ARIZONA CARDINALS

Carson Palmer on Cardinals’ opener: ‘Give them some time’

Sep 10, 2018, 10:18 AM
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer drops back to pass during the second quarter of an NFL ...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer drops back to pass during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
(AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Carson Palmer has been in Sam Bradford’s seat, debuting on a new team and playing under a first-year coaching staff.

The last time Palmer did it, Bradford was there, playing for the St. Louis Rams in September of 2013 and hosting an Arizona Cardinals team debuting Palmer at quarterback and Bruce Arians as head coach. That game ended as a 27-24 Arizona loss despite Palmer throwing for 327 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Five years later, Bradford’s first game as Palmer’s replacement for the Cardinals also ended in defeat.

Arizona put up less of a fight compared to the debut of their last head coach, falling 24-6 to the Washington Redskins on Sunday as Bradford completed 20-of-34 passes for just 153 yards and an interception.

Palmer, enjoying his retirement, was watching his successor and told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station that he empathizes with his former team.

“Let me start off by saying, give them some time. This is Week 1,” Palmer said Monday. “As you heard Coach Wilks say it, this is a reload — a reload doesn’t happen in Week 1, it doesn’t happen overnight. You look at this group and there’s great players on this team.”

Cardinals players didn’t express panic, nor concern after their season-opening loss.

Growing familiar with one another, however, wasn’t an excuse in the locker room. They expected more of themselves. But Palmer believes cohesion will take repetition and live game action to develop.

Bradford, who signed as a free agent this offseaosn, played sparingly in the preseason and could have more rust to knock off after he appeared in just two games last year before a knee injury ended his 2017 with the Minnesota Vikings. His offensive line includes a rookie center, two new players on the right side, and two returnees on the left side who each played less than half of last season.

“This offensive line, all five of these guys are just now playing with each other,” Palmer said. “And it’s nice to get some reps and some repetition with each other during camp and during practice, but it’s the games where you really start to get a comfort level of playing with each other.

“It’s not college football. In college football, you lose one game, your season’s kind of over if you’re trying to win a national championship,” Palmer added. “There’s so much more football to be played.”

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