No changes on the line — meaning Coop delayed

Posted by Darren Urban on September 24, 2014 – 9:26 am

Look back to the year the Cardinals made the Super Bowl, and open the page of the season in review to the game-by-game starting lineups. On offense, it’s not hard to notice:

LT           LG          C                  RG         RT

Gandy    Wells     Sendlein     Lutui     L. Brown

Gandy    Wells     Sendlein     Lutui     L. Brown

Gandy    Wells     Sendlein     Lutui     L. Brown

Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, all the way through the Super Bowl.

Continuity on the offensive line isn’t the only reason the Cardinals got to the final game that season, but it was a reason. And it’s what popped into my head Tuesday as offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Harold Goodwin made very clear the offensive line wouldn’t be changing unless there is an injury. No, Jonathan Cooper will not be going back into the lineup at left guard for Ted Larsen. The Cardinals like the job Larsen has done. More importantly Goodwin doesn’t want to change what is working (I believe I’ve mentioned that a time or two) as the Cardinals have had much better line play and, of course, a 3-0 start.

It’s about communication, Goodwin said, and keeping that intact.

Look, Cooper isn’t going anywhere. He’s not a bust. Can’t say that yet. I will be stunned if he is not a starter in 2015. There is still a chance he could play this year. Goodwin expressed his confidence in Cooper as a player, and at this point, Goody has shown he’s not the kind of guy to hand out platitudes. But the slow start in camp of Cooper coming back from that broken leg, and the turf toe that delayed his progress, seems to have set his course in cement for 2014.


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24 Responses to “No changes on the line — meaning Coop delayed”

  1. By krehbieo14 on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    There are a lot of prognosticators and naysayers regarding Jonathan Cooper. He experienced an unfortunate injury that was complicated by turf toe. Before he got hurt he was playing well. Now, he is making improvement since his injury and will be fine. To say he was a wasted draft pick is premature. It’s easy to say, “I told you so!” I trust Keim on his picks and wish the best for Jonathan.

  2. By Cardinal on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Darren love your coverage of Cards, think you do an awesome job. This is my 40th season as a Cardinal fan and think this could be the best team ever . What do you think in comparing them to 2008 super bowl team ?

  3. By Darren Urban on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Cardinal —

    RE: 2008

    I think we need to get a little further down the road before we make any comparisons.

  4. By kauaicardsfan on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Great approach!!

    If it aint broke, don’t fix it !!! Never mess with Success !!

    Great off season pick ups with Veldheer and Larson ! Massie and Fanika are stepping up to the plate and Sendlien has always been solid for us!

    Coop will have a chance to really heal up and learn more so when he finally goes in he will be solid !!

    Nice not having that revolving door at LT !!!

    Great Job Kiem and Staff !!!

    GO CARDS !!!!

  5. By Marlin on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply


    One guess is that Larsen moves to RG next season, and they extend his ctrct as a potential future replacement for Sendlein (down the line). Cooper slides in at LG next season. But that ,means Fanaika leaves. Is Fanaika’s contract up at the end of this season?

  6. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    ” I will be stunned if he is not a starter in 2015. ”

    I think everyone said the same thing this off season.

    “Look, Cooper isn’t going anywhere”

    Of course not, He has a 4 year guaranteed contract. He will get his 4 million next year whether he is home, on the bench, or starting. He will be the cards 8th highest paid player in 2014 regardless.

    “He’s not a bust. Can’t say that yet.”

    I will agree with the fact that he could rebound and become a good player.
    A disappointment?? I think so.
    Bust says he cant play at all. Jamarcus Russel was a bust. Cooper may still have a long and successful career with a disappointing start.

    My last comments and then I will leave Cooper alone. Just understand this;

    Three signs the coaches and GM are blowing smoke on any player.

    1) The coaches and GM, keep telling us he is doing good but he doesn’t play.
    2) The player has a large guaranteed contract, so cutting him is impossible, so instead, build him up and talk about how good he is doing.
    3) why, because it justifies the bad pick you made. You see, if he is going to start someday, he wasn’t a wasted pick. and with the contract he has, he will get another chance next year.

    So, You are now trying to tell me the reason this 7th overall picked, highly paid, declared to get multiple pro bowls, guard is not going to break the line up is because of continuity? Really?

    Come on people, if he was awesome in practice, you know, playing at that all pro level and much better than Larsen, don’t you think they would play him??

    Just think about it. It is getting smokey in here.

  7. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Liking Marion Grice! Another jukey jazzy musical weapon in mold of Andre “Duke” Ellington and John “James’ Brown. Noticed Parmele gone and Gaston added back. Nice moves Keimtime. Saw tweet re C. Palmer WILL be ready. Sweeet. Awesome to get him back and know your backup is very, very ready. Saw game replay, Drew was overcome with emotion post game. Proud of, love dat guy.

