poor workout today confirms my assumption that these quarterbacks are going to fall into the bottom of round one. So I expect several teams will want to move up into the bottom of round one to grab one of the top quarterbacks. This could be an opportunity for the Cardinals to perhaps get an extra 2nd and 3rd round pick in exchange. In a draft this deep, this could allow Keim to stockpile talent and fill all the team needs and more.

  12. By mdcards4life on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    Being that Bobby Massie is going into a his 3rd season with the team, it’s not Necessary a contract year but it is sure close to it especially having a full season under his belt with the offensive scheme. i expect a lot of good things from massie

  13. By ored on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    i think we wait and see who drops to us at #20,if he’s not a potential game changer or at least a solid starter,we probably look to trade out.with all our options now we can really be open to anything, anybody or position.

    we signed depth at center so i think we’re good there,nobody really stands out in the draft,maybe another tackle/guard to work with.i really think with the cb and reciever talent this year,we target one or both to develope.

  14. By Jeff on Mar 18, 2014 | Reply

    i don’t want to spend the money that it will to sign cromartie. those resources could be better spent on the O line, which was our weakest link last season.

  15. By Eazy E on Mar 19, 2014 | Reply

    O-Line should be good if Eric is resigned. The young guards develop properly, Lyle’s already good, and then Veldheer who everybody hyped about but I say will see because I like him but I wanna see more. O-Line should be good if we right.

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