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As he leaves, Carson Palmer aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on January 2, 2018 – 4:59 pm

There were rumblings in the 2013 offseason that the Cardinals might try to trade for Carson Palmer, and I didn’t see it happening at first. The team needed draft capital to build in the first offseason of Steve Keim and Bruce Arians. When the trade finally did happen, it was for nothing, really. Whatever Palmer might have been at the time, even if he wasn’t the same QB he once was, it was still amazing the Cards essentially got him for dropping 43 spots late in the 2013 draft and giving up a late seventh-round pick in 2014.

Such is the price for success, huh?

In a lot of ways, Palmer was Kurt Warner 2.0, arriving in the desert for a rebirth. He didn’t quite reach the heights of Warner in terms of a Super Bowl appearance, but he did get to an NFC Championship game. Palmer had 16,782 passing yards and 105 TDs with a 91.1 passer rating in 60 games with the Cards, Warner was 15,843-100-91.9 in 61 games. As good as Warner was, he was never in the MVP conversation any year with the Cards, not like Palmer deservedly was in 2015. When Palmer had time to throw — and his receiving corps was at its best — he was an excellent quarterback.

Maybe we will never know just how much his finger was bothering him in the 2015 playoffs (he insisted it wasn’t a factor, and there are reasons to think it both was and was not.) We definitely will never know how exactly how that 2014 season or 2017 would have turned out if Palmer hadn’t gotten hurt. Seeing how good the Cards were in 2015, and how well they played in 2014 even when Drew Stanton was QB, you have to think 2014 was a missed opportunity.

But two intangible things always struck me about Palmer. One was his love of the process. I still think his great 2015 season, coming off the 2014 ACL tear, was built from an offseason in which Palmer embraced wholeheartedly in large part because he simply enjoyed it. It was hard coming off a serious knee injury, but he used the time to improve other aspects of his game — leading to an MVP-type year — and legit had fun doing it.

The other was Palmer’s leadership. Quarterbacks are mostly natural leaders. It’s tough to make it to this level at that position otherwise. But if you drew up the guy who you wanted to lead your team, Palmer was all of that. The way he carried himself, the way he handled success and failure — “He was the most resilient guy I’ve ever coached,” Bruce Arians said. “Bad play, good play. Good play, next play” — the way he made teammates want to play with him and for him. He was private yet he was good talking to people like me, understanding exactly what we were looking for in a quote even when the question might not have been the best.

A couple of seasons ago, Palmer said he wouldn’t mind playing 10 more years — after Tom Brady had said the same — knowing it wasn’t going to happen. He had too many young kids that he wanted to devote more time to, and after 15 years, getting beat up every week wasn’t very attractive anymore. The Cards are without a quarterback again, and the one that is leaving was pretty good.


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Posted in Blog | 54 Comments »


54 Responses to “As he leaves, Carson Palmer aftermath”

  1. By Kurt Pinto on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Our next head coach should be our last QB, yes I said it hire Carson Palmer NOW! FIRST: He if wants the job and is all in 100% let him have it. Keep the defense the way it is let Carson call plays and run Bruce’s offense. e can keep his hands off the defense. Give Becchter the title of Assistant coach.

    Just need to find a QB a capable as Carson to run the offense and see ya in the SB

  2. By tom manoogian on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    been a cardinals fan since 1967,jim hart was tough as nails as a qb,warner tough as nails and don’t think for one minute carson doesn’t belong in that group.i wish he could have won the big one,but he’s going out able to play with his kids,and be a healthy father,in this game it don’t get no better than that.good job carson going to miss you.you brought good to the cardinals,you should be proud.wishing you the best in your next chapter

  3. By SCarolinaCard on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks BA & CP!! As a 40+ year Cards fan these 5 years have been the best I can recall…even at 7-8-1 & 8-8!

  4. By JTDG on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    If you want to know why this team turned around in 2013, it was because of one man, Carson Palmer.

    Carson Palmer will never get the credit he deserves, he won’t get the ring of honor or the gold jacket that Warner did, but he had the same impact, better stats, and more wins as a cardinal.

    Without Palmer, this team would have been a 5-6 win team. He made a huge difference.

