A season ago, the Arizona Cardinals had a mess at the quarterback position. Things have changed drastically. Gone is Kevin Kolb. Gone is John Skelton. Ryan Lindley looks like he will be gone at some point. Brian Hoyer remains and is joined by Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton.
What does Arians think of this group?
At the press conference to introduce Palmer, he was bold. "I think our quarterback room right now is as strong as anybody's in the National Football League," he said.
You automatically want to laugh. It's your first reaction.
But he isn't far off from the truth. In fact, at least within the NFC West, the Cardinals don't look so bad anymore. They might just have the strongest starter/backup combo in the division, as they have upgraded both positions, while the Seahawks and the 49ers have actually weakened their position.
Seattle and San Francisco had the luxury of really having two starting quarterbacks. The Niners had Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith. Kaepernick showed he belongs in the league as a starter. Smith was having the best year of his career.
Seattle had Russell Wilson and Matt Flynn. While Flynn did not start and has had very little in the way of playing, he is considered to be a starting caliber guy. But now Flynn is gone, leaving the Seahawks with only Josh Portis behind Wilson.
The Niners added Colt McCoy. The Rams still have Sam Bradford as starter and Kellen Clemens as his backup.
Arizona has Palmer and Stanton.
Looking at the starters, Palmer is better than Bradford. Wilson and Kaepernick have huge upsides still, but Palmer is still more established and well respected. Who has the edge? Let's call them even, or even perhaps say that Palmer is ever so slightly.
I personally think Wilson is the best of the group. The kid is special. But Palmer is right there.
The backups? Whom would you rather have? Stanton, Colt McCoy , Clemens or Portis?
McCoy has starting experience.. Stanton does too. Which of these guys would rather have behind your starter?
I think I go Stanton than McCoy, but that could change, and should the Seahawks bring in Matt Leinart as has been mentioned, you definitely say that Stanton is better.
In essence, Arians is right. Palmer, as a starter, matches up quote well. Stanton as a backup is right there. Arians was completely ok with Stanton being the starter.
It isn't a joke. The Cardinals have done what they set out to do this offseason. Not only is their group of quarterbacks better, it might be the best in the division.
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