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Posts tagged with "D.J. Humphries"

The Cardinals are clearly hamstrung on offense, and it’s showing up in the numbers.

Coach Bruce Arians loves to throw the ball deep, but with injuries to key linemen D.J. HumphriesMike Iupati and Alex Boone as well as speedsters John Brown and J.J. Nelson, it’s just not possible.

Instead, the Cardinals as presently constructed are much more of an underneath team.

In the past, Palmer did seven-step drops with regularity, but this season, his dropback depth of 7.1 yards is the second-lowest in the NFL, half a yard shorter than league average, per Pro Football Focus. There’s no other option at this point, since he’s been pressured an NFL-high 75 times, per PFF, and has been sacked six times in each of the past two games.

Palmer knew he had to get the ball out quick on Sunday against the 49ers, and found his running backs with regularity. Andre Ellington led the team with a whopping 14 targets, catching nine of the passes for 86 yards. Even run-first backs Chris Johnson(three catches, 31 yards) and Kerwynn Williams (one catch for 10 yards) got involved in the passing game.

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Quarterback Carson Palmer gets the blame, but protection has been subpar in first two games

Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer found a rhythm when he had a clean pocket against the Colts.
There are plenty of culprits in the Cardinals’ poor offensive start to 2017.

Quarterback Carson Palmer has been underwhelming. Injuries have shelved star running back David Johnson and explosive wideout John Brown. Turnovers and red zone struggles have hindered the output even when the offense has found a rhythm.

But the offensive line is pointing the finger at only one place.

“We take a lot of responsibility for how our offense works, if the production comes for us,” right tackle Jared Veldheer said. “We have to give Carson time and we have to open up lanes for the running backs to be successful. We’re conscious of that.”

After Palmer was sacked at a career-high rate in 2016, the Cardinals felt like there would be better line play this season. Through two games, that hasn’t been the case. Palmer has been sacked five times and the running game is only averaging 3.0 yards per carry.

The Cowboys come to town on Monday night with arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. For the outcome to go the Cardinals’ way, their group doesn’t have to be Dallas-like, but it must be much-improved.

“One thing we pride ourselves on is protecting Carson, not letting Carson get hit,” right guard Evan Boehm said. “He’s gotten hit way too much the last two games, and we know that.”

The Cardinals are unlikely to have D.J. Humphries at left tackle as he continues to recover from a knee sprain, but that wasn’t the issue on Sunday, as his replacement, John Wetzel, played well. Instead, it was Boehm and Veldheer who struggled.

“I’m not (satisfied), and they know it,” offensive coordinator and line coach Harold Goodwin said. “I’ve tried a new approach. I’m not screaming as much. Not as many curse words. But they’ve got to step up. And Jared knows it. Jared’s been playing right tackle enough that being over there should not be an issue any more. “

Veldheer a long-time left tackle, said he’s still scaling the learning curve.

“Every time you go out there, there’s just so much more to learn than when I was on the other side,” Veldheer said. “You become aware of something that carried over, it doesn’t work because it’s on the (right). One of those things is where I was putting my weight. Seeing that, I can focus on doing that, just basically learning.

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