    He is one tough dude. The beatings he took over the past couple years would make anyone retire.

    It is sad that the organization couldn’t do more to protect him and give him weapons. He might have given us a couple of super bowls.

    Thanks Carson. Tell Keim, it is time to trade up and get your fellow USC QB.

  5. By SCarolinaCard on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Having said that, IMHO Stanton should be the QB vs Gabbert…until QB of the future is found.

  6. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I know it won;t happen, but I think the Cards FO or the new head coach should bring in Kurt Warner as the QB coach or assistant Offensive Coordinator……

  7. By Johnson on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Anyone who thinks we are a QB away from reaching the SB is a typical Cardinal Naive (fan?) – dont bother even reading those BS comments. This team needs a complete overhaul in coaching and players. A QB in the draft is a MUST, dont be a cheap organization anymore! We lack players in the Offensive Line/CB and parts of defense. This is the exact situation 7 years ago when Warner retired and the organization was clueless as a headless chicken. I hope they have learnt their lesson this time and do the needful if we ever want to win in the NFC West, forget the Super Bowl for now (like we were ever gonna win it) – first build the team.

    Palmer was a class act and probably spent his best years with a bad team. He made leaps and bounds in effect for AZ but constant injuries and bad plays in crucial times was ultimately his downfall. A garbage OL didnt help at all. But Salute to him for making a difference with this organization.

    Makes no sense for Fitz to play another year in AZ anymore. If he wants to play pick and chose a team that has the best chance to win a SB, The Belichick and Brady led Patriots is his best bet, if he ever wants to win a ring! Or retire now, no need to play another year in a team that probably wont even win 3 games next season!

    I dont have high hopes for this organization to succeed in the coming years with Keim still the GM, but thats our best bet now.

  8. By Richard S on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Wow 2 days, 2 aftermaths. I hope Larry sticks around another year. After losing a head coach and a quarterback, you don’t want to have to make up for losing Larry’s sure hands too. It’ll be a real task to find a receiver with Larry’s hands.

  9. By Chris G. on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I really hope there isn’t going to be another blog title starting with “As he leaves”.

  10. By D on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Amazing how close he and Warner’s numbers are in almost the exact amount of games.

    Palmer did a lot of good at the Phx Children’s Hospital, appeared to be a quality person, Thank you.

  11. By ChrisG on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    If this keeps up, Del Webb better start breaking ground on a new neighborhood.

  12. By Steve W on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Not unexpected at all, given B.A. leaving. New coach, new offensive scheme. It’s why I’ll be very surprised if Fitz doesn’t retire, seeing as he will have a new QB to learn as well.

    Thank you Carson for the time you spent with the Cards. You were a class act from Day 1, and true fans of the Cards appreciate everything you’ve done. I only wish you hadn’t suffered those injuries and had the chance to do something truly amazing – but I can’t imagine any fan could have been more disappointed than the players themselves.

    Have fun with your family and enjoy your retirement from the game!

    Steve W.
    Biggest Cards Fan in Virginia

  13. By JTDG on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Well, the cards now have 30 million in cap space for 2018 now Palmer retired.

    How does other players impact the cap?

    With BA and Palmer out, one might think Fitz is out too. His last home game sure seemed like it. If Larry retires it will free up 12 million in cap space.

    42 million in 2018

    Jared Veldheer’s cap hit is 10 million for 2018. His move to the right side was a disaster. He wants to keep playing. Do the cards keep him. If released or traded, he frees up 7 million in cap space

    49 million in 2018

    Mike Iupati is a long way from his pro bowl form in 2015. His cap hit is 9.7 million. But if released would free up 6 million

    55 million in 2018

    Tyrann Mathieu is due a 5 million dollar bonus in march. His cap hit is around 14 million. If released he saves 5 million this year and 14+ in 2019. He played well, but is he worth that kind of money when rebuilding?

    60 million in 2018

    Adrian Peterson has a salary of 3.5 million , but is he needed with DJ coming back and the surprise play out of Williams and Penny, not to mention TJ Logan is back.

    63.5 million in 2018
    115 million in 2019

    Needs;
    Oline, receivers, QB, CB2

    I trade everything I got for that QB. Sign Norwell and Pugh at guards and Either Travis Swanson, Evan Smith or Weston Richburg at Center. You have the cap room. I would roll with Holden at RT one more year with Wetzel backing up. It could be 30 million or more for the 3, but you can afford it.

