The Cardinals faithful have learned a lot about Carson Palmer over the last few seasons. Before he arrived in Arizona, he seemed to be a quarterback with a great arm and all the intangibles but had not yet seen the success that many would expect from a player like him.
It was never more evident than from what we saw in last week’s win over Washington, that Palmer is a lot more than a quarterback with the intangibles. He is a warrior and a player that will put it on the line for his team no matter the adversity.
Though Palmer did not have the success he hoped to obtain while with the Oakland Raiders for two seasons, people who were around the team know this trait in him as a player in the short tie he was there as well. One person who has spent a lot of time around the Raiders for over a decade is their former All-Pro Offensive Lineman and now Radio Sideline Analyst, Lincoln Kennedy, who is one that knew this of Palmer and was not surprised by what he did last week and knew the Cardinals would be successful when they made the move for him.
“I was not surprised to see Carson get back,” Kennedy said as a quest of the Brad Cesmat Show on Wednesday. “I knew he would do whatever he could to get onto the field. The Cardinals were fortunate to win those games when they had Stanton in at quarterback but Carson is their guy. If they are going to go anywhere this season, they have to have their main quarterback at the helm.”
So what went wrong for Palmer while with Oakland compared to the now 12 wins he has notched as a starter in Arizona in less than a year and a half?
“When the Raiders made the deal to get Carson Palmer, Raider-nation felt they may have given up too much to get him,” Kennedy said. “But I understand why they late, great Al Davis did it. Carson is a player who can make any throw on the football field. The biggest deficit he faced while he was in Oakland was that he didn’t have any receivers that could create any separation. A lot of times, he was trying to force the ball places he couldn’t get the ball into and it turned into turnovers or what-have you. He was not surrounded by the right weapons”
Kennedy believes that with these weapons that Palmer now has around him in Arizona, he is now being put in position to succeed. On top of that, he has a coach and a scheme that is paying dividends. Something that also was not the case during his time in Oakland.
“More importantly, he was not in the right system that was conducive to his strengths,” he mentioned. “I think Bruce Arians has corrected that, I think the Arizona Cardinals have corrected that. That’s why I knew the Arizona Cardinals were going to be that much better when they acquired him. You have receivers for him, you finally have an offensive line that can protect him so that Carson Palmer can work his magic. I think that’s why they had double-digit wins last year along with their stingy defense.”
For the Raiders, they brought in Carson Palmer to be a franchise quarterback to help turn the franchise around and bring back the success they had back when Kennedy was suiting up for them. But Palmer did not end up being that guy. This season however, they may have finally found that player in 2014 second round pick Derek Carr.
“It’s been a long time since the Raiders could say they have a franchise quarterback,” said Kennedy. “I think you would have to go back to the days when I was there in the early 2000s with Rich Gannon. But they think they have their quarterback for the future and I know they are please to have gotten great value in him so well to date.”
Carr in five games as an NFL starter this season has a quarterback rating of 81.8 with a 61% completion percentage, over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns to five interceptions. It has been a learning curve for the rookie, but Kennedy mentions that Carr brings something to the table that the Raiders have not seen in quite some time on the offensive side of the ball.
“The Raiders had their third preseason game which was against the defending world champion Seattle Seahawks in Oakland and the coaching staff and the people like me on the sidelines noticed there was an energy that was present for the offense when Derek Carr was at the helm that wasn’t there for Matt Schaub or anybody else for that matter,” Kennedy explained. “Taking all that into consideration, he is still a rookie so you know there is going to be a learning curve.”
Carson Palmer will square off against Carr and his old team for the first time since being traded from the team on Sunday in Oakland.