With the hiring of Bruce Arians and a new offensive staff, the Arizona Cardinals had a new offensive system. Learning it was a struggle a year ago. In this offseason's first set of organized team activities (OTAs), the story is different. It should be.
Head coach Arians told the media on Tuesday (via AZCardinals.com) that the offense is "light years ahead" of last year at this time. Rather than learning how the offense works and what they are to do, Arians said that the focus is "how to do it better."
Starting quarterback Carson Palmer also spoke to the media after Tuesday's practice. He said that "it feels good to be comfortable."
There is no new terminology to learn, there aren't new concepts. All he had to think about was "my first progression, my second progression, my third progression."
Obviously, this should translate into better play from the start of the season.
Palmer's first seven games were not memorable. He threw for eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions. His final nine games were much better -- 16 touchdowns to nine interceptions, four of which were in Seattle.
As a team, they scored 19 points per game in the first seven, and then a touchdown more per game in the final nine.
They averaged a little more than 77 yards per game rushing in their first seven games and, over the final nine, they averaged over 110 rushing yards per game.
Total offense was 309 yards per game in the first seven games. It was almost 375 yards per game the rest of the way.
Across the board, you can see how there was a learning curve in the execution of the offense. Ideally, they will be able to play more like the last nine games starting in Week 1. Scoring 26 points per game should win a lot of ball games, especially when the defense should continue to be strong.