Arizona Cardinals fans are all excited about rookie left tackle Nate Potter, who played against the Green Bay Packers in favor of D'Anthony Batiste, who had struggled all season in pass protection. Ken Whisenhunt said Potter's play was very good and that merits continued time on the field.
However, what you will find interesting is that Batiste, at least for the limited amount of plays he was on the field, was having one of his better games and, according to Pro Football Focus, outperformed Potter during the game.
Batiste, according to NFL numbers, was in the game for 18 plays. PFF tracked 19. It was the only game this season he had a net positive grade for a game, coming in at a modest +0.3. He did not allow a sack a QB hit, but did give up one pressure.
In 49 snaps, he gave up a hit and five hurries. He graded out as a -3.1 overall for the game, -3.4 in pass protection.
Now PFF is also quick to say that Potter "has to be an improvement over Batiste," especially since Batiste is the lowest graded player at his position in the league.
However, it is important to note that, while we are all excited about the change and the fact that he is a low-round draft pick getting to start, we should not be getting too excited too fast. The team clearly saw good things from him on film, but it does not discount the fact that he was not great on Sunday. he will have his growing pains and in a couple of weeks look like Bobby Massie -- a guy struggling but with the potential of youth and inexperience.
I'm not saying that Potter is going to be terrible. I do wish to point out the irony of Batiste getting yanked when he was playing the best he had, even if it was for 19 plays.
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