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A.Q. Shipley: High tempo offense contributes to Cardinals’ improvement

Center A.Q. Shipley #53 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts during the second half of the NFL game against the Detroit Lions at State Farm Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

As the season progresses, the Arizona Cardinals’ offense has evolved week after week, and a big staple of that has been the offensive line.

Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley has been part of that boost to the team after he missed all of last year with a torn ACL.

Shipley told 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo on Monday that the offensive line is one unit where the guys get more comfortable as the season progresses. One of the biggest things for their unit is that they haven’t allowed any blindsided hits on quarterback Kyler Murray.

In fact, Arizona’s offensive line didn’t allow a single quarterback hit on Murray during their Week 6 game against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

“We’re paid to protect him, keep him free from getting hit and open up lanes in the run game,” Shipley said.

Sunday’s win against the Falcons marked just the sixth time since 1940 and the first since Nov. 15, 2009, that the Cardinals had over 400 yards of offense with no sacks and no turnovers.

Shipley said part of the offense’s success this season derives from the schemes that they’re running. Because of the speed, it tires defenses out quicker.

“I think early on, nobody knew what to expect because we didn’t really show any of this in the preseason and then we start hammering it pretty good the first couple weeks, and you see what it does to d-line,” Shipley said.

“They’re subbing each other out, they’re tired, they’re not rushing as hard as they do on every play. It’s been a huge advantage for us up front, and we’ve literally almost been lobbying to push more tempo, more tempo, more tempo because it tires them out on defense and they can’t sub, and then we get mush rushes. And it just helps us out a ton.”

Throughout the preseason, Arizona was fairly tight-lipped about their offensive strategy, something that’s worked in head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s favor because he can continue to to improve on his game plan week after week.

“Kliff’s an unbelievably smart coach,” Shipley said. “The creativity he brings to this group and to this offense, it’s been unmatched.

“But I think you’ve got to give a little credit to our offensive line coach, Coach Kugler, getting some of those 12- and 13-personnel runs dialed up in the last couple weeks. He’s been lobbying for it and he got a couple dialed up,” Shipley said.

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