Barnwell: Cardinals need to address the offensive line this offseason

Feb 17, 2019, 3:17 PM | Updated: Feb 18, 2019, 6:40 pm
Arizona Cardinals offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) sets to block against the Minnesota Vikings duri...
Arizona Cardinals offensive guard Justin Pugh (67) sets to block against the Minnesota Vikings during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won 27-17. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
(Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

There is no secret that the Arizona Cardinals offense was historically bad last season.

They ranked last in the NFL in total offensive yards, points per game, rushing yards and passing yards as a team.

Although the lack of talent and experience at the skill positions played a factor, much of the blame could be placed on a maligned offensive line, which had 11 individuals accumulate more than 100 snaps throughout the season, according to Pro Football Reference.

Revamping the offensive line was the top offseason priority identified by Bill Barnwell of ESPN that the Cardinals need to address.

By the end of 2018, rookie quarterback Josh Rosen was playing behind a line of five backups. Imagine if your first student driving lesson involved merging onto the track at Talladega.

The sentiment for an improved offensive line was echoed by Pro Football Focus, NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner and even general manager Steve Keim.

“There’s no doubt that we have to get that offensive line fixed to make sure that we can not only run the ball effectively but protect as well,” Keim said on 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station Wednesday on the Doug & Wolf show.

The Cardinals new coaching staff includes offensive line coach Sean Kugler who coached with the Denver Broncos last season.

As such, the Cardinals have been linked to free agent center Matt Pradis, who spent last season with the Broncos.

Also tasked to help fix the front five as an assistant offensive line coach is Brian Natkin, who coached under Kugler from 2013-17 at UTEP.

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