    Sign two receivers to go with Nelson and Chad Williams and resign T. Williams at CB2 (draft your CB2 in 2019.

    You will struggle with a rookie QB, but with a solid line and DJ in the backfield, you could have that rookie be productive (see Dak)

  14. By Scott H on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    OK, maybe Warner was never in the MVP discussion as a Cardinal. But, c’mon….he DID take the Cardinals to a SB, which is to say he took the Cardinals to heights they’ve never known before or since.

    I’ll take that over Palmer’s being in the MVP discussion in 2015 any day. Because I know I was a lot more fulfilled after that 2008 season than I was after 2015.

    For the record, we know that Warner was a 3-time Pro Bowler, he was a 2-time league MVP, AND a Super Bowl MVP. Palmer resume pales in comparison.

    I’m sorry, I’m picking the wrong moment for this, I know this one is about Palmer’s contribution as a Cardinal. And I’ll buy him a beer any time and I’ll welcome him into the ROH right now. But…..for me, it is just a bad idea to invoke comparisons to Kurt Warner. For overall career accomplishment, Palmer just doesn’t measure up.

  15. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Career comparison

    No one was comparing careers. I was comparing Cardinals’ tenures. And unfortunately Kurt’s MVPs came long before he was a Cardinal.

  16. By mal on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Please, Darren, no more “as he leaves” blogs!

  17. By Scott H on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I have to say, in looking at Palmer’s career numbers, I was surprised to see that his career win / loss record is barely above .500. I think it’s 92 wins to 88 losses or right around there.

    But regardless, I AM grateful for the Carson Palmer years. After what we endured from 2010 thru 2012, Palmer was a gift from the Gods. He made us legit again, no doubt about it.

    It was a match made in heaven, really – Palmer needed a new gig after being consigned to hell in Oakland, somewhere where he would have a chance to lead a good team somewhere. And the Cardinals were on the up-swing, back to being a good team, but in need of a QB to lead them. It was perfect. Add in BA’s arrival and all was good with the world once again!

    He was a good guy, a class act, from all accounts a tremendous team-mate, and as tough as they come. He has team captain qualities.

    Of the 3 guys we were all watching going into this off-season, I think Palmer’s retirement makes the most sense and probably should have seemed the most likely. He’s a few more years down the road from where Fitz is and has had multiple seasons ended by serious injuries. I guess after you’ve had enough of those…..you just know.

    I wish him well going forward. Wonder if he’ll be showing up in a media role…hey, if Tony Romo can do it, Carson Palmer sure as hell can! And probably a lot better.

  18. By Tradersbrain on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I’ve owned two NFL football jerseys in my lifetime …. one a number 9 Cincy Bengal jersey and the other a number 3 Arizona Cardinal jersey. What they both had in common was the last name on the back …. “Palmer”. Thanks CP for being a great Trojan, Bengal, Raider and Cardinal. It was a pleasure watching you play.

  19. By AYRW on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I’m gonna miss Carson Palmer. But I have a feeling that Keim will sign James Bettcher as the next coach. I think he has the potential to be successful but is Goodwin gonna call offensive play then? If he is not, then who will be

  20. By AYRW on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    I also thought of Pat Shurmur, if we sign Pat Shurmur. It’s highly possible that Keim along with Shurmur will try to get Sam Bradford since he worked with Bradford throughout his career (Eagles, Vikings, and Rams), and Bradford will likely to sign with the Cardinals. Bradford is still young at the age of 30, but his injury is the biggest concern. So Keim needs to find a way to rebuild this offensive line. Releasing/trade Veldheer is ideal, then you could use that money to sign the big free agents that are coming up. This is just an idea, I don’t have a position on it. I just wanna hear your thought.

  21. By georgiebird on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Carson retiring is like Jim Hart retiring.
    1) great guys
    2) great passers
    3) no mobility
    4) long time QBs
    5) big game disappointments
    6) little to no post season success

  22. By georgiebird on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Forget comparing Carson to Kurt Warner. If you want to compare Carson with a current QB- then compare him to Philip Rivers. I think Rivers is a little better but Rivers and Palmer have had very similar careers.

