Cardinals' Arians, Palmer team up for 'last rodeo'

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm •  Published: July 27, 2013
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has worked with some pretty good quarterbacks in his coaching career — Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck.

Now, with Arians at age 60 in his first full season as an NFL head coach, his quarterback is 33-year-old Carson Palmer.

"Like I told him," Arians said on Saturday, Day 2 of the Cardinals' training camp, "this is a cowboy movie with two old guys, this is our last rodeo in the desert."

Palmer has arrived highly motivated. At this stage of his career, he's not interested in a long rebuilding project. It's about winning now, he said. No matter what it will have to come in the NFC West, arguably the toughest division in the league.

While there is much work to do, he said, he senses the same sentiment among his teammates.

"The one good thing you look at is that guys are flying around, guys are excited to be out there, guys are excited to get going," Palmer said. "There's not the attitude of 'Let's get through camp,' there's an attitude of 'Let's get better.'"

Palmer is entering his 13th NFL season, his 6-foot-5, 235-pound frame battered in his years with the Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders. The Cardinals, in dire need of a quarterback after a disastrous 2012 season, sent only a sixth-round draft pick to Oakland to get Palmer, then signed him to a two-year, $16 million contract.

Last year, Palmer had the third 4,000-yard passing season of his career, but the Raiders were usually trying to come from behind, limping to a 4-12 record. It was clear Palmer's two-year stay there was over. Arizona loomed as probably the final destination in a career with big numbers not a lot of success in terms of wins and losses. In 122 career starts, Palmer is 54-68.

In yet another training camp, Palmer said it's back to basics for him.

"Early stages one of the things I'm always focused on is mechanics and footwork," he said. "That's something you can't get enough work on. You can't get coached enough on it. You can't get enough reps. It's something I'm consistently looking at."

He's also keeping up his work on the playbook, even though he's been studying it all offseason, through a series of formal and informal workouts.

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