Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has always had an eye for good quarterback play.
If you don’t believe it just ask his quarterbacks coach Freddie Kitchens who Arians called plays for when Kitchens was the signal-caller at Alabama and Arians the offensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa.
“I’m not sure he’s changed any at all,” Kitchens, who led the Crimson Tide to three bowl games in the mid-90’s, told Pros2Preps.com Wednesday afternoon. “I remember listening to that same [voice] not too long ago. You end [up] being who you’re around and who’s influenced you through your career whether it be as a player or as a coach.”
Now the two coaches will put their minds together to help get the most out of veteran Carson Palmer who was brought in via trade from the Oakland Raiders Tuesday.
Kitchens, who coached the Cards tight ends last season, believes the 33-year old former USC Trojan still has plenty of football left.
“Skill-wise I don’t know anything has deteriorated,” Kitchens explained. “The guy just threw for 4,000 yards. The guy can drive the ball and get the ball down the field. He seems to be making good decisions with the ball. He stands in the pocket. He’s a tough guy.”
After meeting with Palmer the last couple days Kitchens has also come away impressed with his mental approach and how quickly he’s picked up Arians’ downfield passing philosophies. He also noted his durability throughout his 10-year career.
Many Cardinal fans are hoping the organization can ‘catch lightening in a bottle’ bringing in the veteran QB much like they did with Kurt Warner who led Arizona to the 2009 Super Bowl.
Palmer, who was tabbed the starter by Arians, somewhat scoffed at the idea when he was introduced to the Valley media.
“It so hard to compare quarterbacks,” he said. “I know I have a lot of tread left on my tires. I know my body very well. I’ve taken very, very good care of it over the years. Kurt was in a different stage of his career. It’s hard to make those comparisons. Kurt was a phenomenal player.”
The hope is Palmer adds stability and fills a void left by Warner following his retirement after the 2010 season.