The 2014 season began looking like it could be a special one. They started 9-1 and were beginning to look like a favorite contend for a championship. Then injuries finally took their toll and the Cardinals limped to an 11-5 finish and first round exit in the playoffs. But there is a lot of optimism for 2015.
In fact, head coach Bruce Arians is already going all in on last year.
While at the Senior Bowl, Arians appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio and made a bold declaration.
That is big talk.
Arizona will get back Carson Palmer from a torn ACL during the offseason. A littany of players on injured reserve will return. The team believes it has a real championship window.
Arizona has long had the reputation as being a nice place for veteran players to end their career. It has been less so over the past few seasons, but Arians is getting the message out early. Don't plan on coming to Arizona unless you want to win. It sends a strong message to draft picks and veterans.
The only potential problem is how it paints Arians into a corner. As long as the postseason is in sight, it works. However, if for any reason things start to unravel, when you have the bar set this high, things can really fall apart. We have seen team after team in Phoenix buckle under the pressure of expectations.
Is it too soon to make such a declaration? I don't think so. Now is the time to say things like this. They are forgotten later on. Making that same statement in training camp? That grabs more headlines.
Have expectations been raised for you yet when it comes to what the Cardinals should accomplish in 2015? Or is it simply too early to even think about it?