Managing Palmer expectations

Posted by Darren Urban on May 20, 2013 – 9:50 am

It’s been clear from the day the Cardinals acquired Carson Palmer that Bruce Arians was high on his abilities — I mean, why wouldn’t he be? — but that was reiterated during an ESPN interview this weekend when Arians was talking about his veteran QB.

“What he did last year with the Raiders, in a crazy situation, I thought was very, very impressive,” Arians said.

Let’s recap what Palmer did: In 15 games, he threw for 4,018 yards, 22 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and completed 61 percent of his passes. The Raiders still went 4-12. There is a lot that goes into all that. Those statistics may not have come in a lot of victories, but they still are impressive — especially the TD-to-INT ratio for a player who was forced to throw a lot because the team was behind. His top wide receiver was Denairus Moore (don’t feel bad if you have not heard of him.) The top pass catcher was tight end Brandon Myers, who had 79 catches for 806 yards. The first thought when you look at his receiving corps is that it was impressive to reach 4,000 yards without a top go-to type of threat.

Does Palmer have better receivers in Arizona? Certainly. Larry Fitzgerald alone changes the equation, Andre Roberts was pretty good last year and as I have noted before, it looks like Michael Floyd has made a big leap — at least at this point in the offseason — from Year One to Year Two. The Cards have to show they have a decent tight end threat (this is a crucial year for Rob Housler; if he can’t break out now with this QB and this offensive scheme, he may never) but Palmer will help.

What does that mean for Palmer himself? Well, he’s playing in a much more difficult division than last season. He’ll have to up his game to match his numbers. But if he stays healthy — and assuming the offensive line makes strides forward, as everyone is expecting right now — that can happen. Regardless, look at the numbers last year from the Cards’ QBs, which were ugly to say the least: 3,383 yards, 11 TDs, 21 INT, 55 percent completions. It figures to be much, much better. That alone I’d think would give fans a certain modicum of relief.


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44 Responses to “Managing Palmer expectations”

  1. By aaron on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    In reference to the tough division, Palmer played against the Steelers and Ravens in the height of their defensive prowess. I know Palmer was much younger in those days, but playing a defensive minded division is nothing new to him.

  2. By red bird of death! on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    I will be relieved when I see some dude wearing a red kangol on the sidelines during the playoffs………GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!’

  3. By Ben on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    Re-Watched the Hard Kocks for the Bengals this weekend and it got me excited about Palmer. He definitely works hard at his craft. Hopefully with the new change in scenery and Fitz to throw to he can get to 5k 30TD and a playoff birth!!!!

  4. By LadyBird04 on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    Don’t forget to note that I think 8 of those td’s were with Kolb…so for the other 11 games the Cards total passing TD’s was what 3? Pretty hard for Palmer to not improve on that stat. The wins can be a harder equivalent this year as I think we have the 6th or 7th hardest schedule. Ugly! IF the stars align correctly we can have a really good year.

    PS…will you be posting the interviews that were on AZ television last weekend? Can’t get them here in FL.

    Thanks for all your great information.

  5. By Darren Urban on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    LadyBird —

    RE: Videos

    The TV show pieces will all be posted by this afternoon.

  6. By Boondock on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    I am happy to hear all the positive reports about Floyd, his development will be huge for us in the long run. Housler just needs somebody to get the ball to him, I remember way too many passes sailing errantly to the ground 10 yards away when he was wide open flying down the seam. Watch out for some fantasy football sleeper action in both of these guys

  7. By Larry Secrest on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    I think we have to be honest with what we would be HAPPY with concerning Palmer’s production this upcoming season. Warner was the last QB to throw for over 4,000 yds in a season (2008; 4,583), the only other QB to do it was Neil Lomas in 1984 (4,614). So, if Palmer was able to throw 3,800 yds. (which would be 3rd ALL-TIME for Cardinals in a season) that would be great. For TDs, it would be great to have at least 26 (Warner’s number his last season). We haven’t had more then 21 since 2009. Regardless I think we will be very pleased this year, I already love the fact that the offseason “QB Controversy” talk hasn’t arrived in Arizona.

