Carson Palmer needs a left tackle for Christmas, ESPN’s Jaworski says

Dec 13, 2013, 5:52 PM | Updated: 5:53 pm

The Arizona Cardinals’ offensive line has improved in recent weeks, but many would still consider it the team’s weakest unit on either side of the ball.

The shakiest position on the line has been left tackle. Levi Brown began the season as the starter, but his performance left much to be desired and he was dealt after four games. His departure thrust the imposing, but inexperienced, Bradley Sowell into the starting unit.

In an ESPN Insider article, football analyst Ron Jaworski takes a look at what each quarterback in the NFL is desperately missing on offense.

As I look around the league heading into Week 15, I see some very talented, established quarterbacks who could use some help from those around them. Well, ’tis the season for giving, so Santa Jaws is going to suggest the best present each of these quarterbacks could wish for this offseason.

Jaworski’s “holiday gift” to the Cardinals — and to Carson Palmer, specifically — is a left tackle. He says the position has been troublesome for the Cardinals “for years.”

The ESPN writer says Sowell is “doing a decent job,” but that the team has committed a lot of resources to helping him out, often deploying tight ends or running backs as reinforcements on passing plays.

When you need to commit another player to help out, that limits the offense. And protection is especially important for Palmer, who likes to get to the launch point and stay there because he doesn’t move that well.

The Cardinals obviously won’t have a savior step in at the position before the season ends, but if they commit to Palmer going forward, they might want to focus on strengthening their pass protection in the offseason.

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