TEMPE, Ariz. — Patience may be a virtue, just not in the NFL.
“I think being patient is being complacent,” quarterback Carson Palmer said.
With 26 new faces and as many as 14 new starters — eight on offense and six on defense — the Cardinals would appear to be in rebuilding mold.
“We’re not looking to build. We work every single day so that we can win on Sunday,” said running back Rashard Mendenhall, one of those new projected starters; nine of which were not on the roster a year ago.
“Those days of building for the future in the NFL, I see them as gone,” head coach Bruce Arians said prior to practice Wednesday. “It’s about win right now or, as a coach, you’re gone. As a coordinator, you may not make it to the fourth game. Too many of those have happened in the last three or four years.
“It’s win now,” he continued. “Too many teams have done it. I’ve been around teams that have done it. There’s no reason you can’t get it done.”
In the NFL, teams go worst-to-first on a regular basis.
For 10 straight seasons, at least one team has finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last place. Last season there were three such teams, including Arians’ Indianapolis Colts club, which went 11-5 following a 2-14 campaign.
The Cardinals went 5-11 a year ago, finishing in last place in the NFC West.
“We are excited to go play regardless of what expectations outside the building may be,” Palmer said. “We expect to stop the run and create turnovers on defense. We expect to be able to run the ball on offense and hit big plays. I don’t think anybody cares inside the locker room, what other people are saying or what we’re supposed to be, what we’re not supposed to be.”
As one of the many veterans on the team, linebacker John Abraham can’t afford to wait until next season.
“We’re going to be a tough team,” he said. “We’re going to be a team that’s going to play 60 minutes of football. That’s what our big thing is. I think we have that kind of team.”
So, patience? Yeah, that’s out the window.
“No, there’s no patience. I have no patience. You can ask those guys,” said Arians, laughing, referring to the players. “I have no patience.”