ARIZONA CARDINALS

Warner: Cardinals’ offensive line inconsistency keying offensive woes

Nov 20, 2018, 4:10 PM | Updated: 4:16 pm
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) is hit from behind by Denver Broncos linebacker Bradle...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) is hit from behind by Denver Broncos linebacker Bradley Chubb as Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (74) blocks during the second half of an NFL football game, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Broncos won 45-10. Rosen was injured on the play. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner believes there’s a major difference between the Cardinals’ offense and the best ones in the NFL.

It has little to do with the quality of the team’s playmakers.

Warner told Bickley and Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Tuesday that he believes the Cardinals’ inability to field a strong offensive line is holding the offense back from having more success.

The Cardinals have allowed 28 sacks in 10 games and only the Buffalo Bills have scored less points per game than the Cardinals (14.5 points per game).

“If you look at the Cardinals, that’s the one area again — go all the way back to when I was there — that’s always been an area of concern,” Warner said. “And they’ve never really fixed it to the point where you’ve felt really good year in, year out with all five guys across the board.

“Until you fix that, I don’t care how innovative you are — you can run some smoke and mirrors — but you’re not going to win with smoke and mirrors week in and week out. Especially when you’re playing teams like we saw last night.”

Warner specifically mentioned the Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints as offenses that thrive because of strong offensive line play.

Those three teams are the only ones that average over 30 points per game and are a combined 28-4 this season.

“They all protect their quarterbacks extremely well and allow them to get downfield and change the complexion of games with big plays,” Warner said.

“You’ve got to have good players, a good quarterback and you have to be able to protect them if you’re going to throw the ball all over the yard and try to put pressure on defenses like good teams do.”

The Cardinals’ offensive line has been decimated by injuries this season, which has further hampered the offense.

Most recently, starting offensive tackle D.J. Humphries couldn’t go Sunday against the Raiders because of a knee injury.

“It takes five guys to do it as well. It’s not about one guy being really good,” Warner said. “You still have to mesh with five guys so that’s what is so unique with the offensive line.

“You can’t just put a couple of guys in there and think it’ll fix whole thing. You have to have a collective unit that plays well together that understands and communicates.”

Warner does believe the Cardinals could improve quickly.

He noted the Rams’ quick rise, from 4-12 in 2016 to 10-1 so far this season.

But for the Cardinals to even scratch the surface of the Rams’ recent success, it’ll start with an improvement on the offensive line.

“I think like everything else, what makes great players great or great offensive lines great, is the ability to react in the moment positively,” Warner said.

“Whether that’s falling back to proper technique, the ability to see twists of a defensive line and be able to counter those twists or to be able to play against the great pass rushers and hold your technique.”

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals TE Zach Ertz warms up ahead of practice Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, in Tempe. (Tyle...
Tyler Drake

Zach Ertz quickly immersing himself in all things Arizona Cardinals

One day after Zach Ertz became a Cardinal, he was off to Cleveland on board the team's plane, with QB Kyler Murray seated right next to him.
20 hours ago
Cardinals LB Zaven Collins. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)...
Arizona Sports

Texans-Cardinals injury report: Arizona nicked up at OL, LB and TE

The Cardinals are nicked up at tight end, on the offensive line and at linebacker as they prepare for Week 7 against the Houston Texans.
20 hours ago
Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) throws before an NFL football game between the Indianap...
Kevin Zimmerman

Davis Mills to start at QB for Texans vs. Cardinals, Tyrod Taylor still out

Texans starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor will not be ready to play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Davis Mills gets another start.
20 hours ago
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 17: Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass as he is h...
Haboob Blog

Kyler Murray confronted Myles Garrett over DE’s Halloween lawn decorations

"Why you got me in the graveyard, dog?" Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray asked Browns pass-rusher Myles Garrett over his lawn ornaments.
20 hours ago
New England Patriots tight end David Wells performs field drills during an NFL football practice, T...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals sign TE David Wells to practice squad

It's a look at a tight end amid a rash of injuries that started two weeks ago when Maxx Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury.
20 hours ago
Matt Prater #5 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates a field goal with teammates during the second qu...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals K Matt Prater’s game vs. Browns leads to player of the week nod

Matt Prater's 13 points were a season-high for the Cardinals on Sunday and in a 37-14 win bumped his season total to 56, most in the NFC.
20 hours ago
Warner: Cardinals’ offensive line inconsistency keying offensive woes