There was a story almost untold about the offensive line. I managed to catch it in the pregame show for the Monday night game against the Baltimore Ravens. The talk this year has been how much better the offensive line is for the Cardinals. It has been. But not everyone on the line has played well. They all have played at least okay. But one player was at risk of landing on the bench.
That would be former number seven pick overall, Jonathan Cooper.
It was the team's radio announcer, Dave Pasch who made it known. Speaking on the pregame show before the game against the Ravens, Pasch indicated he wanted to see how Cooper and center Lyle Sendlein would play against nose tackle Brandon Williams, and then gave the listeners this little shocking piece of insider information.
"They (the coaching staff) were not happy with Coop going into last week's game (in Pittsburgh)," he said (near the 1:54:40 mark of the show). "In fact, there was some talk that if Coop struggled, that they were going to pull him."
That was the game when Ted Larsen was active, a week after being inactive. Larsen played very well in the starting lineup in place of Mike Iupati to start the season.
Then benching didn't happen, but it was incredibly revealing to hear that it might have happened.
Seth Cox has been quite critical of Cooper. He looks like he is doing well and moving well, but he isn't getting his hands on guys all the time and he doesn't hold up well at the point of attack sometimes.
Offensive coordinator mentioned it. "Coop's got to a little better job (when he pulls)," Goodwin said. "He gets there quick. He's just got to do a better job of moving his defender at the point of attack."
You see Cooper's athleticism on display all the time. He does seem to lack physicality at times. Maybe the broken leg is still an issue for him mentally. He is not dragging his leg like he did some of last season. He is also not spending a lot of time on the ground, like he did in the 2014 preseason.
However, apparently he has not played well in the eyes of the coaching staff. Remember how fans wanted changes last year and Bruce Arians said they wouldn't unless there were an injury? He didn't want to make changes on the line. If Cooper was in fact at risk of being benched, that says something.
Is he a top 10 draft bust? Perhaps that is harsh, but in three years, he has been injured, been on the bench and now was in danger of landing on the bench. That isn't what you want from someone drafted so highly.