  8. By D on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    Cards need to get the ground game going early and often in 2013, that will open up the passing game. Between the top 4 RB’s on the roster and with the zone blocking, this team should rank in the top half of the league in rushing. Keep pounding the rock. Rasard and Ryan have alot to prove to everyone and the draft picks are young and have fresh legs.

  9. By antonioangelo21 on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    I am happy with this acquisition. I am still angry about rhodes and wilson being gone. one step forward two steps back. Yea Wilson looked a bit weathered last year, could be because he was playing hurt but really it looked like the ken whisenhunt philosophy of you do what i want not what you are good at that bogged him down. And Rhodes looked great to me, other than his inability to get all the way to the endzone during his picks. but man did he get some great picks.

  10. By clssylssy on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    It always makes me skeptical when the organization tries to do a “hard sell” on a player with a questionable reputation rather than let the player stand on his own merits. BA is sounding like a used car salesman trying to unload a sale in his continued drum beating for Palmer. Was Palmer the victim of a situation in which he was a mismatch? Perhaps, but the same can be said for John Skelton or Kevin Kolb or Brian Hoyer. So Palmer threw for 4000 yards??? Obviously that wasn’t good enough to translate into wins which is what is really important. Football is a team sport and the best player in the NFL is only as good as the team he is on (ask Fitz about that) and stats are merely numbers on a page if they don’t translate into wins. I’m not as concerned about Palmer’s abilities to throw the ball as I am about some of the intangibles like leadership, being a motivator and good teammate who has a desire to win. He is carrying the rep as being an arrogant, self-serving quitter and THAT i don’t like. Give him a chance to succeed or fail on his own. The fact remains that the 0-line hasn’t been completely fixed, only shored up a bit which was the real issue last season and prevented anybody from succeeding especially when the injury bug hit!

  11. By tbru on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    It is May, My opinion of Palmer will become official sometime in November.

  12. By Itsallinthecards on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Darren, I missed the Cardinals Flight Plan show this weekend. Will you be posting it in segments online like last year, or is there somewhere I can go to watch it.


    Go cards!

  13. By Darren Urban on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    Itsall —

    RE: show

    It will be posted.

  14. By Peter in Canada on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    @antonioangelo21 Don’t forget the salary cap. If we get players almost as good as Wilson and Rhodes for a cheaper price it gives room to upgrade elsewhere. Down the road the same situation may happen with Fitz. I too am sad to see them go but it’s the nature of the game.

    @clssylssy I agree that last year’s QB’s were handicapped by the O-line but Palmer is undeniably an upgrade at the position. To say otherwise is plain foolish. I think he was a steal and gives the team breathing space for a while until they can draft a long term QB.

  15. By Kevin S on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    Clssylssy —

    Would you rather have the organization say, “Yeah, we went out and got this guy Palmer because our QB situation was so bad last year… but really, who knows… he might just be average, and we’ll look to draft a QB next year. Hard to say.” ??? What on God’s green Earth is wrong with talking up your new QB on a team that has been horrible at the position for 3 years straight?

  16. By dudeacow on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    His style of throwing fits Arians’ offense perfectly. Give him All-World Fitzgerald, All-Pro Floyd, All-Backup (yeah, I just made that up) Roberts, along with an O-Line that may have two Pro Bowlers, and I think he will have a monster year and the Cards will be able to contend for 3rd place in the division!

  17. By scubasteve on May 20, 2013 | Reply


    Let’s not count our chickens before they are hatched !! Remember the expectations of Kolb being the saviour in 2011 ? One game at time and Palmer has much to prove in a tough division, especially playing in Seattle, even St Louis is no gimmie now ! I am taking a wait and see approach and avoiding the hype,, if he had been so great in Oakland they would have kept him around. It is about wins and losses not passing stats.

  18. By johnnybluenose on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    we will be better than last year. our players are better and our coaches are better. the challenge for the players and the coaches, who are mostly new to each other, will be to come together quickly, to come up with good schemes and to make the plays on the field that will be necessary to win games. everyone will say positive things in may and through training camp. remember docket saying all the right things last spring and summer about the Horton defense and his role in it? the proof is in the games. most of the other 31 teams in the league right now feel they are better too. I can’t wait for this season to start. at the conclusion of training camp I would like arians to honestly compare our team with the 2012 colts as they were at the beginning of last year. wouldn’t it be great to enjoy the same success the colts had last year?

