Beleaguered Cardinals left tackle Levi Brown knows the spotlight is on him, and it’s likely brighter than usual after allowing three sacks — two of which led to fumbles — in Sunday’s 27-24 loss to St. Louis.
“I can handle it,” Brown said. “The spotlight’s always on me. I get back to work Wednesday and I’ll do what I gotta do.”
The line allowed pressure on 15 of Carson Palmer’s 44 dropbacks, according to Pro Football Focus, with Brown and right tackle Eric Winston each allowing five. Though Pro Football Focus gave Brown a -2.8 grade in pass protection, he was the only Cardinals offensive lineman to grade positive for run blocking.
Head coach Bruce Arians said a left tackle’s struggles stand out more than any other position on the line, and while Brown “reverted back” to bad habits in technique at times, he was able to stop Rams defensive end Robert Quinn “a bunch,” and was effective in the run game.
“You do poorly on four plays (three sacks and one holding penalty), they’re really going to stand out at left tackle,” Arians said. “When you give up the big ones and there are sack-fumbles, there is concern. But I think they are correctable.”
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim had a slightly different take on Brown’s struggles.
“There’s no way to sugar coat it,” Keim told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Monday. “I take it personal, because it wasn’t good enough. And I think it starts with me. It comes down to making sure that (offensive coordinator) Harold Goodwin and (offensive line coach) Larry Zierlein continue to work with him.”
Brown and Arians said much of his struggles are technique related, specifically regarding his hand placement in pass protection.
“Obviously what they told me is correctable,” said Brown, who saw his first regular-season action since 2011 on Sunday after suffering a torn right triceps last preseason. “Whether there was or wasn’t rust, that’s not the result I wanted to get.”