Unhappy with the play of his blocking unit through the first six games of the season, Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green has demoted veteran offensive line assistant Bob Wylie, and re-assigned him to a rather nondescript role in the scouting department.
The Friday move, coming just two days before the 2-4 Cardinals travel to Buffalo for a matchup with the Bills, caught many in the organization by surprise. While he was not publicly critical of Wylie, a 14-year league veteran hired this spring, Green made it clear he held the assistant coach at least partly culpable for the unit's performance.
"Any time you make a change, you do it because the chemistry is not what you want it to be, and that's why," said Green, explaining the move. "I think I have no bones [about] what I expect from our football team. Some of our guys are getting it and some of the guys are not quite there yet. I think most of the coaches get it, but we will still drive. This is a crucial point in the season."
And, as is the case with every offense, the line is a critical component.
Former NFL offensive lineman Everett Lindsay, who had no coaching experience at any level before last month, will replace Wylie, who will fill a rather loosely defined player evaluation role.
Lindsay, 34, played 11 seasons in the NFL, including nine in Minnesota, and most of those were spent while Green was the Vikings head coach. He signed with Arizona as an unrestricted free agent this spring but was released before the start of the season. Green hired him Sept. 29 to serve as the assistant offensive line coach.
A former University of Mississippi star, Lindsay appeared in 136 games and started in 63 of them in stints with the Vikings (1993-98 and 2001-03), Baltimore Ravens (1999) and the Cleveland Browns (2000). Green cited his familiarity with the offensive system as one of Lindsay's strengths and qualifications for the job.
This marks the second time in recent weeks that Green, in his first season as head coach of the Cardinals, has tweaked his staff. In late September, with the offense struggling, Green hired longtime aide Carl Hargrave as a consultant. Making in-season coaching changes, or altering responsibilities on his staff, is not unusual for Green.
Despite overall improvement in the offense over the past three games, when first-year starting quarterback Josh McCown has stepped forward, Green felt the line unit still was not playing to its capabilities.
"It's the head coach's call," Green said. "If I see something I'm not pleased with, I will not hesitate to do it. I hate to do it, to be honest with you."
Wylie, 53, was among Green's first hires when he began assembling a staff and he signed a three-year contract. He previously worked with the New York Jets (1990-91), Tampa Bay (1992-95), Cincinnati (1997-98) and Chicago (1999-2003).
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.