Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Saturday, December 13, 2008
Line shuffling common for also-rans

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Way back during training camp, the Cardinals were stressing continuity. They brought back their coaching staff and most starters, including all five starters on the offensive line. Center Al Johnson went on injured reserve before the season, but Lyle Sendlein might have been the choice, anyway.

Thirteen games into the season, the Cardinals are the only team in the division to start the same five on the offensive line in every game. The 49ers have used five starting combinations. The Rams have used six. The Seahawks have used seven.

The Seahawks have used four starters at right guard, the most players to start at one position on the line among NFC West teams. The 49ers have used three right tackles. The Rams have used two starters at every position on the line but right guard, where Richie Incognito has started every game. The Seahawks have used two starters at every position but right guard, where Rob Sims, Floyd Womack, Ray Willis and Mansfield Wrotto have started.

Seattle has used a different starting combination on the line in each of its last five games, with at least one change at every position.

Eight offensive linemen in the division have started every game at the same position this season. The Cardinals' Mike Gandy, Reggie Wells, Sendlein, Deuce Lutui and Levi Brown made the list, as did 49ers left tackle Joe Staley, 49ers center Eric Heitmann and Incognito. Rams right tackle Alex Barron came close, but the team benched him for the start of its game at Arizona after Barron was late to a meeting.