Former NFL executive and current NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt thought Carson Palmer would be a good fit in Arizona.
Having visited the team during training camp, he came away impressed with the veteran’s performance and thought a good season awaited the former Raider.
Seven games into the season, that has not been the case. Palmer is second in the NFL with 13 interceptions, and while the Cardinals are a respectable 3-4, little of their success has had anything to do with the quarterback.
“He’s just gone backwards,” Brandt told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Thursday, pointing to his stats. “You know, their defense is playing pretty good but you just can’t have a quarterback that’s underperforming like that and expect to have a winning record.”
Palmer’s struggles have led many to call for head coach Bruce Arians to make a change to backup Drew Stanton. A 29-year-old who was with Arians in Indianapolis last year, Stanton has not thrown a regular season pass since 2010, and has completed 104-of-187 passes for 1,158 yards with five touchdowns and nine interceptions in his career.
But even if Stanton offers a bit more mobility than Palmer, which could come in handy with Arizona’s offensive line, Brandt says the decision to make a change should only come when the Cardinals decide their season is essentially over.
“When you come to that point, then I think what you have to do is say, ‘OK, we’re going to try and win games but we’re also going to try to develop a quarterback,'” he said. “And when it comes to that point, then all of a sudden you make the change at quarterback.”
It’s a decision Arians has given no hints to being ready to make, but if Palmer continues to have issues — with his passes or the offensive line — it’s one that could ultimately happen.
As Brandt said, that it has even gotten to this point is a surprise to him. There is no denying Palmer has not played well, and there’s no guarantee things will turn around for the former Heisman Trophy winner and number one pick.
And if it doesn’t, then a change will probably be made.
“But I think what you do is, sooner or later, you have to say, ‘Well, I guess Palmer just can’t do it anymore,'” he said.