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Arians: Carson Palmer will return with vengeance

At its highest level, football requires perseverance.

Peyton Manning will start for the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 after being summarily benched for the first time in his Hall of Fame career. Cam Newton will start for the Panthers in Super Bowl 50, roughly 14 months after one undisclosed NFC general manager predicted that he was "two years away from being finished."

With that in mind, it's fair to wonder if Carson Palmer will overcome the setback of a ghastly six-turnover performance in the Cardinals' NFC Championship Game loss.

Will Palmer's postseason failures continue to haunt him? Or will the 36-year-old quarterback bounce back as the leader of a stacked Arizona roster?

Coach Bruce Arians is confident it's the latter.

"There's no doubt in my mind," Arians said this week, via The Arizona Republic. "He'll come back with more vengeance than before the injury."

Arians expanded on those thoughts at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, when asked what Palmer will take away from the season-ending loss.

"Just the experience. Having failed," Arians explained. "Last year, the knee was the driving force. This year, he's already working like crazy because of the way it ended.

"That's what you want. You want your guys back. When he's back working like that, the rest of them will be back working like that. As a coach, you don't have to say anything. It's just get going again and see if we can reach that pinnacle again and play better."

It's easy to understand why Arians has the utmost faith in his quarterback.

When Palmer first shredded his knee in 2006, doctors deemed the injury a "four" on a "scale of one to three."

When the Cardinals traded a late-round pick for Palmer in April of 2013, he was viewed as a washed-up journeyman coming off a lingering elbow injury that sapped his arm strength.

Just as Palmer started hitting his stride in Arians' offense, he suffered nerve damage in his throwing shoulder. Three months later, he tore the ACL in his left knee for a second time.

Faced with a mountain of adversity, Palmer trained like a maniac to return stronger than ever, leading the Cardinals franchise to its best regular season in nearly 70 years.

"No great man in this country or this world has not persevered," former 49ers great Joe Montana once said. "Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Steve Wilson. Who's Steve Wilson? You don't know who Steve Wilson is? That's because he quit."

As Montana's long-time backup discovered, it takes a Super Bowl victory to get that playoff monkey off a star-crossed signal-caller's back.

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