It's unbelievable how badly the Cardinals under HC Bruce Arians, OC Harold Goodwin and OLC Larry Zierlein have botched up the Cardinals' offensive line...especially in a year where the line was supposed to block for budding superstar RB David Johnson and for their venerable, statuesque QB Carson Palmer.
The thinking among the brain trust was to flip-flop tackles Jared Veldheer and D.J. Humphries.
Humphries has played all of 9 snaps due to a knee injury and Veldheer has struggled big-time and is currently ranked by PFF as the #64 tackle at a paltry grade of 37.7.
Evan Boehm was drafted as the COF in 2016...but, no, the brain trust decided to re-sign hard-working but physically limited C A.Q. Shipley to a 2 year deal, even despite the fact that he was going to need double hernia surgery.
Boehm was forced into playing RG last year for the final two games and was adequate, but one look at his frame and skill set and it was a stretch to think that he could be a regular starting RG in the NFL. Yet, the brain trust wrote Shipley's and Boehm's names in pen into their projected starting lineup.
Now that it has become clear that LG Mike Iupati has struggled to stay healthy and productive the past couple of years and is no longer playing at an All-Pro level, the thinking was to draft his heir apparent in 4th round pick 1st Team All-American, Dorian Johnson.
The hope was to get a good year out of Iupati and check the progress of Johnson and 2016 6th round pick Cole Toner.
Iupati is now on the IR and had been replaced by recent signee Alex Boone, until Boone injured his pec. Dorian Johnson had such a poor camp that he passed through waivers and was signed to the PS. Toner, who spent most of camp training to be a backup center (now that Boehm was at RG) was cut after being switched back to guard for the last two pre-season games.Insurance UFA signee Tony Bergstrom, who had a solid camp, was dealt to Baltimore for a conditional 7th round pick.
This left the coaches having to start Will Holden, their rookie swing tackle at LG, where, of course, he struggled mightily.In came old Swiss Army knife veteran Earl Watford...so Watford on three days of practice replaces Holden and starts versus the Eagles, and struggled.
Yet now that Alex Boone looks like he can return to LG, Watford has been switched over to RG to replace Boehm. Yesterday, when explaining the move, Harold Goodwin said that Boehm has been trying hard but "he's a center by trade" and that he was drafted to be a center. Doh.
Pretty much full circle, isn't it?
Making matters worse, the one possible brought hope for the future at guard, Dorian Johnson, was signed this week off the Cardinals' practice squad by the Houston Texans. Even with all this turmoil at guard, the Cardinals decided not to promote Johnson and keep him in the nest.
Meanwhile, BA&SK's first draft pick, G Jonathan Cooper, who could be in the 5th year of his rookie contract, is starting at LG for the Dallas Cowboys, who once made a Pro-Bowler out of Leonard Davis.
This is a comedy of errors on the Cardinals' part. Some will blame it on the GM. Some will blame it on the coaches. Some will blame it on misfortune. Take your pick.
But what's becoming very clear...whomever is at the helm next year, once again it looks like they are going to have to start from scratch to address the guard situation (unless they are willing to pay Iupati $10M)...all of this...after spending a 1st, two 4th rounders and a 6th round pick on guards over the past 5 years. the reality is: NONE of these 4 draft picks has been developed. Plus, Boehm now finds himself once again as a backup center behind Shipley and possibly behind Daniel Munyer and Humphries has yet to prove that he can be a reliable LT
.These are the kinds of things that set franchises back...and cause RBs and QBs to land repeatedly on their backs.