Arizona Cardinals general manger Steve Keim ended an interview with Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Tuesday with what were likely the most important words he said over the course of the nearly 12-minute conversation.
“We think we got better as an organization today, so we’re excited.”
Keim, of course, was referring to the acquisition of Carson Palmer, who instantly became the team’s starting quarterback upon the trade’s completion.
And, also, the best passer they’ve had since Kurt Warner retired in January 2010.
A two-time Pro Bowl selection who owns career passing marks of 29,465 yards, 189 touchdown passes and a QB rating of 86.2, Palmer brings a level of credibility the team has not had at the position in recent years.
“Once I had an opportunity to come in and watch the tape, and I actually sat down and watched every one of his throws from the past three years, and I’ll tell you what, the guy’s ability to make those anticipatory throws,” Keim mused, pointing to specific routes. “The things that Bruce asks his quarterbacks to do in this offense were really some of Carson’s strengths, and that’s really what excited us.”
Palmer, 33, is coming off a season in which he threw for 4,018 yards and 22 touchdowns on a bad Raiders team. He’s no longer considered an “elite” quarterback, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks the Cardinals are downgrading at the most important position in sports.
Most, in fact, would argue the team got better.
“When we took the job, Bruce talked about ‘door number two’ and I talked about that we’re going to exhaust all of our resources in trying to get this position in better shape,” Keim added. “And upgrade not only at the starting position, but in terms of depth as well.”
Palmer is not the only quarterback the Cardinals have added, as former Colts backup Drew Stanton was brought on board just a couple weeks ago. It was thought at the time the former Michigan State star would be Arizona’s starter but then again, no one knew Palmer would be available to the team.
And, maybe, another option they like will be available later this month in the NFL Draft. Keim said the additions of Palmer and Stanton will not preclude them from adding another passer, provided they think he can help.
“As we know, this is a quarterback-driven league,” Keim said. “There’s 32 teams and there’s not enough good quarterbacks out there.
“I think that history tells you you’ve got to continue to build depth, and not only depth but quality depth. And we’ll have a nice mixture, if we draft one, where you’ll have Carson Palmer, who’s 33, you have Drew Stanton, and then you could have a young guy in there.”