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Arizona Cardinals’ coach Whisenhunt: Massie can improve by struggling

It’s no secret the Arizona Cardinals offensive line has proven to be the team’s Achilles’ heel so far this season.

Through seven games this season, the Cardinals have allowed an astounding 35 sacks. And, it appears they are only getting worse. They’ve surrendered 29 sacks in their past four contests.

Beleaguered rookie right tackle Bobby Massie has statistically been the worst player in the league at his position this season. The Cardinals fourth-round draft pick and journeyman left tackle D’Anthony Batiste have given up a combined 22 sacks. In stark contrast, Arizona’s Monday Night Football opponent San Francisco has allowed 11 sacks as a team so far in 2012.

Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said it’s easy to look at the sacks and point to the offensive line as the culprit, but he think that’s “glossing it over” and other things can play a part.

“Regardless of what statistics or anybody says we haven’t been good enough in that area,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s an area where we’ve got to play better, we’ve got to work better and we’ve been trying to do that.”

While many in Cardinals nation may be clamoring for a change at right tackle, sensing Massie is not ready to be starting just yet, Whisenhunt believes the youngster will ultimately improve by playing through his struggles.

“You are going to go through some tough times and it’s all part of growing and learning,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s why it’s so hard. People say, put rookies in and let them play, and I understand that. But you’ve got to understand that you are going to go through some growing pains with them and that’s what this league’s all about.”

Whisenhunt attributes some of the mistakes to being limited to preparing for a small sample size of plays in practice and not being ready to handle the off the cuff plays that could happen in any given game.

“You can see only so much in practice and, with the rules now, even in training camp a lot of times you don’t see [then] what you see in-season, in terms of stunts, techniques,” Whisenhunt said

But, with more looks and gained experienced, those problems should be alleviated. The trouble for the Cardinals is waiting could cost them their season.