  19. By red2616 on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    Palmer has the best WR he has ever had. Chad and TO were good but ZERO chemistry. TJ and Chad were close but these three are much better, Roberts, Floyd and Fitzy. You might also see Peterson and The Badger out there as well.

  20. By Chuck 1 on May 20, 2013 | Reply


    Are you Sarah’s twin?
    Your comments almost always reflect a glass half empty outlook.

  21. By azfiremagoo on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    Would love to see a statistical breakdown on Palmers numbers when trailing by 7+ points vs less than. Irregardless he is an upgrade over what we have recently endured but the split might show us a percentage of “garbage time” yards, td’s etc. Color me mildly optimistic for the season. Division is no easy road!

  22. By Brian on May 20, 2013 | Reply


    You are skeptical about Palmer because he’s not Tim Tebow. Well guess what, that’s why the organization and its fans are excited about Palmer. He is an NFL QB, not a gimmick. He has a track record of success throwing the ball, something you need to be able to do as a QB in the NFL. Time to move on, Tim Tebow ain’t walking through that door anytime soon.

    Also, those 4000 yards he put up last year, they were with a bad team with no talent. Without him, they may not win a game. They didnt exactly have a star studded o-line either. He just knows where to go with the ball based on being able to read the defense. Last year the Cardinals were a bad team with a ton of talent but with nothing close to what you could even call decent QB play. You mesh those two things along with the upgrades at offensive line, I like the potential for vast improvement and most of it is due to the acquisition of Palmer.

  23. By Eazy E on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    Ugh, all this sucking up to the ”great” Carson Palmer Really? The way some people talk about him on this blog, you’d think he was the second coming or something of that nature. He had some nice weapons in oakland. Denarius Moore is nice and has had some games, just because he ain’t Larry or Calvin Johnson doesn’t mean he can’t play. Brandon Myers caught a bunch of balls, 79 to be exact. Jacoby Ford is a speedster and Heyward-Bey is super fast also. McFadden is a elite back when healthy. Marcel Reece is probably the best fullback in the game. O-Line ain’t as bad as ours. Defense ain’t the greatest but ”great” QBs can overcome that in the NFL usually because it is a passing league. Sure, our team is better than Oakland but 4-12 resonates I don’t care what anybody says, that says you had a sorry season, stats are for nerds and geeks, winning is for true fans of a team. He has a better WR group sure not at TE though. I like our RBs if they can stay healthy and that is a BIG IF and our weapons are looking nice, but give me a break with this love fest for the guy, as far as I’m concerned he’s washed up and got a lot to prove with his career record of 54-67 with NO Playoff Wins being in the league this damn long and supposedly so damn good!

  24. By Eazy E on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    0-2 in the playoffs. Injured in the pittsburgh game and blew out in the Jets game.#Not Impressive

  25. By Eazy E on May 20, 2013 | Reply

    How we don’t know Carson was holding back guys like D Moore, J Ford, Heyward-Bey who is now a Colt, and even a McFadden?!#Just A Thought

    Excuses for this guy are ridiculous.

  26. By freeperjim on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    As a big Carson fan, new Card fan (and ex-Bengali fan), note his 2012 stats were basically in 14 games as he was injured early in 1st qtr of game 15 and DNP in game 16.

    The Cards are th absolute best situation CP has been in – from BA/Tom Moore to the players (esp Fitz) and a HUGE upgrade in the ownership/front office.

    CP was betrayed by Cincy’s owner & head coach who allowed chad o-stinko to become a diva/cancer and his his inability to understand play routes was exposed in new England.

    The Raiders was a nightmare – from top to bottom – with receivers who sabotaged CP with incorrect route running as they wanted Jason Campbell back as QB.

    Carson has huge God given HoF talent and I am quite excited to see him and the Cards tear it up this year with a Super Bow; run!

