Arizona Cardinals GM Ossenfort believes wins hinge on trenches

Aug 9, 2023, 4:29 PM

As the old expression goes, “Games are won and lost in the trenches.”

New Arizona Cardinals General Manager Monti Ossenfort is definitely a subscriber to that philosophy.

“I think the line of scrimmage is where every game is won or lost,” Ossenfort said while speaking with Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Wednesday. “I think it’s a focus … being able to control the offensive line of scrimmage and on defense, being able to disrupt the line of scrimmage.

“A big tenant of what I believe in the offensive line is versatility. … If you’re a one position guy on the offensive line, you better do it at a high level. If you look up and down our depth chart, we have a lot of guys who have experience at multiple positions.”

For his first draft as GM, Ossenfort spent the club’s first round draft pick, No. 6 overall, on Paris Johnson Jr., who’s currently first in the depth chart at right tackle. They also drafted Jon Gaines II, who’s currently the backup right guard.

Other notes from his interview with Wolf & Luke:

— On building a winning culture: “There’s a football component on the field, then there’s also a makeup component  makeup of a player that goes into it as well. Anybody we bring in here we want to be made of the right stuff: Mature, accountable, dependable, tough team. First, that’s at the forefront of our mind. It’s hard, it’s hard to win in this league. We have to go with the right players, and the right mindset.”

— On wins and losses in 2023: “The main goal for us is growth, improvement, continuing to develop our players, both young and old. … We’re asking guys to do different things than we’ve ever done. We’re trying to win every week. I’d like to tell you we’re going to go 17-and-0, well, I’ll make a bold prediction for you, we’re probably not. … We’re going to improve in all aspects of our football operations.”

— On the competition for backup running back behind James Conner: “I think there’s competition behind that. It’s just like every position on our team. If there’s a chance somewhere along the line we can improve our roster somewhere, we’ll will look at every avenue to do that. If not, we’re happy with the guys we have now.”

— When speaking of the progress of quarterback Clayton Tune: “There’s a lot of good competition in (the quarterback) room. We have a long way to go here, but I’m happy with the progress we’ve had down at that position.”

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