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Carson Palmer: Playing behind starting QB as rookie 'very good' and 'very bad'

The veteran quarterback was groomed for a season before taking over the starting job.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Many years ago, when Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Carson Palmer was drafted the top overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2003 NFL draft, he did not play right away. He sat a season as backup behind starter Jon Kitna. It is much more common now for a quarterback drafted too early to start immediately.

This year, though, teams are planning to go the waiting route. Blake Bortles is expected to sit behind Chad Henne; Johnny Manziel will have to win the job outright from Brian Hoyer; Teddy Bridgewater is not the starter right away and will have to beat out Matt Cassell and Christian Ponder; and Derek Carr is behind Matt Schaub.

The Cardinals drafted Logan Thomas in the fourth round of this year's draft, and they have no plans of playing him for at least a season.

Palmer was asked about it in a radio interview with the Doug and Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 and said that sitting out a year behind a veteran was "very good" and also "very bad."

It was very good from the perspective that I had a chance to sit behind a veteran and watch him study -- watch him practice, watch him lead and watch him handle the media and all the different demands of the season.

And it was bad from the aspect that you're not getting experience. You're sitting back watching. You're not getting on-field experience, making mistakes, good things happen, red-zone opportunities, third-down opportunities, down by seven, up by seven -- all the different scenarios that happen in a game.

They are knocked back a year and it's hard to say whether it's right or wrong or good or bad. There's positives to it and negatives to it.

The situation now with the Cardinals is different. Thomas is not ready to be a starter. Physically, there are still some kinks that need to be worked out. And obviously, from Palmer's perspective, having Thomas sit out at least a year is better for the veteran, as he doesn't have to look over his shoulder and worry about whether the team is pushing him out the door.

There probably aren't many who would say that Thomas should be starting this year. But what if the Cardinals had drafted a quarterback in the first or second round? Would you have preferred to see that player develop on the field or have him watch Palmer do his job?