Cardinals coach Denny Green surprised his entire team Sunday by cutting starting center Pete Kendall on the eve of training camp.
Kendall, who moved to center last season after playing guard his first two seasons in Arizona, was stunned but didn’t want to comment other than to say he was shocked.
The move leaves fourth-round draft choice Alex Stepanovich as the starter, and takes one of the Cards’ best two offensive linemen of last season off the roster. The other, L.J. Shelton, has been demoted to second-string by Green.
“I’ve been waiting for the offensive line to play as a unit and it hasn’t,” Green said. “And I don’t think waiting any longer would help the situation.”
Green would not talk about Kendall specifically, other than to say the team did not do well as a group. Kendall, however, was one of the few players singled out by Green back in February — after Green watched film of 2003 — as a starter for 2004. He also was named to the starting lineup by Green at the end of offseason practices in late June, the last time players were together before Sunday.
Green did not address those issues, and that didn’t sit well with Kendall’s agent, Neil Schwartz.
“I want to know what the real truth is,” Schwartz said. “Pete Kendall not playing well, I find that hard to believe that’s the reason he was released.”
In other news, cornerbacks Duane Starks and Renaldo Hill, along with defensive linemen Kyle Vanden Bosch, Fred Wakefield and Kenny King, have all been cleared to practice after offseason surgeries or rehabs. Receivers Bryant Johnson (foot) and Nate Poole (back), linebacker Levar Fisher (knee) and safety Dexter Jackson (back) all will start camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list.