Arizona Cardinals: A Current Look at the Offensive Line
By Scott Allen
Sep 23, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tackle Jared Veldheer (68) defends against Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds (93) at the O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Steelers 34-31. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Probably the biggest inconsistency on the entire roster has been the performance of the Arizona Cardinals offensive line over the past, well, a long time. It did a little more stability last season but it still needs much improvement. Quarterback Carson Palmer still has to get rid of the ball quickly at times. The return of Jonathan Cooper should go a long way in 2014. Here’s a look at the current roster.
Jonathan Cooper – The “second year” guard from North Carolina broke his leg in the preseason in his rookie campaign, so this should really be considered his rookie season as far as playing time. If he can get back by training camp, which is what they are hoping, it will be interesting to see how effective he can be. We’ll have to give him time to acclimate.
Paul Fanaika – Inconsistent at times in 2013 but enough of a good performer to be a starter on this line.
Ted Larsen – The free-agent from Tampa Bay should be a nice backup center. He started four games for the Bucs in 2013.
Bobby Massie – It’s put up or shut up time for Massie. I honestly thought he was on the hot seat last season in the new regime but he’s managed to stick around. Please finally show us what you got and the reason why you were drafted Bobby.
Kelvin Palmer – The rookie from Baylor will have to be lights out in training camp to make this roster.
Philip Blake – Another guy from Baylor. I guess if you blocked for Robert Griffin III, you can’t be all that bad, right? Not sure he can make this roster.
Tommie Draheim – From San Diego State. Camp body. The center could find a way to be a backup but he’ll have competition.
John Estes – The fourth-year player from Hawaii is another center on this roster. Again, he’ll be competing for a backup job at best.
Nate Potter – I like some of the things Potter has been able to do. I honestly thought he wouldn’t make the team in his rookie season but he has had some nice plays. Just find that consistency.
Lyle Sendlein – The incumbent starting center. Hard to see anyone in the group of backups supplanting him.
Anthony Steen – The Alabama rookie can make plays. I think he has a shot at making this roster.
Jared Veldheer – Clearly one of the better free-agent pickups this off-season. He’ll be the starting tackle. He has great hands. Still puzzling why Oakland let him walk.
Earl Watford – Another guy I find making the roster without much issue. He’s one I see continuing to get better.