In the last week in a half, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton has stepped in for Carson Palmer to lead his team to a win over St. Louis, stand along side his wife who gave birth to their second child, lead the Cardinals to victory over the then second place Detroit Lions and now is game planning for a huge matchup at the Seattle Seahawks.
Despite all of that, on Tuesday morning, he still made time to visit with and run football drills with the students of Madison Park Middle School in Phoenix. An aspect of his profession that he takes very seriously.
“I think it’s very important,” Stanton said. “You have to take your job very seriously and one of those responsibilities is to come out and be a part of the community, get involved and try to have a positive impact. We’ve been given an unbelievable platform so to get out here and try and have a positive impact on these kids’ lives, it’s something that I take very serious.”
Stanton recalls being in the shoes of these kids and what it meant to him when professionally athletes or role models would take the time to visit with him growing up.
“To be able to see the people behind the helmet, you don’t really get that opportunity,” he mentioned. “Especially as kids. I remember looking up to some of my role models and they helped shape who I was. So I think that is part of our duty as professional athletes is to pass that along.”
“Show them that we are just normal people who have been blessed to play a game,” he added.
Stanton has been given the opportunity that he has been hoping for being able to step in as the starting quarterback of an NFL team this season. It is his eighth year in the league and had gone 1,365 days between starts since leaving Detroit, spending a season with the Colts and now in year two with the Cardinals. He is making the most of this and has been so appreciative of the support he has received from the players, coaching staff and the fans.
“The support has been unbelievable,” he stated. “This fan base has been second to none. To be a part of it and have them embrace me, it’s been great and I know we need them each and every home game and we are excited to have them in our corner because they are a huge part of what we do.”
Finally with all this going on around him with his profession, with the new baby girl at home, is he getting any sleep?
“I am getting sleep and doing the best I can,” he mentioned. “My wife’s phenomenal. I rely on her a lot right now. I probably won’t get as much family time in the next couple days but am trying to get as much yesterday and today as possible.”
The last time the Cardinals traveled to Seattle, they handed the Seahawks their first and only home loss of the season. With that in the back of Seattle’s mind on top of the Cardinals having the best record in the NFL, the targets will be on the backs of Stanton and his teammates on Sunday.