Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Will extra time really help Levi Brown?
By Josh Weinfuss
TEMPE, Ariz. – Levi Brown and Bruce Arians had a similar message after watching tape from Sunday’s loss to the Rams.
All it’ll take to correct Brown’s poor technique is extra time, the Arizona Cardinals left tackle and coach said. The more reps he puts in after practice, the better his hand position will be.
But isn’t that what training camp was for?
Arians let Brown off the hook a little Monday, but made it clear the built-in excuse won’t carry much weight.
“Missing [organized team activities] hurt him tremendously with the new coaches,” Arians said.
“I don’t give him any [leeway] because we’ve had training camp. Like I said, I’ve seen it with tackles before. They just have to continue to practice and work on it -- grab pass-rushers and work on it. It’s something that is easily correctable.”
Granted, it would take anyone more than a few preseason games and one regular season game to get back into form, but the Cardinals are limited, both on the roster and the waiver wire, so this is what they have to work with until they can make a trade or a waiver claim.
After the game, Arians reminded everyone that Brown’s job was up for grabs during camp, but backup Nate Potter didn’t claim it.
To Arians’ credit, he built the game plan around protecting Brown, adding help in the form of running backs and tight ends. But when the backs leave their assignments early for their routes, it puts Brown on an island nobody wants him on.
And there are only so many times Arians could or would stack that side of the line with blockers, because it limits options for quarterback Carson Palmer, and that could lead to a whole new set of issues.
“I call that button-up,” Arians said. “You’re all blocked up with nowhere to go. Somebody else is going to get there soon enough.
“I learned that lesson a long time ago with Kevin Carter and Jevon Kearse. We had them blocked all day and we got sacked five times.”
Palmer was sacked four times Sunday, with three of those coming through Brown. When he was alone, Brown reverted to old habits.
“It was all technique,” Arians said. “Take a guy around the corner, using your hands properly instead of getting your hands batted down and giving up the soft edge.
“Any time you play left tackle and you throw 40 times and you block him 36 times, you give up three sacks … they’re going to stand out at left tackle.”
Brown said he’s open to putting in more time after practice with whoever will stay late with him -- with whoever will help him get off that island. It’s on the seven-year veteran to make sure he doesn't get shipwrecked again.
“Do whatever I have to do to be prepared,” Brown said. “Whether I was (rusty) or wasn’t, not the result I wanted to get. Have to get back to work and get ready for Detroit.”