Arizona Cardinals: The offensive line

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Once considered deep early in training camp the Arizona Cardinals offensive line struggled through the preseason

Just when you thought things were all happy happy joy joy with the Arizona Cardinals offensive line, bad things started happening right and left after the preseason games started.  It started with a major injury, then a suspension, and finally just bad play.

Yeah, that pesky bad play.  They left the Cardinals quarterbacks open to hard hits and sacks.  The run blocking disappeared and left many Cardinals fans shaking their heads again.

Here are the guys the Cardinals are going forward with, for now, on the offensive line.  They kept nine players for the offensive line.  That was the prudent move given the injuries.

Jared Veldheer

Veldheer starts his second season with the Cardinals.  He was probably the most valuable player on the team last year.  He kept the Cardinals quarterbacks on their feet more often than not.  He proved to be the best pickup in the 2014 offseason.

However his preseason Veldheer looked, well, human.  You have to hope it was just a preseason thing and the play will step up starting this week in the opener against the New Orelans Saints.  He wasn’t horrible but he did get beat a few times.  Oakland Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack went by him a couple of times in the preseason game last Sunday.

Bradley Sowell

I’m still trying to figure out what he has on Bruce Arians or Steve Keim.  It has to be something.  How he was one of the best nine options I have no idea?  It’s not that he doesn’t have the size but what is it that just makes Cardinals fans scratch their heads at times.

He’s not entirely bad.  I mean, he’s no Levi Brown, but what is it that has kept him in a Cardinals uniform?  Every highlight seems more like a low light.  I don’t like beating up on guys.  He’s a very nice guy and has had flashes of talent but I just have a hard time getting comfortable with him.

Mike Iupati

Iupati was one of the biggest free agent signings in the offseason by any team.  He is known for his great run blocking.  Pass blocking you can take it or leave it but he was supposed to finally legitimatize the Cardinals offensive line.  His departure from the San Francisco 49ers to a divisional opponent spoke volumes about the direction he thought both franchises were going in.

Then after a subpar first preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Iupati injured his knee the following week of practice.  He had surgery and is expected to likely miss the first month of the season at best.  It was not news the Cardinals or fans wanted to hear.  The Cardinals are going to need him if they want their running game to truly take shape.

Ted Larsen

You have to think his versatility is a huge factor in him making the team.  Sure, he had a couple of decent moments in the preseason but you have to just be happy he is a backup and not a full-time starter.  He originally was in competition in training camp with A.Q. Shipley for the starting center position.  Then the Cardinals went out and re-signed Lyle Sendlein.

The Sendlein singing meant the Cardinals were moving Larsen over to left guard.  For now Larsen will be a starter until Iupati returns.  This frees up the center job for both Shipley and Sendlein.