  23. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Comparing

    Except I was comparing Cardinals QBs. When they were Cardinals QBs. I’m not sure why this is so hard for everyone.

  24. By CARDS62 on Jan 2, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H and others – I admit freely that if you give me any Cardinal QB to win a playoff game I go with 1) Kurt Warner 2) Carson Palmer 3) Jim Hart 4) Neil Lomax.

    We have to remember during our SB run which was magical that our defense played so far above their heads that they had nose bleeds until St. Patrick’s Day. First Atlanta and a young Matt Ryan who gave away snap count, and all the teams in the NFC kept turning the ball over to us.

    Second Kurt had FItz in his prime, Q, and Steve Breaston. Carson has old FItz, Michael Floyd, and Smoke Brown. Which group do you take?

    Carson had a better o line, but neither were above average. Hart had our best offensive lines.

    Third is who do you want as your OC Haley or Goodwin?

    I am glad we had Carson and also BA and this 5 year run has been our best in team history since I followed the team since 1970. Carson did make us competitive, but would always make a few bad decisions. Based upon team needs and salary cap requirements I think these moves will help us get back to the playoffs.

    I never gave up hope all the years I have followed the Cardinals, but I had very little hope most years the team was being ran by Bill Bidwill, but that has all changed under Michael Bidwill. I can not say he will get us to the Super Bowl, but I do know that he wants to and is trying to get us all our Super Bowl Victory.

    Key for next few years seem to be Steve Keim.

    Go Cards need a great off season.

  25. By brandon on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    hey JTDG; which Qb would you pick?

  26. By Louis Callegari on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    I agreed with Johnson what he said.

  27. By georgiebird on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Darren,
    Is that Warner before the velcro gloves or after the velcro gloves? lol
    Palmer is much better the the pre-velcro Warner- and Palmer can’t compare to the post-velcro Warner.

  28. By mitchaz on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Carson, you are one tough dude. You took a licking and kept on ticking. Your play in OT versus the Packers and your part in Hail Larry will always be a treasured moment. I wish you and your family the best in your retirement.

  29. By jaime on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    i read a lot of old school football fans opinions saying this and that but what majority of them dont know is that the NFL is much different now then just a few years ago, the dynamics have changed and it would be safe to say you are a hater and not that familiar with whats currently happening if you dont think the cards can be better now then before. i wouldnt be surprised if the cards are in the playoffs next season.

  30. By Mike S on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks Carson and best of luck in your future. I agree with an earlier comment, that we would not have enjoyed the success for the last 5 years without you.

    Now it’s move on. Get rid the Badger, Gressham and Upati along with a few others and start the rebuilding process.

  31. By JTDG on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    brandon,

    If I could get to pick #1, I like Sam Darnald.
    He needs some seasoning but he has everything you look for in a QB.

    If the best I can get to is pick 3 or 4, then I would take Josh Allen.
    More talent than anyone in this draft, but more raw than Darnald and Rosen.
    He has the strongest arm and most athletic. I think he tries to hard. He doesn’t know when to throw the ball away and live another day. I think he plays like he has something to prove. If you can calm him down and stress to him, you don’t have to make every play, he could be a great one.

    Luke Falk and Mason Rudolph would be 2nd round possibilities if you could not land that trade and had the right system for them. Something the falcons,redskins or niners run.

    Good news, if you fix the line with all the cap savings you can create, you have DJ to take a lot of the heat off the young QB.

  32. By jeffcardinalfan on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    please LORD do not let the cards sign Bradford or cousins or eli

    Bradford isinjury prone and GETS RATTLED EASY WHEN UNDER PRESSURE

    cousins is just good enough to get you beat

    eli doesn’t have much left AND WOULD WANT A MEGA CONTRACT-HIS FAMILy IS THE GREEDIEST FAMILY IN SPORTS

  33. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Read this utter bull puckey above: ” don’t bother even reading those BS comments. This team needs a complete overhaul in coaching and players.”

