I think anyone would take being Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer in 2013 over Ken Whisenhunt and Kevin Kolb in 2012, any day of the respective year.
Whether it was interior pressure given up by inferior A-gap protection or the deadly combination of injuries and youth at the tackle spot, this offensive line was a play-caller and quarterback’s nightmare. The Arizona Cardinals cleared out many of last season’s remnants in Coach Whisenhunt, Kolb and general manager Rod Graves, before new GM Steve Keim brought in much more quality-brand — as the Bill Parcells would call them — “groceries” via free agency and especially through trade and the draft.
One of the ways Keim has equipped this offense better than his predecessors is adding guard depth through the draft even after taking relatively nimble guard Jonathan Cooper with the seventh overall pick this April, doubling down with athletic James Madison guard Earl Watford in the fourth round. This just provides another option should Cooper or Daryn Colledge go down and a nice-fitting piece for the future as the Cards go exclusively to a zone-blocking scheme.
Watford joined Dan Bickley and Mike Jurecki on XTRA 910 to talk about the transition.
“We ran that zone a lot,” Watford said on XTRA 910, as transcribed by SB Nation. “We ran a lot of different offensive plays, but for the most part the majority of our runs were zone runs. Am I comfortable with it? Yes, and I’m comfortable with everything else that needs to be run. … They say I gave up one (sack). Whoever’s keeping the stats. I don’t think I gave up the sack, but I’ll take it.”