It was one offseason ago when Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said that tight end Rob Housler could be an 80-catch player. It didn't happen and Housler was disappointing with a few flashes of fantastic mixed in.
Fast forward to this offseason and Palmer is raving about another tight end, only this time it is free agent pickup John Carlson.
When Palmer was on Arizona Sports 98.7 on the Doug and Wolf show, Palmer indicated that Carlson has been "awesome" so far.
"That was a huge signing," he said. "The guy is really, really good and really fluid, really smooth and knows the offense already."
Palmer praised Carlson for his effort in the classroom and on the field, but it is the physical parts that have been equally impressive. "[Carlson] has shown he can make a ton of different catches, he's got great body control and he's got speed, too, that your didn't expect," Palmer explained.
Palmer "is really excited for John."
He should be. If Carlson is healthy and has learned the offense, the offense that Bruce Arians runs "is a great offense for a tight end to be in," according to Palmer.
He said that tight ends don't only run "five-yard stick routes."
"There’s a lot of catches," he said. "There’s a lot of fun routes to run...There’s things down the field. He running routes that some of the receivers run."
Housler didn't end up having the year-long impact almost everyone around football predicted. He got nicked up with injuries, struggled to learn the offense early on and had some unforgettable drops.
So Palmer is starting the buzz about Carlson, who has thus far been a disappointment in his career.
Could it be that it will be 2014 when Arizona finally has a tight end with production that matches expectations?
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