    Dave Pasch yesterday on radio: ” Cards went 8-8 with half their beginning team, retain cornerstone players at many key positions. Not far away from Championship caliber team, don’t write them off…”

    Yep, need QB and new whisperer. Bidwill and Keim did it once, no doubt they can do it again…big test, exciting days ahead. Negative people will be negative, positive people will be excited for what’s to come.

    CP was close send to best QB Cards ever had, and close to best stats in relatively limited, injured stint. Wanted one more year from BA, who sealed CPs retirement. But the only thing we can count on is change. Go Cards. Git er done.

  34. By Eric G on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Fitz MAY be next. I say may because if the Cards re-sign Stanton, I think Fitz might stay one more year, or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

    Thank you CP for 5 entertaining years of football. You made this team a contender and it could have won it all if Keim had put a better line together. With that said, I’m glad you are retiring. Time for a new QB.

    Keim better sell out and push hard for Darnold, Allen or Rosen. I don’t want Jackson and definitely not Mayfield. Mayfield is the one name I don’t want to hear on Draft day. Hopefully my track record doesn’t repeat. Two years ago, the one name I didn’t want to hear was Nkemdiche, last year it was Reddick. If Keim drafts Mayfield, he should be fired on the spot.

  35. By creditcard on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Except for the Warner days, when we decided to shift gears to Carson Palmer we went from embarrassment to being replaced by the word contender.

    Remember Max (moxy) Hall, Skeleton, Lindley, Leinart ….. ugh!

    Savvy pros like Warner and Palmer were the difference.

  36. By creditcard on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    I am patiently waiting for the next “As he leaves, Aftermath” for AMOS JONES

    I am in hopes it will be tomorrow.

  37. By Scott H on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Damn, Darren……did we have to remove Palmer from the team site skin that fast?? We couldn’t even give my man a few days in his honor?? That’s cold, man.

    I’m afraid to tune in right now for fear that there will be news that Fitz is now stepping down.

  38. By TucsonTim on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Watched Bruce Arians a Football Life last night. So one of the main reasons BA was fired from Pittsburg was his refusal to change his play calling which was getting Big Ben killed. They weren’t too crazy about the no risk it BS either.

    I give you Carson Palmer: shoulder nerve damage..missed games, ACL…lost potential SB season, dislocated finger on throwing hand…no lost games!!!, but a lost SB season, broken wrist…another lost season, concussion…only a missed game…

    I’m sure CP had plenty of more issues as he has been one of the most sacked and hit QBs for the past few years.

    Not living scared doesn’t equate to living dumb, BA.

    I’m grateful for 3 years of relevant football in Arizona. That wouldn’t have happened without the tenacity of one Carson Palmer.

    Thanks Carson Palmer. One of the greatest. You will be missed.

  39. By Scott H on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    creditcard –

    RE: Amos Jones

    I hear ya, brother. I have to believe that with Arians having stepped down, there will be a a house cleaning of the coaching staff.

  40. By JTDG on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    creditcard;

    I’ll give you your wish. As he leaves…. Amos Jones.

    He has been at the helm of one of the worst special teams in the NFL for the past 3 years. He finishes with Seattle running the KO back.

    He is under contract till the season officially ends and then has no contract. I can not for the life of me believe and new coach would come in and offer him a new coaching spot.

    I believe every coach will be gone, as any new coach should have the ability to form his own coaching staff. Say goodbye to them all.

  41. By Scott H on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Darren –

    RE: Warner / Palmer comparison

    OK, I get it, you weren’t making a career comparison. And, yes, Warner’s achievements that were rattled off in my post were achieved with the Rams.

    OK. Then, let’s just stick to their Cardinals careers, nothing more.

    And keeping it there, most of what I said still holds true for me. Palmer has his name on the greatest season any Cardinals QB ever had. I don’t discount the weight that carries. BUT that is defined by numbers – numbers that were achieved during the regular season. When Palmer got to the post-season with the Cardinals, it just wasn’t that great at all. One win, one loss.

    Warner didn’t match those numbers, the numbers that Palmer posted during that 2015 season. But when when Warner got to the post-season with the Cardinals, he did SOOOO much more. Four wins, two losses. And let’s be honest – the game Warner played against Green Bay in that 51-45 barn-burner was beyond any game Palmer ever played. I think it’s the greatest game ANY QB played – EVER.

