Enjoy — and appreciate — the Palmer era

Posted by Darren Urban on December 24, 2015 – 10:29 am

There was a moment I still remember, possibly in 2008 but maybe 2009, in Seattle. The Cardinals were going to beat the Seahawks — in that time frame, they were supposed to win in Seattle — and the Cardinals were going to score 25, 26, 27 points. After so many years of watching this team struggle mightily to score 20 points consistently, I made a mental note to myself to appreciate what I was watching. Because it would be gone at some point.

Then Warner retired, and Derek Anderson, Max Hall, Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, yada, yada, yada, points were hard to come by once again.

So as we enjoy the holidays and get set for Christmas tomorrow, let’s remember and appreciate the gift the Cardinals received way back on the very non-Christmasy date of April 2, 2013, when the Cards dropped back 43 spots late in the 2013 draft (flipping a sixth for a seventh) and then giving up a 2014 seventh-round pick to get quarterback Carson Palmer from the Raiders. If that’s not the definition of a gift, I’m not sure what is.

Sure, it took a little time. Palmer had to figure out the offense. Then there were injuries in 2014. But now? Again, the numbers are fantastic. The Cardinals already have a franchise-record 445 points. Palmer is 307 yards short of Warner’s 2008 franchise record for passing yards (4,583) and Palmer already has set the franchise record for TD passes (32). He’s not turning the ball over (and did you expect to see that after the first half of 2013?) Most importantly, the Cards have a franchise-record 12 wins with two left to play, and Palmer, amazingly, has won 25 of his last 29 starts and is 28-8 overall as a starter in Arizona.

For all the wonderful things Warner did in Arizona, his win-loss record was never that eye-popping.

That’s not a shot at Warner, who never had as complete of an offensive cast around him, nor as deep a roster. But in a game where so much hinges on one position, Palmer — like Warner — matters. You don’t know when it’s going to end nor what the Cards will have at QB on the other side. While I have no doubt Palmer is appreciated (that was sealed as soon as the 2014 dream season was derailed with his knee injury), it’s good to appreciate the Palmer era in the moment.

Carson Palmer

Posted in Blog | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “Enjoy — and appreciate — the Palmer era”

  1. By Amir on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Sorry, Darren, I disagree…

    That was not at all a gift… It was a freakin’ GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY!!!

    I believe Palmer can play at this high level for another 3 years or so especially the way he is the Gym rat and maintains his body.

  2. By Scott H on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    I am enjoying AND appreciating the Palmer era in equal measure! I’m about due for another jersey ( because I already have Fitz in red, white, and black! ) and I think Palmer is going to be it. I see no reason why we can’t have 3-4 more good years with Palmer, but when he IS gone, I will continue to wear his jersey just as I do my Warner jersey today. Getting the jersey is kinda like my own little ring of honor. And Palmer is soon to be inducted.

    I think it is a shame that Palmer is not getting more consideration for MVP. He is in some of the discussions but….everyone is so damn ga-ga over Cam Newton and ( of course ) Brady, so….I’m sure it will go to one of them.

    But Palmer is now poised to be maybe the Cardinals ALL-TIME MVP.

  3. By Scott H on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    Not related to this – do we have an idea how it looks for Johnson and Ellington for Sunday?

  4. By Darren Urban on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Johnson/Ellington

    In terms of what? Johnson is fine. Ellington is day to day right now.

  5. By Mike G on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Yo Darren–Merry Christmas to you!! Appreciate the articles and blogging throughout the year. Hopefully that will continue into February. Really nice job in Philly with the run game. Feel bad about Badger but all in all injuries have been pretty good this year for the team. Injuries are going to occur. Kind of have a similar feeling right now to the 2008 team that went to the Super Bowl. Hopefully they keep rolling and obtain the #2 seed. A win this week and they will be in Arizona for almost a month with no travel which is big. Hey Darren– intangibles are always important with a team in some ways more than statistics– how do you compare locker rooms between the 2008 team and this one??? – 2008 had Dockett , Dansby,Warner etc–(good leadership)—2015 team appears to have good chemistry as well!!–

  6. By Darren Urban on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Chemistry

    I think 2008 had nice chemistry but this one seems even closer. Winning more helps.

  7. By nick on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    It has been a major blessing and great gift for us to have Palmer at QB

    When you think of this offense and the fact that the offense is locked in for a few more years as

    QB Palmer
    RB Johnson/Ellington
    WR Fitzgerald/Floyd/Brown/Nelson
    TE Fells

    We will have a high powered offense for a few more years

    All we really need is Mathieu to come back healthy for next year, and to draft or sign an elite pass rusher

  8. By georgiebird on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    A great QB makes life better for everyone- fans, coaches, and for you too, Darren.

    But don’t compare Palmer to Warner- unless Palmer takes us to the SB. And to compare records is not right. Warner shredded the Steelers (except for the pass before the half) and with a decent defense, the Cards win it all.

    Merry Christmas

  9. By Darren Urban on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Compare

    Tell you what — I’ll compare them. And, if you read above, you see where I account for the records being different. I never once said Palmer was better.

