If there is something that fans and the media cannot seem to get away from, it is making comparisons to Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Carson Palmer and former Arizona QB Kurt Warner. Heck, even Palmer himself can;t help it.
In an LA Times feature on Palmer, who played collegiate ball at USC, also sees the same comparisons between he and Warner, who led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl and a pair of division titles before retiring from football.
"I can't help but look at what Kurt did," said Palmer, 33. "He was later on in his career. It was a young team. He had made a couple other stops. . . . I can't help but make that comparison."
He doesn't compare what the two of hem have done over their careers, which would be silly. Warner had already been to multiple Super Bowls and won one, and had been a league MVP. But he did look like his career was a starter was done.
Palmer would like to at least once do what Warner did, calling his career "unfilled."
"I've had a ton of experience," he told Sam Farmer, who wrote the LA Times piece. "I've played in every type of situation. But to not have one run in the playoffs where you just make one of those magical runs? That's what I want. I just want a chance to make one of those runs and see what happens."
He does not lament his career.
"It's not like I'm going to look back and be depressed about it. I'm not going to be depressed about my career however it ends because I've met great people, I've played with great teammates, I've played for great coaches, and I've lived out a lifelong dream.
"But it wasn't just about a dream of playing in the NFL. It was about a dream of playing in the NFL and winning Super Bowl rings. That's where the unfulfilled part comes in."
Even though the division in which he plays is considered the best in the NFL and the Cardinals are coming off of a miserable 5-11 season that started 4-0, this could be considered the first team where football is the biggest question. In Oakland, well, they are the Raiders and have been mismanaged for a very long time. In Cincinnati, he had the headaches of Chad Johnson, Terrell Owens and teammates that found plenty of off the field issues.
Here in Arizona, he has a set of offensive players that is probably the most talented he has ever played with. There are no characters on offense, just players and a lot of unfulfilled talent -- Andre Roberts, Rob Housler and Michael Floyd.
He also has an offensive minded coach that believes in him. Bruce Arians praises Palmer's experience, toughness and ability to throw the ball deep with accuracy.
The two actually go together. Both are later in their careers, Palmer as a player and Arians as a head coach in the NFL for the first time, despite being 60.
"It's an old cowboy movie," Arians said. "We're going out to the desert, off in the sunset together." If that is truly what happens, that means that Palmer will be here for a few years. That would be a great sign.
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