From the time Steve Keim was hired, his pet project and most of his energy has focused on improving the Arizona Cardinals offensive line.
It has lead to heavy turnover in five of the six seasons as the Cardinals look to find a winning combination.
Well, that didn’t change this offseason, as Keim once again churned the roster and made over his offensive line.
Not surprising when you remember the fact that the Cardinals were ranked as the second worst offensive line in the NFL in 2017 by Pro Football Focus.
Now, with 2/5 of the offensive line changed again, a return to health for D.J. Humprhies and Mike Iupati, the Cardinals have made a slight move up the rankings:
27. ARIZONA CARDINALS
2017 season-end rank: 31st (+4)
This group will look much different than the 2017 version – which can’t be a bad thing. The only problem is that this group – more than maybe any other in the NFL – has serious injury concerns. Almost every starter has missed significant time in each of the past two seasons and the Cardinals don’t exactly have quality depth to make up for it. If Mike Iupati, Justin Pugh and Andre Smith all return back to their career-best form, this could be a top-10 group. The odds of that happening, or even them playing all 16 games, seems incredibly slim after all the injuries they’ve suffered.
Albeit a small change, any move in the positive for the Cardinals is important.
They cannot, with Sam Bradford at quarterback and Josh Rosen waiting in the wings, allow their quarterback to be a tackling dummy.
They need to be able to become a road-grading, grind it out type along the line and control the game on the ground.
Whether it is because of Bradford’s fragility or Rosen’s inexperience, having either as the focal point of an offense with the health concerns on the offensive line is worrisome.
So, if the Cardinals get the line they envision with this latest turnover, they could improve in this rankings even more by years end.