Bruce Arians: Cardinals' offense 'light-years' ahead


Carson Palmer has watched Arizona's offense come into full bloom this spring under second-year coach Bruce Arians.

The Cardinals starting quarterback told Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic that last offseason's ponderous install has given way to instinct.

"Myself and other guys were out here last year ... just swimming (mentally)," Palmer said. "Inside your head you're thinking about 80 different things."

That growth extends to the receivers room, where All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald was forced last offseason to learn three unique wideout positions after occupying the same role for his entire career.

"We're working so much more efficiently," Fitzgerald said. "We're finishing (practice) periods with two, three minutes left. We're not having to restart, regroup and do over. It's very encouraging."

As were Palmer's numbers down the stretch in 2013. After producing passer ratings south of 80.0 in six of his first seven games under Arians, the veteran quarterback dialed up 100-plus performances five times the rest of the way.

He's still prone to mind-numbing interceptions, but Palmer was cited by Arians as a signal-caller who could start in Arizona's system for another three or four seasons.

We're suspicious of that prediction, but the coach said this week that Palmer and his teammates were "light-years" ahead of where they were last May.

Along with a frisky defense, Arizona's maturing attack makes the Cardinals an enticing possibility for 2014's "Team of Around the League."

The latest "Around The League Podcast" predicts 2014 starting lineups and talks insider goodness with Bucky Brooks.