  27. By jason on May 21, 2013 | Reply


    I think that you’re missing the point and kind of contradicting yourself. You say that Carson had a bad situation, and the same could be said for our QB’s last year, but the difference is that Carson threw for 4000+ yards and 23 TD’s in his bad situation. You go on to state that “Football is a team sport and the best player in the NFL is only as good as the team he is on (ask Fitz about that) and stats are merely numbers on a page if they don’t translate into wins”?!? This is confusing. If football is a team sport and not about one person then you should be on Carson’s side, because his stats show that he was doing his job, he just didn’t have a good enough team. If you’re saying his stats are garbage because they didn’t translate into wins then you’re kind of saying he should have won more games on his own…at least that how it sounds to me.

    As far as the hard sell: How would you propose Arians answer when these questions are posed to him? It’s not like Arians is having a daily press conference and giving statements about it….he is asked questions and responds. I don’t believe he is trying to sell anything. I get the impression that he is just an extremly confident coach and that he answers every question honestly….optimistically, but honest.

  28. By hminus on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    The FO has made some great moves this off season,(FA,the draft,)& the grades they have received for both is upper echelon,commentators,(yeah i know you cant put much stock in what they say much of the time,but they got it right this time,)raved about the CP acquisition & said the cards basically got him for”a tuna sandwich,no mayo,”& after the 3td-18int qb debacle from last season,i’ll happily take his 22td’s & 14interceptions instead & realize he did all that on a weak team w/little support.

  29. By Marcelof on May 21, 2013 | Reply


    What are the expectations on Byrd and new Rookie receiver ?!

  30. By Darren Urban on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    Marcelof —

    RE: Byrd/Swope

    I don’t know if there is anything particular. They will be fourth on the depth chart behind the top three I’d think.

  31. By Kevin S on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    Peter in Canada — exactly right on the salary point. This is why I can’t believe anyone questioned the release of Hoyer… I mean, I get originally signing him to the RFA tender when it looked like our QB this year was going to be Stanton, but once you have Palmer and Stanton, paying 2M for a 28-year-old journeyman QB to hold a clipboard makes no sense. Is he better than Lindley? Maybe, but Lindley doesn’t cost 2M to keep around, and unless something goes seriously wrong this year, our 3rd string QB shouldn’t be sniffing any action in the regular season. Not something we could confidently say these past few years.

  32. By Brian on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    Easy E –

    After watching the horrendous QB play over the last few years since Warner retired, you’ll have to forgive the fans for being a little excited about finally having a real QB in the fold. DA had one good year, Kolb had potential but didn’t have a track record(and couldn’t stay healthy), Skelton had potential but was not handled well by Whiz and his staff at all. The other QBs thrown into the mix the last few years aren’t worth mentioning IMO. But now the team brings in a QB who has shown the ability to play QB at a pretty high level for multiple years, not just sporadically and fits the mold of what Arians wants in his offense.

    Nobody is saying he’s the best QB in the NFL, just the best we’ve seen since Warner left and we all know how good those years were. Couple that with the fact that this team has more talent on it overall than those of the Warner era, sorry, but people are going to be excited about it.

  33. By jdphx on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    get ready for pick sixes, and a sweet little 4-12 of your own!

  34. By sbrown on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    – Kevin S & Peter in Canada, you are both right, by cutting Hoyer, they saved 2.2 mil against the cap. Basically used that savings to re sign Dansby, who cost 2.2 mil. Dansby a much bigger need at LB than keeping Hoyer as 3rd QB, for the same cost. Personally as a 132 year season ticket holder, I like what Keim and Ariens have done so far with the roster. When you only win 18 games in three years, new players and new staff is a must to begin to turn the franchise around. Now lets get through Camp with no injury, Pre Season with no injuries, and be ready for the Rams on Sept. 8th.

