***Before we jump into Kobe (Kobe!) a quick shout out to the best two (ish) weeks on the countdown each year. The underappreciated offensive linemen. I won’t mention the departure of the previous coach or the affiliated ‘cookies’ from said coaches spouse but instead focus on the nice little pickup for this group in Coach Bicknell, who has been around the world (and I, I, I..) but spent a good chunk of time in the NFL and the SEC. A tenured coach who brings energy, a deep voice, and should have some depth to work with in 2021***
#77 Kobe Baynes
Position: Offensive Line
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Thoughts: The Cards pulled in Baynes on early signing day back in 2019 and fought off the likes of Miami, FSU, Ole Miss, Arkansas and others who were heavily pursuing the talented guard out of Jacksonville. Baynes played with a good amount of speed and showed nice movement in high school, getting as footloose as a 6-4, 297lb man can be. While the size is nice, the attraction from the Cards and others was that Baynes already had nice technique and could really use his athleticism to get down field and make plays.
The Cards needed bodies on the O-line ever since Satterfield walked in the door, and not only did Ledford coach them up, he also helped pull in some really talented guys like Kobe to add depth up front, knowing that the Satterfield mentality is run first, run second, and (checks notes, 3rd and 12), run third as well. While Baynes saw no action last year behind the vets Chandler, Bell, and DeGeorge, 2021 could be a different story if he puts in the work. I think Chandler is cemented in his spot pretty firmly, but left guard is still ‘open’ with Adonis Boone sliding over from tackle to try and take on that role while Baynes can push him, in my opinion. We still got a full camp to go but I think Kobe is in the 7-8 man rotation come game day.
Lots of tweets and retweets from Kobe about “patience” and “just waiting my turn” and “blessed to be in this spot” type stuff. Love the attitude and the mentality of knowing he needs to grow in some areas and working to get better every day so he can see the field. I’m not going full “old man mode” here but with the portal door swangin’ back and forth like the saloon doors of the busiest bar in the wild west, it’s nice to see a young man have patience and understand the grass ain’t always greener…I mean, we got field turf up in this motha.