Aug 17, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals tackle Bobby Massie (70) guard Earl Watford (78) center Kyle Quinn (72) and center/guard Deveric Gallington (67) huddle up during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Cowboys 12-7. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
The most important unit on the Arizona Cardinals Football team is the offensive line, and this year it is much improved with the addition of Jared Veldheer. With the left side sured up the Cardinals have some decisions to make, as they have several guys fighting for the right tackle position and also the right guard position.
Returning first round pick of last years draft for the Cardinals Jonathan Cooper has returned and is in very good looking shape, although Coach Bruce Arians stated that he is not 100% yet but on his way back to full strength. Cooper is the second sure spot to the left side of the offensive line, with Coopers raw power and quick feet the O-line on the left will sure be the strongest part to the unit.
The right side however will be the work in progress as three year pro Bobby Massie returns for an all or nothing season, this is his year to finally come out of the grooming stage and get in the trenches and use that incredible size he has. Massie has struggled where to place his hands while pass protecting and tends to be a little slow to react to a speed rush. After the OTA’s this week, Massie looks bigger and stronger and appears to have added another element that was lacking for the last three years and that is confidence.
The starting Right Guard throughout the OTA’s with the first team has been second year man Earl Watford out of James Madison, he has shown much improvement and also displays a nasty streak while engaging blocks. Watford is very athletic and much faster than most guards and is a huge load of a man standing at 6’5 295 pounds and all of that is muscle. Watford covers space and with his strength he will be able to hold up on the line at the point of attack and not be exposed, because his job really doesn’t require him to hold off the speed edge rusher, perhaps he may be still learning where the blitz is coming from, but all in all he looks very good.
The O-line looking very solid and look for the Cardinals to manufacture a better running attack that will open up this offense completely, and allow the offense to dictate the pace of the game from start to finish.