    Warner played his best on the big stages, took the team beyond what they seemed capable of. Palmer did not perform well on those big ( = post-season ) stages. He just didn’t.

    Warner had the greater impact. And his numbers here were certainly nothing to sneeze at but never mind the numbers – look what the team achieved when he was at the wheel. Post season glory, the likes of which this organization has never known.

    BTW, Warner also posted one of the top 3 passing performances in SB history at the time that 2008 SB was played. And he already owned the other two.

    Palmer’s stats may have been better. But to what end? The overall impact seems so much less because the post-season glory was pretty minimal.

    Just saying, I’ll take the ride Warner took me for over the one I got from Palmer.

  42. By Johnson on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL — I am guessing I did not get a thumbs up from you, no need to answer that, its rhetorical. All i can read what u said is blah blah blah, probably a high school kid could have given a better rhetoric.

    Copying and pasting what Dave Pasch is saying is quite easy but exactly how do you think this team is anywhere near Championship caliber, only your naive mind can answer that..again its rhetorical.

    “Bidwell and Keim did it once, no doubt they will do it again” …..at that point you could have just said, The Patriots keep winning and keep reaching the Super Bowl, no doubt, Cardinals will do it as well? Dont u people think before writing or giving an analogy? Just cause something happened in 2013, isnt necessarily going to happen again in 2018 unless its planned properly and expecting Keim to do anything is definition of insanity! – A QB search should have been started 2 seasons ago!

    Wanting something and thinking about it are 2 different things – in 30 years in AZ this team has only reached the playoffs 5 times – more or so 4 times in the last 10 years! – and thats not Fake news! There are 3 others team just in the NFC West who are looking lights our ahead than us, ofcourse your feeble thoughts wont be able to perceive that.

    There is a good reason why I love reading the comments of JTDG and Scott H who bring logic and numbers to the Cardinal equation and how this organization can get better, whether its realistic or not doesnt matter – at least I realize there are fans who are trying hard and are frustrated with the status quo – but hey do what you do best, Stay Naive!

  43. By CARDS62 on Jan 3, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG I am not saying they should but based upon interviewing him for head coach and if they hire a HC primarily with an offensive background I can see the Cardinals keeping our defensive coordinator. Most of the coaches thank goodness are history.

  44. By Scott H on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    CARDS62 –

    Happy New Year to you, my friend!

    For whatever reason, you are one of the few who get me and find anything worthwhile in my posts. And for that, I thank you.

  45. By JTDG on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    According to the announcers the last game of the season, Pat P went to Bettcher with 7 or 8 games left in the season and told him he needed to simplify the defense and stop with trying to be so complicated.

    If you look, that is where the team began to improve on defense. Bettcher still has a lot to learn in my opinion. Could he come back and be better in 2018? Sure, why not. Especially if he is open to a leader having a talk with him.

    But I think there are some very good players on defense that any DC would love and be successful with.

    Can you stop the run? Peters did a nice job and Mauro and Pierre are turning into two pretty good run stuffers too. Then you will have two really fast ILBs in Reddick and Buc to get to the corners. I think Jones is a beast in the run game but you need to resign Martin as he is a better run stuffer than Golden.

    Can you rush the passer? Chandler Jones is dynamic and you will have the return of Golden and his 12.5 sacks. Pierre showed a little push racking up 5.5 sacks. He will be even better in 2018.

    Can you cover ? Pat P takes out the other teams best receiver. That is huge. With T Williams, we had success on WR2. The slot is our weak spot and when we play zones and get a safety isolated on a receiver, which caused Pat P’s sideline display as twice the eagles beat safeties deep.

    Overall, the pieces are there to make them a pretty good defense. Get a CB2 and resign T Williams for the slot and keep Bethea in center field and this defense will be fine with or without Bettcher.

  46. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Johnson:

    “Anyone who thinks we are a QB away from reaching the SB is a typical Cardinal Naive (fan?) – dont bother even reading those BS comments.”

    Well, what changed from 2012 to 2013, taking us from 5-11 to 10-6? It certainly wasn’t the impact of our #1 draft pick Jonathan Cooper, who never played. The draft as a whole was pretty middling (Minter in the 2nd, Okafor and Watford in the 4th). The only star-caliber player was the Honey Badger. They didn’t sign Veldheer until the next year.

