The Arizona Cardinals have a starting quarterback.
And, unlike the last few seasons, he has a track record of success.
Carson Palmer, whom the team acquired from the Oakland Raiders via a trade Tuesday, told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf the opportunity to come to Arizona was a “no-brainer.”
“You start thinking of the coaching staff they’ve put together and the players they’ve drafted and the players they’ve signed in free agency,” he said, adding that the locale being close to his west coast roots also played a role. “It made too much sense from every angle, really.”
The Cardinals feel the same way about adding Palmer, who at 33 may not be what he once was, but still appears to have something left in the tank.
Last season, which was his first full campaign in Oakland, Palmer completed 61.1 percent of his passes for 4,018 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was also picked off 14 times.
Those numbers are decent, and they’d be a far cry from what the team has received from the position over the last three seasons.
So, the organization will not only go into the new season with the usual optimism that surrounds a new coaching staff, but also that of a new quarterback who has been to a pair of Pro Bowls in his career.
Palmer said he is excited to work with coaches like Bruce Arians and Tom Moore, who are each known for their innovative offensive minds, as well as throw passes to a receiver of Larry Fitzgerald’s caliber.
“The trickle down effect you get from a guy like Larry makes average receivers really good and really good receivers great,” Palmer said. “I’m going to learn a lot from Larry.
“I’ve already started watching film on him; I’m starting to watch every single ball thrown his way and trying to see what he does really well, and maybe some things he can improve on and areas I can help him improve, because I know he’s the type of guy that’s always looking to improve.”
That right there is what this move is all about, for both Palmer and the Cardinals. Because while Palmer was productive in Oakland, he did not do a lot of winning. And the Cardinals, well, they’ve struggled in large part because of inadequate play from the quarterback position.
If all goes according to plan, both sides should get what they’re looking for out of this arrangement.
And if the union is not successful, it will not be due to a lack of effort or preparation from the quarterback.
“I know that we’re not blessed to play this game for very long and you have to take advantage of every opportunity,” he said. “You have to be a gym rat, you have to be studying film, you have to be improving.
“Because if you’re not, there’s too many guys out there who want to play in this league and want to play for this organization and this team that want your job.”