  8. By georgiebird on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    After having gone thru the Ryan Williams fiasco, fans can’t help notice the similarities to Coop.
    Some guys are drafted at age 21-22 like PP, CC and Deone. JCoo was drafted at age 23 -this coming January, Cooper will be 25.
    If he is going to make it, he better get going- time is working against him.

  9. By mal on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    false platitudes? (better check your dictionary, D)

  10. By Darren Urban on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Mal —

    RE: Dictionary

    I did. Thought it worked. I’ll edit anyway. Just for you.

  11. By j on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks Stanton for a Superb Performance (u define next man up), Palmer ready to go, full steam ahead for Div Title & Beyond!!! Stanton will always be ready to go and Palmer i feel will be awesome heading out of the bye. Its confussingly good feeling having two awesome QB’s with such a great chemistry, maybe one other teams can say the same, BA is the real deal!!!

  12. By BigAl on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Marlin…very possible…don’t forget, Coop has also played center as well in college…

    On another note…soo happy to see the Cards were able to attain & resign DT
    Big Bruce Gaston back! Great Work SK! Sorry for Parmele tho…

  13. By Scott H on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Hey, given that the line is performing well without him, I’m certainly not gonna push for Cooper just because he’s a first round pick and I think he SHOULD be playing by now. But…he IS a first round pick and he SHOULD be playing by now. Very disappointed with him. Very glad the line has been more than OK without him. One of the many players we have had to be without this season…

    Darren – if there is an injury to the O-line at this point, is Cooper at the point where he would move into the line-up? Is he at least physically healthy enough to go in if we need him???

  14. By Scott H on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    In regard to the O-line coach expressing that he is confident in Cooper….well, seriously, are we expecting him to say anything else right now??? I mean, at some point, actions speak louder than words. And I think your confidence in any player has to be questionable if you’re going with someone else instead of him. That tends to be magnified when the guy you’re not going with is a first rounder.

    And, yes, I understand that Cooper has been hampered by injuries along the way.

    All that said, more than anything else, the fact that they are sticking with Larsen because he is just flat out doing a damn good job speaks to how well the guys making the personnel decisions for this team are doing their jobs. THAT makes me happy!

  15. By Dynosoar on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Stanton threw for 48.3% against the Giants and 54.5% against the 49ers.

    Palmer’s threw for 64.9% against the Chargers.

    The O-line is a big reason they are throwing so well. No sacks last week, how awesome is that? I want to see the Cooper we drafted,

    The majority of quarterbacks taking teams to the playoffs are over 60% completion. Drew improved from the first game and I expect with more actual games he’d improve more.

    (Interestingly, Derek Anderson’s completion is at 72.5% over two games, 40 throws. Too bad he didn’t do that well here. Then again, I like where we are and if he’d done that well, we wouldn’t have Bruce Arians and company. I’ll take a BA over 72% any day, but if we could have both… C’mon Carson, Drew and Logan, let’s get over 70% and still keep our interceptions at zero.)

    Did I say we have an awesome O-line? Interceptions come because of o-line breakdown (and bad b throws and greet playmakers on the other side). Our O-line is giving our QB’s a chance to be great.

  16. By Dr. G. on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    With all the commentary that Cooper can play various positions, if and when he returns, I would have him groomed for the Right Side of the line where the QB can keep an eye out….! We would never be able to draft a left-handed QB though…

    JTDG….I think he still qualifies for the practice squad with his limited play. Some other team may pick up that $14.6mil for us… Serious, but humorous, huh? I get your position on Cooper…it is legit…

    Happy to hear Palmer is re-Cooper-ating….I know he wants Coop back!!!….just had to work that back in…feeling happy today….3-0 !!! …later

  17. By Chuck 1 on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    I would like the Cards to have a BIG ENOUGH lead in some game (well, really every game) to have Cooper inserted into the lineup for an extended period of time to let us see just how good he is.

  18. By Cardman on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    I am kind of surprised why so many people are giving a thumbs down to JTDG’s comments. They sound reasonable to me. Is anyone willing to explain why they disagree with those comments?

    I remember before Keim and Arians’ first draft, one of them (maybe Arians) said that when discussing the first round picks for that draft, one of the scouts brought up a potential pick, but that player still needed to be developed. And Arians said to Keim something to the effect that they were not picking a first rounder to sit and develop. So they ended up picking Cooper.

    I am glad that Larsen has filled in nicely. But Cooper should be out there playing and those aren’t my words. The fact that he isn’t is a huge disappointment.

