Drew Stanton decided to sign with the Arizona Cardinals for a variety of reasons, but chief among them was the fact that he’ll get a chance to play.
“That’s why I jumped on it so quick,” he told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf on Thursday. “There’s a reason why this was my first visit and there is a reason why I left there with a contract in hand.”
Stanton, who has played in 13 games and thrown just five touchdowns against nine interceptions, comes to the Valley with an opportunity to play because Arizona, as we know all too well, has struggled to get quality quarterback play since Kurt Warner retired following the 2010 season.
Matt Leinart, Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer have all gotten a look, and so far none have been able to stake claim to the job.
So enter the 27-year-old Stanton, who at 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds looks the part, and arrives toting a rapport with new Cardinals coach Bruce Arians after playing for him with the Indianapolis Colts last season.
“He’s very cut and dry, what you see is what you get,” Stanton said. “And sometimes in this business it’s tough to sift through all the B.S. that exists in this league because you never really know what’s being told to you, if it’s true or what not.
“And he’s straight-forward. And I think he’s a guy that cares about players. He has that unique ability to rip you to shreds and then build you back up in a second.”
So when Arians told Stanton he’d have a chance to compete for the starting job, the quarterback believed him. And, armed with a knowledge of the offense Arians will be running in Arizona, may just have an early advantage in winning the role.
“It’s such a quarterback-friendly system, and his whole goal in all of this is allowing people to play to their natural ability,” Stanton said. “Their God-given ability that’s allowed them to get to this level.”
Stanton said his strengths — throwing the ball down the field as well as put touch on passes — are a perfect fit for what the coach will want to do.
Stanton said an Arians offense will look to gain yards in chunks, but with an understanding that establishing the running game is important. He said the coach “is not afraid to make a call if he feels like it’s going to be the one that’s going to help us win a football game.”
Stanton pointed to players like Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd and Robert Housler, as well as new running back Rashard Mendenhall, as reason to believe the offense will be able to score some points in 2013.
“The list goes on and on of weapons you have,” he said.
Of course it’s worth noting that those weapons, by and large, have been with the team the last few years and yet, the offense continued to struggle.
Stanton knows the issues are tied in large part to the quarterback play, and has no problem coming to town with pressure to succeed on his shoulders. Believing he may very well have a leg up on the competition due to his familiarity with Arians and the offense, he said it will really come down to his performance on the field.
“We play in a league where results is the bottom line,” he said. “Based off of our performance that’s how we’re graded out, that’s how we keep our jobs and feed our families.
“I know the inherent risk that comes along with playing this position, and I love it. And that’s why we put in all of the work, that’s why I’ve been doing everything I’ve been doing, trying to get an opportunity like this. And I’m going to do everything within my power to try and be the guy that’s taking snaps out there on Sunday.”