The way people talk about Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, they refer to a guy in the league that is on his last legs, that is nearly washed up. Sure, he retired once, but when you hear him talk about being with Arizona and working with Bruce Arians, you hear a man that is far with being done in the league.
He talked about the excitement of working in an offense that has a track record of success.
It is the fourth time in as many years that he is learning a new offensive system, but at this point in his career, he still enjoys the challenge.
"I'm very comfortable with being uncomfortable and being challenged," he said to reporters on Friday, calling the Arians offense "the most challenging" he's ever played in. "But I enjoy the challenge. It keeps you fresh. It keeps you sharp. There's no sleeping in. You're up in the morning studying, preparing for walk through and then preparing for practice. That's what makes this game so great. It's not just the challenge on Sundays, but the challenge in training camp and OTAs and just to stay on top of your craft and all that, so I like where I am and I like being in this position."
That has to be what should get Cardinals fans most excited. The ability is there. He threw for over 4000 yards for the Raiders. He isn't breaking down. He is a guy that still really loves the game.
Remember Kurt Warner and why he retired? Physically he knew he could do it at a high level, but didn't want to put in as much work as it took to play ta that level. While he loved the game, he didn't have enough mentally in him to keep grinding when he would rather be home with his family.
That isn't to say that Palmer's family doesn't matter to him -- it does...a lot. But he is not ready to move on to the next thing in his life.
As for the offense he will be running, he says that it is unlike anything he has ever run before.
The offense has "a ton of concepts" he hasn't been in.
"I've been in no huddle systems where you're calling all the runs, all the passes, the screens, whatever it is," he said. "I've been in systems where the coach calls every play and there are no adjustments, and now this is one where he (Arians) is going to call it, but there are post-snap adjustments and post-snap reads that the quarterback makes, but also the receivers have to make.
He calls the offense "different, refreshing, challenging, exciting." In a word, he says it is "great."
He is under contract for two seasons with the Cardinals. Most believe that he is a placeholder of sort for a young quarterback the team has yet to obtain.
He could be.
He does not, though, sound like a guy who is going to be done after two more seasons.
The truth is, at age 33, there is no reason why he cannot play a a high level for five more years.
If he can turn around this Cardinals offense and team, he certainly could be around for a few years.
Bruce Arians has said that they are both cowboys riding off into the sunset. The way Palmer sounds, it seems more like it's noon and not the end of the day.
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