Arizona Cardinals’ Jared Veldheer confident in team’s lines
TEMPE, Ariz. — Jared Veldheer has spent just one year in the NFC West, but really, that’s all a player needs to get a feel for just how physical a division it is.
The Arizona Cardinals’ left tackle held his own last season, helping his team win 11 games and nearly come away with the division crown.
His addition was just part of a complete offensive line makeover the team has undergone since Steve Keim was hired as general manager and Bruce Arians was tabbed to be the head coach, an effort that has continued into this season.
“I think your line wins the games, both sides of the ball,” Veldheer said after OTAs Tuesday in Tempe. “They kind of set the tempo for what’s happening, and if you can dominate the line of scrimmage you’re most likely going to win the game.”
It’s not exactly a revolutionary idea, of course, as it has long been said that winning in the trenches is the key to being victorious on the scoreboard. It’s why the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, two of the most physical teams in the NFL, have been the class of the division for most of the last five years.
“But with that ruggedness, that physicality, you know it’s fun because it’s always a big challenge and a big game,” Veldheer added. “That’s just what we live for, are those challenges. Being able to play in that division and win that division is huge. If you can win the NFC West, that’s a big accomplishment.
“That’s our goal this year. We know we were close last year, and close doesn’t cut it. We need to be able to finish and win the NFC West and push on to the championship.”
That’s the goal, and it’s why the Cardinals have invested so heavily in their offensive and defensive fronts.