It is not exactly a secret that the Cardinals offensive line was bad last year. In fact, most would go even farther to say the entire group was well, just plain awful.
The Cardinals felt they have addressed their offensive line issues this offseason with the additions of guys like Jonathan Cooper (first round draft choice), Earl Watford (fourth round draft choice), and Chilo Rachal (free agent). However the question remains, did the Cardinals do enough?
First, you have to consider that Levi Brown is coming back from his season ending injury last year, and will likely return as the starting left tackle. As much as Brown has struggled in the past, he was dominant at times at the end of the 2011 season. If Brown can play up to that level, the Cardinals line could be in great shape.
Nate Potter came in and replaced D’Anthony Batiste in Week 9 against the Green Bay Packers and played well. He was named the starting left tackle after that game and never lost the job. Potter will provide great depth and gives the Cardinals the option of moving Brown inside to guard if needed.
Right tackle Bobby Massie got off to a nightmare start to his rookie season giving up 13 sacks in just eight games. However, Massie made great strides and did not give up a single sack over the final eight games of the season last year. Massie is one of the players for the Cardinals who really looks like he could have a breakout season. Massie has the talent, and now has the experience to really grow and become one of the better right tackles in the NFL.
The interior of the line is where the Cardinals really addressed the issue. Cooper will likely be plugged in at left guard and start from day one. Adam Snyder was released which will bump Daryn Colledge over to the right guard spot. Lyle Sendlein will return as the starting center. Guys like Rachal, Watford, and Senio Kelemete will provide solid depth inside for the Cards as well. Levi Brown also has the versatility and the talent to move inside to guard if needed as well.
When you look at the offseason transactions and see the Cardinals only brought in a total of five offensive lineman, two of which were undrafted free agents, it doesn’t look like the Cardinals did all that much on the offensive line.
However, when you factor in Levi Brown returning, and the improvement that the entire line showed during the second half of the season last year, it may not have been necessary to bring in more than a couple of linemen.
When you look at the line position by position it may not yet be a great unit, but the Cardinals have at least a solid starter, and some depth and flexibility at pretty much all five positions. So yes, in my opinion the Cardinals did enough to address the offensive line. However, in my opinion, the line is the key to the entire season for the Cardinals. If the line can have a good year, there is no reason to believe that this team can’t win 8-10 games this season.