Levi Brown has not gotten much love from fans. He has been compared to Leonard Davis, called a bust and has been the whipping boy for fans pretty much since he came into the league. He played a pretty solid second half of the season in 2011 and ended up getting a new five-year contract after being cut (salary cap issue from rookie contract).
Now, after three preseason games, he gets hurt and might miss the season. If this had happened a season or two ago, the truth is that fans would probably be cheering inside -- not because he is hurt, but because he wouldn't be playing.
That isn't the case anymore.
With the quarterback issues the Cardinals are having right now, they need protection from the offensive line. They have had big issues with the line protection. Kevin Kolb is seeing defenders in his face almost instantaneously, which is causing his issues. Yes, it is preseason, but the line is giving fans major reason for concern.
But if there is something to note, it is the fact that almost all the issues of the line this preseason can be isolated to the right side of the line. Levi Brown, Daryn Colledge and Lyle Sendlein have been consistent. The new guys in the lineup -- Adam Snyder and Jeremey Bridges/D'Anthony Batiste -- have been the culprits.
As hated as Brown has been, he still is the most important piece of that line at left tackle. The Cards are ill-prepared for his loss. Behind Brown at the tackle position, they are not proven players. Bridges is a fighter, but is journeyman player and average at best. Then they have another journeyman in Batiste, who at age 30 has logged four career NFL starts. They have two rookies -- Bobby Massie, who is seen as a right tackle, and Nate Potter a raw seventh round pick -- and a player that has been active for only on NFL game in his career in D.J. Brown. Free agent signee Adam Snyder can play tackle, but is having issues playing on the interior line. Rookie Senio Kelemete played tackle in college, but is expected to play guard in the NFL.
With the offensive woes that have been seen in the preseason for the Cards, just wait to see the issues now. Brown is the best run blocker on the line. His loss will affect the running and passing game. You think the quarterback play is questionable now? Wait until the pressure comes from the right and the blindside.
Unless one of these unproven players really steps up or the offense is modified to get the ball away more quickly, it might not matter who plays quarterback for the Cardinals. And unless the defense is everything it hopes to be, it could be a very disappointing year for the Cardinals.