What's buzzing:

Cards revamped offensive line takes shape in camp

AP - Sports
After Ellington, Arizona RBs look for tough yards
.

View gallery

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Keeping Carson Palmer upright was a problem for the Arizona Cardinals' offensive line last season.

So the unit has been revamped, with the probability that there will be three new starters when the team opens the season.

The right side was supposed to be an area of great competition in training camp, but guard Paul Fanaika and tackle Bobby Massie have what appears to be a firm grip on the positions a week into workouts.

The left side has Arizona's prize free agent signing, Jared Veldheer, at tackle with 2013 first-round draft pick Jonathan Cooper at guard. Cooper missed all of last season with a broken leg.

Lyle Sendlein, the Cardinals starting center for the past six seasons, is out for three weeks with a calf injury but is expected to be ready for the team's season opener against San Diego on Sept. 8.

Cooper, the seventh overall pick in last season's draft, was the only lineman to draw criticism from coach Bruce Arians on Saturday.

''I feel really good about the right side. Paul is playing really well right now and Bobby's been outstanding,'' Arians said. ''A little disappointed with where Coop is right now. I hoped he would come a little faster, to get back into the speed of the game.''

Arians said Cooper's problem is ''rust.''

''He didn't play for a year. He got 15 practices before he got hurt in this offense,'' the coach said. ''We need to see that special player that we drafted that we had last year.''

Cooper split time with Earl Watford with the first unit in Saturday's practice.

''I know that I haven't been playing up to the level of potential that I have,'' he said afterward. ''I mean, it's all right. He called me out and now I have to just work that much harder to kind of get over that hump and be the player I can be.''

Cooper said the problem has been consistency.

''There's sometimes when I'm showing flashes and I feel and I look like the old player I was prior to being injured,'' he said. ''Then there's sometimes and you can look and see 'That's not the guy we picked up.'''

Palmer was sacked a career-worst 41 times last season, his first with the Cardinals. After some shuffling of players, the situation improved somewhat.

But there was a clear need for improvement, and that sent Arizona after Veldheer, the 6-foot-8, 321-pound tackle who blocked for Palmer in Oakland.

''Twenty-six years old, he's mean, he's athletic, he's got all the traits,'' Arians said. ''... Hopefully the tackle situation is going to be put to bed for about eight or 10 years.''

Earlier in the week, the Cardinals signed 10-year NFL veteran tackle Max Starks, a starter on two Super Bowl winners in Pittsburgh.

Last year, the Cardinals signed right tackle Eric Winston just before camp started, and he became the starter.

But, for now at least, Starks is a backup behind Massie.

''I feel very confident in Bobby,'' Arians said. ''He's having a great camp.''

Starks plays both tackle positions, giving the team ''quality depth,'' the coach said.

The 6-6, 316-pound Massie, a fourth-round pick in 2012, has had a hard time adjusting to the NFL game. But that's changed this year.

''This is my year,'' he said. ''I'm tired of sitting on the bench and watching the game. I need to be out there playing. I feel like this is the best condition I've been in mentally, physically at any level of football. ''

Watford, a fourth-round pick last season, was groomed for the spot, but Fanaika is winning that competition, even though Watford is having a strong camp.

NOTES: Saturday was the team's Fan Fest, which concluded with a live goal-line scrimmage. ... Rookie wide receiver John Brown, impressive thus far, sat out practice for the second straight day with a sore hamstring. ... The Cardinals were awarded linebacker Trevardo Williams off waivers from the Houston Texans. Williams, a fourth-round pick out of Connecticut last year, missed all of his rookie season with a knee injury. To make room, Arizona released cornerback Todd Washington. ... The Cardinals have Sunday off, then resume workouts on Monday.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

View Comments (8)
  • Adebayor excluded from Spurs' Europa League squad

    Adebayor excluded from Spurs' Europa League squad

    (Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur forward Emmanuel Adebayor has been dropped from the Spurs' Europa League squad as the out-of-favour striker remains in limbo at the club. Spurs were keen to part ways with the Togo international during the summer … More »

    Reuters - 9 minutes ago
  • Los Angeles bid is 'new start' for all, says LA mayor

    Los Angeles bid is 'new start' for all, says LA mayor

    By Karolos Grohmann BERLIN (Reuters) - Los Angeles' 2024 summer Olympics bid will be a new start for the United States as it attempts to land the first summer Games since 1996 and put the disappointment of Boston's failed effort behind it, the … More »

    Reuters - 15 minutes ago
  • Froome withdraws from Vuelta after heavy crash

    Froome withdraws from Vuelta after heavy crash

    Chris Froome's hopes of pulling off a rare Tour de France-Vuelta double are over after he was forced to withdraw before Thursday's 12th stage after a heavy crash on Wednesday left him with a fractured bone in his foot. The twice Tour winner and … More »

    Reuters - 16 minutes ago
  • Froome pulls out of Spanish Vuelta with broken foot

    Chris Froome has pulled out of the Spanish Vuelta after fracturing a bone in his foot. Froome, who had been hoping to win the Vuelta after winning this year's Tour de France, fell early in Wednesday's 11th stage and looked to be in pain for the … More »

    AP - Sports - 17 minutes ago
  • Los Angeles mayor pitches 2024 Olympic bid to IOC president

    Los Angeles mayor pitches 2024 Olympic bid to IOC president

    LONDON (AP) -- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Olympic officials have wasted no time in taking their bid for the 2024 Games to IOC headquarters. … More »

    AP - Sports - 31 minutes ago