2013 DRAFT GUIDE
Cardinals turn to youngster after trading Brown

By BOB BAUM - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-02 18:36

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Four games into the season, the Arizona Cardinals are turning to an undrafted second-year pro to step in at the crucial left tackle position.

Bradley Sowell, claimed off waivers from Indianapolis before the season began, will get the start Sunday against Carolina.

The biggest opportunity of Sowell's career comes after the Cardinals traded starter Levi Brown to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday for a conditional draft pick.

While Brown was the No. 5 pick overall out of Penn State in 2007, Sowell went undrafted out of Mississippi State last year. Initially, he signed with Tampa Bay but was released before the 2012 season began, then signed with Indianapolis.

With the Colts, he drew the attention of Bruce Arians, who moved up from Indianapolis offensive coordinator to interim head coach while Chuck Pagano battled leukemia.

``Excellent young athlete,'' Arians said, ``long, athletic. (He) got stronger and stronger as the year went on, and matured. He even looks bigger and stronger now than when we had him last year.''

The 6-foot-7, 315-pound Sowell appeared in 10 games for the Colts and was a backup at both tackles.

Arians and Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said they expect no drop-off from Brown to Sowell.

``Levi was playing so inconsistent that I think Bradley can step in and play at least to that level if not better,'' Keim said.

Sowell said he ``worked really hard'' for Arians in Indianapolis.

``In this business you never know when you're going to come back to a coach or how that's going to help you,'' Sowell said, ``and obviously it helped me out a lot with me giving him a lot of great effort last year and this year he's giving me a chance.''

Cardinals backup quarterback Drew Stanton was with the Colts last year and said he was impressed with Sowell.

``He was brought here for a reason,'' Stanton said. ``When he became available I knew that was a guy we were going to go out and try and get. I know Goody (Arizona offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin) and BA (Arians) both liked him last year. He was our first guy off the bench as tackle and played in that playoff game last year.''

Arizona saves $3.6 million in salary this year by trading Brown, but there are obvious risks in turning to an inexperienced player like Sowell on an offensive line that already was struggling through the first four games of the season.

With a less-than-mobile quarterback in Carson Palmer, the Cardinals can't afford to have pass rushers breaking free.

Asked before Wednesday's practice if he felt ready for the job, Sowell said ``as ready as I can be, I imagine.''

``I won't know until I get out there obviously,'' he said, ``but all I can do is try my hardest and get out there and see what I've got.''

Keim said there would be growing pains.

``We don't expect him to jump in and look like Joe Thomas week one,'' Keim said, ``but what we're banking on is a guy who's going to continually grow and get better and a guy we can win with in the future.''

Brown became a lightning rod for criticism of the offensive line's struggles over the years after the Cardinals passed on Adrian Peterson to select the big lineman.

As a rookie, Brown started at right tackle on Arizona's Super Bowl team but after he switched to the left side it became obvious he had trouble with quick pass rushers off the edge.

But he was missed a year ago, when he sat out the entire season with a torn triceps and Arizona stumbled to a 5-11 record, surrendering an NFL-worst 58 sacks.

Arians, replacing the fired Ken Whisenhunt, even called Brown an ``elite'' tackle.

But Arians' opinion changed through the offseason and training camp. The coach said the Brown he saw in person didn't play like the one he'd seen on tape.

Keim said that Brown ``was not living up to our expectations'' and that the team had been looking to trade him since the first week of the season.

Nate Potter, a seventh-round draft pick a year ago out of Boise State, will be Sowell's backup.

Notes: The Cardinals placed LB Vic So'oto on injured reserve with a chest injury and signed LB Marcus Benard. ... Arians says it's still ``iffy'' whether S Rashad Johnson will be able to play Sunday against Carolina. Johnson had the tip of his left middle finger cut off against New Orleans two games ago.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group