Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line a failure in progress
The current general manager of the Arizona Cardinals seems to have botched the position that he himself used to compete at
It’s not as if the Arizona Cardinals haven’t been trying. Steve Keim has invested big-ticket free agents and first-round draft picks into the club’s offensive line. Yet, five years into his reign as the Cardinals’ general manager, that segment of the team is a mess.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has been called washed-up, over-the-hill and past his prime. However, the guys in front of him have allowed their passer to take a beating throughout the first two games, obviously affecting his performance. And unless alterations are made, the assault on Palmer will most likely continue.
Arizona made some questionable decisions concerning that area of the squad during the offseason. Fortunately, it’s not too late to try to remedy what’s ailing the o-line. With the pressure on Palmer that they’ve allowed, combined with a lack of a push up front for the running game, changes should be welcome.
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The first order of business would be to insert the talented Alex Boone at right guard. After Keim ignored the position during free agency, obtaining a player of Boone’s caliber so late in the summer was a godsend. When asked about it the other day, head coach Bruce Arians wouldn’t rule out the veteran getting regular playing time very soon.
The starter he would replace, Evan Boehm, entered the season with questions surrounding him. After two games, it’s painfully evident that the second-year pro should be watching from the sidelines for at least a year or two.
Jared Veldheer’s conversion to right tackle has been another issue. The 30-year old, while playing at his natural left tackle spot, was voted the MVP of the Cards in 2014. If the coaches were smart, Veldheer would be back there in time for the Monday night contest against the Dallas Cowboys.
Injuries to two of the starting lineman should not be overlooked. Left guard Mike Iupati struggled with a triceps strain during the opener before sitting out this past Sunday because of it. Left tackle D.J. Humphries injured his knee during the first quarter of the Detroit Lions’ matchup and has not played since.
It’s certainly not too late for the 2017 Cardinals to right their ship. But adjustments need to be made. Addressing the offensive line’s woes would be a great place to start.