    And you can’t in one breath defend Warner by saying Palmer has yet to make a Super Bowl, but also prop Warner up by saying Palmer has a better team around him. Making a Super Bowl isn’t about one person. Warner doesn’t make a Super Bowl unless that defense you say wasn’t decent doesn’t make Delhomme’s life a living hell in Carolina.

  10. By CreditCard on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Agreed receiving Carson Palmer for what the Cards gave up for him is simply amazing. Kudos to the Cardinal organization (coaches, scouts, managers etc.) that did their homework on Carson Palmer and understood the level of player that they would be acquiring.

    Kiem and company have been shrewd in picking up several players washed up or beyond their prime or injury riddled players such as (Stanton, Larson, Peters, Redding, Bryant, Freeney, Chris Johnson, Barkley, Leach, Mauro, Powers, Rucker, Sowell, Swearinger and more). Picking up players like these for a song takes talent, and a ton of football and player acumen.

    Think if it, they pick up a player like Mauro who has know proven to be a very valuable rotational player. Picking up stars like Chris Johnson, Bryant, Swearinger literally off the street — totally off every other NFL team’s radar.

    Simply amazing scouting and knowledge of league players.

  11. By shane on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply


    Do you know if the cards will be wearing there all reds this Sunday ?

  12. By Darren Urban on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Shane —

    RE: Uniforms

    I’m expecting regular red-on-white.

  13. By Dr H on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Carson healthy and playing at the MVP level is the greatest Christmas present ever!!!!! He can definitely play at this high level for the next 3 – 4 years and that means we’ll always be a SB contender. Considering what he overcame to play this year and at this level should definitely put him in the MVP consideration and for sure the Comeback player of the year. He’s played consistently since he got to the Cards winning at least 10 games each season.

    Kudos to the organization for seeing the potential in Carson and getting him….

    Merry Christmas to the Cards for the most fantastic year of football so far!!!! We’ll see you in Santa Clara.

  14. By DTL on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Merry Christmas Birdgang.

    Amir’s comment appropriate. Yep, ease back, let it unfold, savoring as we go. Stars seemed alligned…

    C. Palmer “we did what we expected to do”…

  15. By DTL on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Merry Christmas PS:

    Noticed Marion Grice back on PS (along with Robert Hughes, earlier), welcome back.

    Want to say thanks to Keim for these other Christmas gifts, some earlier:
    CJ2K, Freeney, Bryant, Clemons, Swearinger, White.

  16. By Scott H on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    RASHAD Johnson. Sorry I was not more specific.

  17. By Darren Urban on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Rashad

    Ahh. That makes more sense. He said he thinks he’ll play, but we’ll see.

  18. By D on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Ohh I definitely do, Darren, I appreciate this time Greatly.

    Since I moved out here and dropped my former allegiance and became a Card fan, I have sat and watched (many hot bleacher miserable games) through:
    S. Beuerlein, C. Chandler, J. Schroeder, J. McMahon, D. Krieg, B. Esiason, K. Graham, S. Case, J. Plummer, D. Brown, J. Blake, J. McCown, S. King, J. Navarre, M. Leinart, D. Anderson, J. Skelton, M. Hall, K. Kolb, R. Lindley, B. least we got a small break with K. Warner…..and I really appreciate S. Keims (1000 % improvement over former GM) and of course BA.

    Merry Christmas Darren.

  19. By mark on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Merry Christmas to the entire Arizona Cardinals organization and to all the awesome Cardinals fans out there! Thanks for bringing quality football and quality citizens to our community and all you do for it.

  20. By Chuck 1 on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply


    Re: Elite pass rusher

    Hopefully, Carl Nassib, a Penn State defensive end, will be available when the Cards draft #32 in the next draft.

    Here’s the info on him from a recent newspaper article.
    “Penn State’s Carl Nassib was a unanimous selection to the NCAA consensus All-America team, the program announced Thursday.
    The American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), AutoNation Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Walter Camp, Associated Press and Sporting News All-American teams are used to create the consensus All-America team. Nassib was a first-team selection on each of those lists.
    He is the 13th Penn State player to earn unanimous consensus All-American honors.
    Nassib leads the country in sacks with 15 1/2 and forced fumbles with six.”

  21. By MostlyRight on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    We robbed Oakland via trade for Palmer and then via Oakland’s head scratching decision not to throw the boatload of cap space they had available at Veldheer. You don’t let a legit QB or LT walk away if you have the money.

  22. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Enjoy the Palmer era…???
    Hell yes!!! Especially since being a Cardinals fan since I was a little kid in the mid-60’s. Having suffered thru many seasons where the Cards only won 3-5 games each year, the Buddy Ryan era- probably the worst time in Cardinals history, the no quarterback era.. in between Warner and Palmer. I never thought I would see the Az Cardinals in the SB or win one. Thanks to Kurt in 2008, the Cards made it.
    Now, if the Cards are going to win a SB, it will be this year….

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all the Cards Mgmt, players and fans….