    I’ll tell you what changed from 2012 to 2013… Adding Carson Palmer. And of course BA, but BA doesn’t play. Can a QB alone make that big a difference? Abso-freaking-lutely.

    Look at the Colts, who were perennial playoff contenders for years with Manning… went 2-14 when he was out with his neck injury, giving them the #1 pick in 2012… and then rebounded to 11-5 in Luck’s first year. Did that much change with the rest of the team going from playoff contender, to doormat, to contender in three consecutive years? No, it was the QB.

    Or look at the 49ers just this year. 1-11 start. Then switch to Garoppolo at QB. 5-0 finish. What changed in SF besides Garoppolo taking over? Nothing. Sure, they had a gift in their last game because the Rams were resting their starters, but the two weeks before that, they were playing teams fighting for playoff position in the AFC. Those were not fluke wins.

    We had a team go 8-8 despite losing our best player for the whole season and our QB for more than half of it. Yes, there are holes and yes, there is work to be done, but your implication that this team will win only 3 games next year is ludicrous. They won 3 of their last 4 games this year — including games against the Titans (playoff team) and Seahawks (who were trying to win to get into the playoffs) with Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton at QB. If those two guys can lead the team to 3 wins in just 4 games, why do you think next year’s team can only win 3 games all year, regardless of who the QB is?

  47. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Correction, 1-10 start for the 49ers, not 1-11.

  48. By Rob in Phx on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Carson – Thank you for your 5 years with the Cardinals. You performed at a high level, you were a great leader & class act. Best wishes!

    SK – Please get us one of the top FA QBs available this year in this order:
    Drew Brees, Alex Smith, Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum.
    Not interested in Eli, Bradford, Bridgewater, T Taylor or J Cutler.
    Resign Drew Stanton, not Blaine.
    Draft Mason Rudolph in the 2nd round.

  49. By JTDG on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa,

    For reasons I listed above about the defense, I think we win more than 3 games. That would be a total collapse.

    I think the key is what happens with the OLine and receivers. We have DJ and if he is able to get some holes, whoever the QB is will be helped.

    The issue lies if the receivers can’t get those safeties out of the box and run blitzes. This is a good draft for playmaking receivers. Maybe not high profile guys, but we can find a couple of guys I would be excited about in this draft.

    With FA olineman and a couple of receivers, this offense may be able to support a rookie QB. But don’t get your hopes too high, even the best rookie QBs struggle a bit (see Wentz and Goff) .

    I think if this team adds a couple rookie receivers and a rookie QB, as excited as we all will be, history says 5-7 wins. But I think if that Oline can open holes for DJ, we could get to 8-9 wins if we also find that CB2.

    It is 2019 you would want to circle

  50. By Cardinal's Chick on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Darren –

    I this read blog religiously, although I haven’t commented much, if at all, this season. I love the way you respond to questions/comments in such matter-of-fact fashion. Especially the “I’m not so sure why this is so hard for everyone” comment above. It made me chuckle. I can think of several times during this season when that would have been an appropriate response. Throughout the year several contributors have posted a thank you for the job that you do. I want to do so as well…

    Onward to 2018! Go Card’s!!!

  51. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H —

    Re: Warner vs. Palmer

    I agree that the ride with Warner was great, just because we made it to a SB.

    That said, think back to that year. Did you really enjoy the full season as much as, say, the “All or Nothing” year? The previous year we’d gone 8-8. No one really expected the Cards to do much the next year either. We limped into the playoffs with a 9-7 record, a function primarily of going 6-0 in an otherwise horrible division (with a +79 point differential). Against the rest of the league, we were 3-7, minus 78 points. That was the team that Cris Collinsworth called one of the worst playoff teams in NFL history, and to be honest, rightfully so (although I’d put this year’s Titans in that category as well, with their 9-7 record and negative differential).

    Warner was OK (not great) in the first two playoff games that year… decent but not great completion percentage, a pick in each game, under 300 yards. The key in the division round was the defense picking off Delhomme 5 times. He was great in the NFC Championship (4 TD’s), but we were fortunate to be playing the 6th seeded Eagles who knocked off the top-seeded Giants. And then of course there was the SB, where Warner was overall very good, but also threw the pass that changed the entire course of the game — the 100 yard INT return.

