The Arizona Cardinals returned to the field Tuesday for voluntary veterans minicamp at the team’s practice facility in Tempe.
Not everyone was on the field, however. Some players are still out with injuries that are lingering from last season. One of those players is offensive lineman Levi Brown. He spent all of 2012 watching his fellow linemen get beat up from the sidelines as he recovered from a torn triceps suffered in preseason. Evaluating your teammates is sometimes easier from there.
“I think that we have a lot of talent. I just think our technique wasn’t up to par. I just think that if we can get it all cleaned up and get everybody on the same page, I don’t see why we can’t win a lot of games,” Brown said. “They made personnel improvements at different positions on our offense, and I just don’t see why we can’t win.”
In 2012, the offensive line took a lot of heat, allowing a league-high 58 sacks on the season. Brown said Tuesday that there are things about the line that need to change to have some success.
“Just certain areas I feel like we could have been better and we just weren’t. I’m not saying that our past coaches didn’t teach it (technique), we just weren’t good enough at it.”
The 6-foot-6, 324-pound tackle has himself been picked apart by fans after coming to the Cardinals as the fifth overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft. He graded out as the league’s 57th-best tackle in 2011 and dead last (78th) in 2010 by Profootballfocus.com, so he’s no stranger to criticism. Can that criticism lobbed toward the Cardinals’ offensive line build camaraderie among its members?
“Criticism, we probably had one year without criticism, and even then we were the worst team in the playoffs. Criticism comes, we can deal with that,” said the 29-year-old. “We’re going to continue to go out here and do what we have to do.”
Brown was unwilling to throw anybody from the previous staff under the bus, but he didn’t hesitate to discuss the new staff’s style.
“Football, as far as the O-line is concerned, accountability is the only thing. Each coach stresses his own point; Coach Arians is ‘trust, loyalty and respect,'” he said. “I feel like our group and offense and defense and everybody involved, are going to be more accountable.”