GLENDALE, Ariz. — Since signing with the Arizona Cardinals as a free agent prior to the 2011 season, Daryn Colledge has started 32 games on the team’s offensive line.
He’s the only O-lineman to be able to make that claim.
Normally that many consecutive starts would mean some level of job security in the NFL, but with a new coaching staff in place and plenty of new faces up front, Colledge knows job security on the line is non-existent at the moment.
“The level of urgency has been up since Week 6 of last year,” Colledge told reporters after Thursday’s practice session at University of Phoenix Stadium. “We feel like we have a certain standard that needs to be set for this year. We know the spotlight is on us and whether that’s real or not, we take a certain amount of pride in what we plan on getting done this year.”
For starters, what the Cardinals’ offensive line plans to get done is improve in every facet. Arizona ranked dead last in the league in rushing in 2012 and allowed 58 sacks — the most in the NFL.
“I think everyone is aware that the offensive line is going to be the catalyst to make the system go,” Colledge said. “We know that if we’re not doing our job, nothing gets going — run game or passing game.
“But again, we feel like we’ve got the talent around us that if we do our job, we’ve got a chance to have a very successful offense this year. That’s the goal.”
Colledge has missed a good portion of camp with a nerve issue in his left leg, but has returned to battle free agent Paul Fanaika at the right guard position. Fanaika, a former Arizona State Sun Devil, has impressed in camp and played well in the Cardinals’ preseason-opening win over Green Bay last week.
Colledge didn’t play in that game, but will be back on the field Saturday when the Cardinals host the Dallas Cowboys.
“I would say 50 percent, that’s probably good enough for this weekend,” Colledge said when asked about how his leg was. “It’s getting better every single day. Today felt better than the day before and hopefully we can continue that trend, and by game day it should be right there.”