For my inaugural post I would like to discuss what effect an Offensive Line has on the value of the Running Backs and Wide Receivers. Over the next few weeks I will profile each team’s O-Line alphabetically so you can hopefully differentiate between two players with similar statistics. Today I profile the Arizona Cardinals
The offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals is projected to be slightly different in 2012. Early projections point to this arrangement as the starting O-Line going into training camp, if not the 2012 season. At Left Tackle is Levi Brown, Left Guard is Daryn Colledge, Center is Lyle Sendlein, Right Guard is Adam Snyder and Right Tackle is Jeremy Bridges. There are no Pro-Bowl quality players on this line, but there are a lot of serviceable pieces.
Levi Brown was referred to as the “human turnstile” in 2010 and most of 2011. He ended 2011 on a high note as he had a “light switch” moment. He played markedly better as the season went on. He was resigned by the Cardinals for a 5 year 30 million dollar sum. The former first round pick in the 2007 draft had failed to live up to expectations and was much maligned in his time in Arizona. His play in the last half of 2012 had led several teams to attempt to procure his services, but he remained in Arizona.
Daryn Colledge was born in Alaska and attended North Pole High School. He was taken by the Green Bay Packers 47th overall in 2006. He won a Super Bowl with the Packers before being picked up by the Arizona Cardinals just in time for the 2011 season. His leadership abilities have never been questioned as has his Super Bowl experience. It has been said that he is the M.V.P of the Offensive Line.
Lyle Sendlein was an undrafted player who came to the Cardinals organization in 2007. He had numerous suitors for his services but his agent felt that the Arizona would be a good place to play and he was right. Lyle, along with Levi Brown both were Offensive Linemen on the Cardinals team that lost the Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has been a mainstay on the line for years and continues to provide good protection all the while remaining a humble lunch box carrier.
Adam Snyder was drafted in the third round of the 2005 draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He remained there until the 2012 offseason. He was acquired by the Cardinals during the free agency period to provide depth along the line. He is extremely versatile as he can play both Guard or Tackle. He should bring quality leadership to the O-Line and Cardinals fans should be optimistic.
Jeremy Bridges who is the old man of the O-Line was drafted in the 6th round of the 2003 draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was claimed off waivers by the Cardinals in 2004 and played two seasons before being released. He subsequently played for Carolina and Washington before he came back to the Cardinals in 2009. He is currently being pushed by 2012 Draftee Bobby Massie who could replace Bridges sometime during the upcoming season.
Now to analyse the numbers…….
Arizona ranked 15th in total Run Blocking allowing their RB’s to gallop for 4.12 yard per carry average. The NFL average was 4.31 yards per carry. Their Running Backs were stopped in the back field 20% of the time which was behind the NFL average of 19%. They converted on 3rd or 4th down runs 63% of their attempts, which was just ahead of the NFL average of 62%. Either the O-Line needs to get a better push to enable running lanes for the RB’s or the fault lies with the RB’s themselves. This has to improve for the RB’s to experience any uplift in Fantasy Value.
Arizona ranked 27th in Pass Protection as they allowed sacks on 9.1% of dropbacks. The NFL average was 6.7%. The O-Line did not hold blitzers back well in 2011, and the poor quarterback play probably emphasized this. This must improve in order for the team to experience success in 2012.
Arizona had their least success running outside the Right Tackle only averaging 3.33 yards per carry. They experienced their most success running behind the Right Tackle as they averaged 4.65 yards per carry.
My research was done with the assistance of footballoutsiders.com and to them I am indebted.
Tomorrow I tackle the Atlanta Falcons