    When I look back, it was a great playoff run, but I don’t recall having nearly the full-season excitement in 2008 (and then the early 2009 playoffs) that I did in our 13-3 year, or even the 11-5 year after we just missed the playoffs in Palmer’s/Arians’ first year. Those years, we went into the season as legit contenders. We were getting prime time TV games. People noticed the Cardinals.

    The funny thing is, I kinda think Warner’s LAST year with the Cardinals is comparable to the All or Nothing year. Expectations were higher (having gone to the Super Bowl), and the team actually did better in the regular season, finishing 10-6 and with a more respectable point differential (+50). After an exciting first game (against Green Bay in both cases), the team’s dreams ended with a thud in a blowout the next week. In 2009, it was the Saints; in 2015, it was the Panthers.

    Personally, I think we look back on the Warner years with some rose-colored glasses, in part because things immediately went south as soon as he left, and in part because we say “he” took us to our one Super Bowl. But that playoff run was a team effort (Fitz had a playoff for the ages, and I mentioned the 5 INT performance by the D). Who knows — maybe if the 6th seed had knocked off Carolina in 2015, instead of Philly knocking off NYG in 2009, we’d be toasting Palmer today as the guy who took us to the SB, and Warner would just be the QB who lost in the NFC title game.

    Don’t get me wrong — Warner was great. But in terms of relative impact during my time as a Cardinals’ fan, I think Palmer’s tenure was just as significant.

  52. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 4, 2018 | Reply

    And of course it kinda sucked for Palmer that his first year, when the team went 10-6, that wasn’t good enough for the playoffs (despite 9-7 and 10-6 being good enough not only for the playoffs, but the division title in Warner’s last two years — so we got home playoff games both years), and then his second year, when he was 6-0 personally and the team was 11-5, he wasn’t able to participate in the playoffs due to injury.

  53. By Scott H on Jan 6, 2018 | Reply

    Kevin –

    First, Happy New Year to you, my friend.

    Thanks for the thoughtful response. To answer your question – and yes, it is with 20-20 hindsight that I answer your question – yes, I really DID enjoy the 2008 regular season as much as I did the 2015 season. I absolutely did. Yeah, there were some pretty disturbing performances along the way ( Thanksgiving in Philly, the 47-7 loss in NE ), but it ended in a division title. Look where we’d been for the previous couple of decades. When was the last time we won a division title? Shoot, I couldn’t get that t-shirt fast enough! Hey, what can I say – that was the FIRST time during my time as a fan I saw that. And it was like reaching the moon at the time.

    Something else I say with absolute certainty – for me, there was so much more confidence in Warner than there was with Palmer. Because Warner had the track record of being able to play his BEST when it mattered the most. It made going into those post-seasons more exciting for me. Can’t explain it any better than that. There was just a different FEELING for me when we went into the playoffs with Warner.

    I DO agree that the 2009 regular season was a better season for the team AND for Warner. The team was more solid, more consistent. They never lost consecutive games. And there were no WTF blow-outs that made you go “wait a minute…”

    But in my humble opinion, we were not going to that SB without Warner. Without Warner, Fitz – even with all his greatness – doesn’t reach the levels he did. What other QB was going to lead us to a SB at that time? Leinart? Definitely not. I recognize that we had a VERY good defense…..some great offensive weapons in Fitz and Boldin…..Todd Haley was a key component…..but for me, Warner was the key to it all. He was ultimately the engine that drove us to that SB. You take Warner out of that picture, this team doesn’t have enough to make it to – and to come as close to winning as they did – a Super Bowl.

  54. By Craig H on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    So many fans ready to throw in the towel and go full rebuild…. Why? Have you forgotten that we lost David Johnson after one week? A once in several decade talent, coming into his prime if healthy. So you want to waste 2 years of his career on rebuild? SMH. Make a deal to get a high pick at QB. Rookies can succeed in the first year or two. See Wentz, Goff, Dak. Use the cap space on O-line. Give yourself a legit shot at contention in 2019. Go Cards

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