  19. By Scott H on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Dynosaur –

    I really think that sometimes, just watching the game with your eyes gives you a better sense of how a QB played than what his numbers were. To hell with his completion percentage, that game Stanton played against SF was absolutely beautiful! He didn’t put up great fantasy numbers but the Cardinals won. Kirk Cousins DID put up some AMAZING fantasy numbers. And his team lost. Um…I’ll take the day Stanton had. Solid. Efficient. No turnovers. BEAUTIFUL!

    And Derek Anderson??? I certainly think Cardinals fans know enough about him to know what he is. And had he played another game or two for the Panthers, their fans would know, too. He had ONE good season in Cleveland ( about a hundred years ago ) and ONE good game for the Panthers on opening day. His numbers on that ONE day don’t mean sh#%. He is a lousy QB.

  20. By Coach K on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, I am surprised that Larsen is getting a pass with his sub-par play the first three games. He has been terrible in pass pro, and better in run blocking. I really don’t like the way he gets easily pushed back and physically manhandled pass blocking.

    Does anyone else see this, or am I being too critical as a retired coach?

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 24, 2014 | Reply

    Coach K

    and yet, Larsen is starting over Cooper.

  22. By BigAl on Sep 25, 2014 | Reply

    Coach K,
    Thank you soo much brother! I guess I have to say it first…We all have different
    character types that cause us all to see things differently…(From our own perspective, ie. our own psychology ‘tends’ to lead our minds/our eyes to focus
    on ‘our’ personal perspective…) I know too deep. (ie. what we each focus on).
    Back to main point…apparently you & I are the only ones who see what you stated…I stated it in a previous blog in regards to Coopers return…
    I wont say I got slammed, but just that were 3 & 0 & everyone is happy! & don’t change nothing cause were winning! I felt nobody else sees what I saw…
    Last week Justin Smith who is a beast! Just blew right by Larsen but because the rest of the line had done their job…the young Stanton was able to evade/slip
    by Smiths angle & in a step or two get the ball out to the intended location! And yes he is much better in run play…I mean, I’m not slamming on Larson…get me right! I’m saying were lucky Mr K found him to plug & play…however, he is not the long term solution… (ie Why did Tampa Bay let him go?)
    So, I’m with you Coach K he’s good, but he should be on the 2nd team…

  23. By Eazy E on Sep 25, 2014 | Reply

    Fans need to relax with the Cooper ascension. Ted is playing better and that’s that. You shouldn’t change for change sake, change for a reason and that is also in life. Change things about yourself that are negative because they are negative, not just to change because somebody doesn’t agree with it. Our o-line is playing a lot better and Ted is 1 of those 5 men putting in work. I love Coop even though when we initially drafted him, I wasn’t happy because I wanted Warmack more, but he can’t play because he was the 7th overall pick and that’s it.

  24. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 25, 2014 | Reply


    To replace Larsen would require Cooper or Watford to step up in practice. The fact that Larsen beat them out say volumes.
    If Larsen outplayed those two and is the weak link to the line……….. Well you fill in blank.


    Good question. I think loyalty of the average fan is blind. They have no facts or evidence to back up their side. They just won’t accept that Keim might be wrong. But, Facts are facts.

    They turn a blind eye to the fact that Cooper will make more than 4 of the 5 Olineman starting in 2014. (only Sendlin makes more in 2014)

    They turn a blind eye to the fact he cant beat out an average guard who was suppose to be a back up guard/center.

    They make excuses he needs time to “grow and learn” when he was the first guard off the board and since then, 10 other guards picked are starting and even making pro bowls. Then you watch this year’s first round pick learn a new position and starts the first play of the season.

    They blame injuries yet I see HB and Ta’amu come roaring back.

    What the average fan doesn’t get is every day Cooper has a chance to impress the coaches enough to make a change, yet they don’t.

    Take a moment and think. Is there anyone else from 2013 and 2014’s drafts (that are on the team) that are not playing in games besides 3rd string QB Thomas and the two guards Watford and Cooper? Thomas is a 4th rounder behind two vet QBs, so of course he can’t break the lineup, but all the other players are contributing.

    Here is what is so obvious;

    The GM wants him to play because it was his first pick in the draft.
    He also wants him to play because he has 14.5 million in guaranteed contracts over 4 years.
    The coaches want him to play, because he is taking up a roster spot for the next 2-3 years.
    They also believe greatly in the fact that 1st rounders should play right away.
    I also know he will be given a chance to start again next year since he is scheduled to get 4 million guaranteed.

    Yet, Ted Larsen beat him out and continues to beat him out.

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