One of the more interesting aspects of the Arizona Cardinals in 2020 will be how their second season with nearly the same offensive line looks.
They have been in Kliff Kingsbury’s system for a full year, Sean Kugler has had a year with everyone of the starters and they know all of the weapons that Kyler Murray will have at his disposal outside of DeAndre Hopkins.
That’s why when Football Guys brought out their initial offensive line rankings, it was surprising to see where the Cardinals came in and the fact that they came in so low, as they rank 25th in the NFL.
First, let’s understand how Football Guys grades these offensive lines:
These rankings update weekly and consider lineup changes. Trades, “benchings” and injuries change the lineups and they must be tracked for any offensive line ranking to be useful. Most ranking lists are not kept this up to date.
By re-ranking the teams every week with a realistic lineup, a cohesion score is tracked. Cohesion is another way of saying experience together. The players build trust when they work at the same positions with the same guys beside them every week Good offensive lines trust each other to such an extent they can know what the hot blocking calls are going to be, even if they can’t hear it, because they are playing on the road in Kansas City or Seattle and it sounds like a jet plane taking off.
Now, they have not updates since Marcus Gilbert has opted-out, but the grades as actually make some sense when you dig in.
They would actually be a bit higher once you insert Murray back into the starting lineup.
Notes: This scheme features zone spread concepts often found in college football and the strength of this unit is at guard, where Justin Pugh and J.R. Sweezy provide veteran play, when healthy. Veteran right tackle Marcus Gilbert (who missed all of last year with a torn ACL) will compete with Justin Murray and third-round rookie Josh Jones from Houston to keep the job. Center Mason Cole will take over for A.Q. Shipley, as he did for the entire 2018 season.
OL Coach: Sean Kugler.
Ranking: Low-Tier (with Mid-Tier upside).
Their grades of the players are not too negative actually, but they see the team across the board as better in the run game versus in pass protection.
It is an interesting read, take a moment and check it out, this may be something we follow along for the entire season.