  35. By Kevin S on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    Brian — exactly. I don’t know exactly what to expect from Palmer, but he still completed over 60% of his passes on a team without nearly the receivers we have, and without a great O-line only got sacked 26 times. There is just no question he is a huge upgrade. We managed 5 wins and it is pretty much a no-brainer that with even mediocre quarterbacking we would have won the Atlanta and NYJ games given how the D played. Andrew Luck completed less than 55% of his passes but turned the Colts around from 2 wins to 11. RGIII took the Redskins from 5 wins and last place to 10 wins and first place. Yeah, those guys were rookies and Palmer is not, but the point is, going from crappy/journeyman QB’s (Painter, Orlovsky, Grossman) to legit ones turned those teams around. We’re in a tough situation considering our division is probably now the best in football, but there’s definitely reason for optimism.

  36. By Mike Ellingboe on May 21, 2013 | Reply

    @Eazy E,

    “How we don’t know Carson was holding back guys like D Moore, J Ford, Heyward-Bey who is now a Colt, and even a McFadden?!#Just A Thought”

    With Moore we don’t, as he’s the only QB he’s had, Ford hasn’t done much as a receiver with anyone up to this point in his career, and Heyward-Bey made it to somewhat respectable numbers after his arrival. He was a total bust before then.

    Again, no one is saying he’s Montana but after watching the clunkers after Warner, you’ll have to pardon us if it should temporarily look that way until our eyes regain normal focus.

    Whether you like him or not, his career numbers are way above anyone else who was available. The problem with taking a snap shot view of QB’s and their playoff records, is you can end up rationalizing that Dilfer holds more value than Marino that way. Or in a less extreme case, thinking that Tebow > Palmer.

  37. By Mike Ellingboe on May 21, 2013 | Reply


    I should have read your comments before posting. We clearly think alike on this.

  38. By Eazy E on May 22, 2013 | Reply

    Brian, Mike Ellingboe-

    Being better than our awful QBs is a given, what do y’all want a cookie? I ain’t impressed about being better than our QBs since Kurt retired, that is the easy part. We need a QB that is wayyyyyy better, not just better. Hell, anybody is better we we’re freaking last in QBR, so 31st is better, but it is still awful. We could have got better than Palmer. Tebow, Geno, Vince Young, etc. but we wanna get the washed up guy.#Don’t Understand It

    He’s only gonna play a max of 2 years max. We ain’t winning the Super Bowl next year or any year without a QB, so why not sign a VY or Tebow or just draft our future in Geno, if there was any year you could I guess ”experiment” with QBs with different styles, it was this year with the free agents and the draft not being superb at QB.

  39. By Roger McLawson on May 22, 2013 | Reply

    Cardinal fans should be happy about Carson Palmer. Not just because he is playing for the Cardinals but because he was not born in North Korea. If Carson was born in North Korea they would have the abilities tonlaunch nukes at us by just letting Carson Palmer throw it.

  40. By Kevin S on May 22, 2013 | Reply

    Pretty hard to take seriously someone who thinks Tebow (can’t find a team after sitting on the bench for a team with QB issues almost as glaring as ours last year) and Vince Young (out of the NFL last year) are better options than Palmer.

  41. By Kevin S on May 23, 2013 | Reply

    That’s pretty funny, referring to Palmer (threw for 4000 yards and 60%+ completions on a bad team) as the “washed up” guy and saying we could’ve had Tebow (couldn’t beat out Mark Sanchez and now no team wants him) or Vince Young (cut by the Bills last year, never found a team) instead. I guess you know something 32 NFL teams don’t, Eazy E.

  42. By Annette Richters on May 24, 2013 | Reply

    OK, let’s get real!!!! Tougher division!!!! BS…..BS……….. Carson played against the Steelers and Ravens and this dumb bunch of critics says that the NFL West is a tougher division??????? Carson Palmer never had the type of reciving corp that he now has………………ever……………ever………………wake up and get out of your silly daydream of “I’m the only one who really knows what is about to happen this year” nonsense.

    We have more GREAT TARGETS on one team than Palmer has ever had………..ever…………….yes ever………………..and he still posted elite numbers.

    If you want to post just to hear your own voice (read your own “so cool” post, go to the 49rs whiners site or the sea chicken site or the sheeple peoples site,. but get off your pedistile here where real Cardinal Fans live and breath the next Super Bowl Champions of the NFL. The AZ Cardinals………………….yes, I just said that and it is the truth. Sorry Charlie Tuna, wait for the next hook!!!!!!!!

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