  23. By beltramiscott on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    I say thank you to the entire Cardinals organization, from the bottom to the top. I am really disappointed in the fans that turned on the cardinals and sold their tickets to the enemy. This is painful, very disloyal, leaves a disgusting taste in my mouth. I have argued that we are not bandwagon fans here, not here , we are loyal to the Cardinals, to the bone, no matter what. I hear a ton of fans sold out to the enemy. They are laughing in Green bay, they say they have a surprise for us ,in our house. If true, I would check seating #’s and find a way to not renew their tickets, ever. These are not fans, they are reselling for profit. If nothing can be done then when they renew next year a rule would be in place. That they loose the right to get them in the future, forever. Go cardinals and over come the traitors along with the enemy. Go Cards!!!

  24. By kauaicardsfan on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Mele Kalikimaka Darren, Mahalo for all the info all year round and Mahalo Cards for a great season! My Christmas wish is easy! Bring home that Lombardi Trophy!!
    GO CARDS!!

  25. By Gabrielle C on Dec 24, 2015 | Reply

    Thank you for the great insight.

    The team and the coach and players have been a wonderful gift to Arizona — thanks mr keim and mr bidwill!

    This team is the most exciting team in the entire nfl to watch because of all of the players who have been explosive — it’s been the best entertainment in the league.

    Kudos to the Owners, the organization and staff and the players. I think I speak for many when I say I’m proud to be a cardinal fan and to have such humble and talented players playing for this team. It’s been amazing to watch this teams success. Someone should write a book or movie of this teams transformation!!!

  26. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 25, 2015 | Reply

    Beltramiscott —

    Honestly, I don’t see what the big deal is about selling tickets, like it’s a betrayal or something. I’m not a season ticket holder any more, but when I was, we had a Cowboys game on Christmas Day. Well, I knew I would be visiting my family on Christmas in Indiana, so yeah, I sold the tickets. I just put them on StubHub at the beginning of the season and someone bought them right away — probably a Dallas fan who was flying in, although I have no way of knowing, nor do I really care.

    You can get tickets to ANY game, ANYWHERE, if you are willing to pay the price. I was in Chicago for the game earlier this year and there were quite a few Cardinal fans. And the price of tickets for games in Arizona is still very good for out-of-town fans. I now buy tickets for 3-4 games a year. I paid quite a bit more for tickets to that game at Soldier Field than I did for tickets to this Sunday’s Packers game in a comparable section of the stadium, even though this Packers game is one of the most significant in the team’s recent history. Plus, we’re a warm climate that people like to visit, and we are a city of transplants with big followings of teams from the Midwest.

    Also, I know some fans who struggle to cover the cost of season tickets. If you can recover a decent chunk of your overall outlay by selling just one or two games, I don’t think that makes you a horrible fan.

  27. By Tucsontim on Dec 25, 2015 | Reply

    Thank you Michael Bidwill for bringing a quality team to Arizona.

    Watched the Thursday night game last night and couldn’t stop thinking how awful both of those teams are, Glad I don’t have to watch that every week!

    This is a special time for the Cardinals. Trouble ahead because there are a few other special teams, but no matter, enjoy the ride.

  28. By JohnnyBluenose on Dec 26, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H…..most of us knew which Johnson you were asking about…..Darren, I know it’s early to have this conversation but assuming Palmer plays another four years and puts up numbers and wins similar to what he has done the past two years and assuming he wins a Super Bowl, is he eventually going into the Hall of Fame?

  29. By JohnnyBluenose on Dec 26, 2015 | Reply

    @beltramisscott….i live in nova scotia. if you know where that is, it’s a fair distance from phoenix. i have been a season ticket holder since 2006. i bought them because i wanted to see a couple of games that year when the cardinals were at home on back to back sundays. i wanted decent seats and the only way to get decent seats was to buy season tickets. phoenix is a big city. they only sell about 60,000 season tickets. there are only ten games a year, including exhibition games. believe it or not, the tickets are reasonably priced. why did the people of phoenix (or arizona, for that matter) not step up and buy all the tickets? if they had, people like me would not have them. i did not buy them to make money. i bought them because i’m a fan of the arizona cardinals…a big fan. and i have renewed them every year because i’m a fan and because i want my seats. i kept them even when the team was bad and i could not sell the exhibition games and often sold regular season games for less than face value. over the years, i have come and brought friends with me. i now have regular customers who buy from me every year. one guy lives in california. he likes to come to phoenix. he’s a jets fan and he can hardly wait until next year so he can see his jets play. does that make me a bad person? i don’t know everyone i sell tickets to but i assume some are cardinals fans and some are not. what’s the difference? they’re football fans and they want to experience the game at the stadium. this year a friend of mine was going to vancouver to visit his daughter at the same time the cardinals were in seattle. i contacted the cardinals and, through them, i was able to buy tickets to the game for my friend. i played football in university. each year the team has a fund-raising dinner because, believe it or not, the university does not fund the football team. the coaches are not paid and the players pay $300 each to play. for some years now, the arizona cardinals contribute a football item which is auctioned off to help raise money for the team. we all appreciate it and that is just one more reason that i continue to keep my tickets and another reason that there are more cardinals fans here now than there were before. so, i do not apologize for being a season ticket holder or for selling tickets to games that i am unable to attend.

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