ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals GM Steve Keim: Offensive line play ‘was unacceptable’

Sep 26, 2017, 8:23 AM | Updated: 5:41 pm
The Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals line up during the second half of an NFL football game...
The Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals line up during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals GM

If you watched the Cardinals’ 28-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night — either in the stadium or on TV — it was quite obvious that Arizona’s offensive continues to struggle.

Performance is an issue. The Cardinals allowed quarterback Carson Palmer to get sacked six times, hit on 11 other occasions and failed to open up many running lanes for backs.

They’re also struggling with health. Left tackle D.J. Humphries and left guard Mike Iupati each missed a second straight game against Dallas.

But general manager Steve Keim thinks help is on the way, and maybe in time for Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

“Fortunately for us, I think we’re going to be getting a few players back, and back this week,” Keim told Doug & Wolf Tuesday morning on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “I’d like to think D.J. Humphries will return this week. I think there’s a good chance Mike Iupati can potentially return this week, so there’s two offensive line starters.”

Getting players back from injury is a positive, but it’s not necessarily the cure to what ails the line, either.

“We just have to get better,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it that (Monday) night’s display of offensive line play was unacceptable, not only from a technical standpoint when you look at guys’ footwork, their sets, their hand placement, but in this game, as we know, it comes down to one-on-one situations and being challenged at the point of attack. You have to win those battles.”

The offensive lineman struggling the most is right tackle Jared Veldheer, who was challenged by coaches heading into the Dallas game to improve. The veteran settled into a new position, but Keim doesn’t think that switch is the culprit for Veldheer’s difficulties.

“I don’t think it has anything to do with right tackle,” he said. “I think the fact of the matter is he’s got to get better. He’s got to improve all those little things I just talked about — his footwork, his technique, his hand placement — and get back to basics.

“Again, sixty-four thousand people saw it last night and Jared’s a prideful guy and I expect nothing less from him to be in here this week and make some improvements.”

Though he started his message on the line with positive news concerning the pending return of two starters, there was some potentially damaging developments in Monday’s loss. Guard Alex Boone, who has started the last two games in place of Iupati, suffered an injury late in the contest.

“He has some type of a (pectoral) strain. I don’t know the extent of it, but I know he has to get an MRI,” Keim said. “The one thing I know about Alex in the short time he’s been here is he’s extremely tough. He’s the kind of guy who will play through pain and you know, I think it would have to be pretty severe for him to miss time.”

Life Changer Loans
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) makes the catch as Dallas Cowboys free safety Byron Jones (31) and cornerback Orlando Scandrick (32) defend during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Cole Beasley (11) is hit by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) looks at Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence after being sacked during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs for a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) scores a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals free safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws under pressure from Dallas Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) trees to elude Arizona Cardinals defensive end Frostee Rucker (92) during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians talks with quarterback Carson Palmer (3) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) runs as Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (90) misses the tackle during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) pulls in a touchdown catch as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown defends during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) is hit by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) celebrates his sack of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) with teammate nose tackle Corey Peters (98) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals with offensive guard Zack Martin during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) celebrates his touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) dives for a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals strong safety Antoine Bethea and inside linebacker Haason Reddick (43) defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) dives for a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) and strong safety Antoine Bethea, rear, defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) dives for a touchdown as Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) and strong safety Antoine Bethea, rear, defend during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, left, greets Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians prior to an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) From left; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, president Michael Bidwill, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and head coach Bruce Arians stand during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) The Dallas Cowboys stand during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown (13) scores a touchdown as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown (13) scores a touchdown as Dallas Cowboys cornerback Anthony Brown defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws under pressure from Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (90) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) stretches for yards as he is hit by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (21) is hit by Arizona Cardinals nose tackle Corey Peters (98) and outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) is hit by Dallas Cowboys strong safety Jeff Heath (38) during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson (4) looks way after missing a field goal as Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Kyle Wilber (51) heads to the bench during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Arizona Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson (4) walks to the bench after missing a field goal against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington (38) signals first down against the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians looks for a call from line judge Julian Mapp (10) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) The Dallas Cowboys, led by owner Jerry Jones, center, take a knee prior to the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

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