Arizona Cardinals: The offensive line
By Scott Allen
August 30, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin (right) instructs offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (74) during the fourth quarter in a preseason NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Cardinals defeated the Raiders 30-23. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The kid has talent, there is no question. He has size. There is no question about that either. He was the Cardinals first-round draft pick at number 24 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. After watching Humphries play in the preseason, you have to debate whether he is first-round talent.
If you read comments from Cardinals fans, some have called him a bust. I certainly wouldn’t call him that. He still has a lot to learn and maybe as the 24th pick in the draft there are some unrealistic expectations of him. That’s why many think he was drafted too high. First-round picks, fair or not, have higher expectations placed on him by both fans and the team.
Coach Arians basically called him lazy a couple of weeks ago. He said he doesn’t show up to work everyday and that was disappointing to hear. He makes the team because of his potential but right now I really wouldn’t expect to see him a lot on the playing field.
Here’s a guy that has worked hard. Watford enters his third season with the Cardinals. He will be the starting right guard but is also listed as the backup tackle behind Jonathan Cooper. His ability to move around the offensive line as needed will be a great commodity come the regular season.
Shipley is currently listed as the starting center. He competed against incumbent Lyle Sendlein in training camp. I imagine we will see a bit of Sendlein as well, especially if Shipley struggles early. Shipley and Larsen couldn’t hold the spot down over the first week or so of camp, so the Cardinals went out and re-signed Sendlein. Shipley played under Arians with the Indianapolis Colts. Since then, he went to the Baltimore Ravens in 2013 and returned to the Colts in 2014.
His career with the Arizona Cardinals seemed to end after the 2014 season when the Cardinals released him. There had been some talk early on of possibly re-signing him to a lesser contract but it never came to be. Then the Cardinals signed Shipley and that seemed to seal the deal.
Well, it was evident early on in camp that Shipley and Larsen needed a push. Sendlein returned and has made the team as the backup center, for now. The move also allowed the Cardinals to move Larsen to left guard.
I have Cooper listed in a make or break year. After breaking a leg in his rookie season in preseason, he missed the entire 2013 season. The he had trouble getting going in 2014. Part of it was mental early on last year. He was cleared to play but still wasn’t getting the job done.
He then ended up in Arians’ doghouse before eventually showing the team and fans what he can do. He had a couple of great games opening up holes in the running game towards the end of the season. However he had another pesky injury with his toe and never gained the consistency everyone was looking for.
Now he gets another chance to show his potential. He will need to play well and play well consistently for him to continue on with the Cardinals after this season.
Massie was supposed to be the starting tackle but he has been suspended for the first two games of the season. He put himself and his team in a bad spot with his offseason DUI. He will come back to the active 53-man roster after the first two weeks so he could be coming in to replace one of the guys listed above.