It’s been a week of reminiscing. Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer learned Tuesday that he would be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor during a home game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 29, and the news made it timely for his old teammates to share their stories about him.
The themes were about friendly bets — and dressing ridiculously after losing them — hard work and toughness.
Oh, and that Palmer, a No. 1 pick, was the prototype for a pro-style quarterback.
But before we get to the best of those comments, Palmer joined Doug & Wolf on Friday to tell the 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station hosts what being inducted into the ring of honor means to him., and how he hopes to be remembered by Arizona fans.
Former Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer
“I just hope they remember some of those special games we played at home. Obviously that game we played against the Packers to move on in the playoffs. We played some really special games — the Sunday Night Football games, the Monday Night Football games, the divisional games. It was just so much fun playing inside of that environment.
“There’s just something different about playing inside that stadium. Our fans really understand the game. There’s so many places you go and play, they’re cheering at the wrong time, and they don’t understand how important this third down is and they’re not quite that loud. And I loved it when I was on the road, they weren’t quite that loud. But our fans get the game. They understand football, they’ve seen a lot of it. They knew exactly how important every third down was. As the importance wore on in the game, you could feel the intensity rise and our fans stand up to the challenge of that team we’re playing against. It’s not like that in every stadium.”
Former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians
“Pete Carroll and I were standing before a game one day up in Seattle and we said, ‘If you’re ever going to build one, just put one together, it’ll look just like that.’ Nobody threw a prettier ball. Nobody really knew how hard he worked at his craft, not just mentally but physically.
“He would work on his body for at least three hours a day — rotator cuffs, every part of his body. Then he really got into the virtual reality … he actually put it in his house. For him, he had to manage family time. He’d get the kids to bed and he’d watch every single rep in practice on that virtual reality that he took in practice. So he really practiced twice for every game, so his preparation was flawless.
“If I had a bad play called he’d get me out of it. He never ran a bad play. You could depend so much on him. I can’t say enough about Carson.”
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury
“I think he’s one of the most underrated quarterbacks of all-time. Actually came out (of college), same year, was at the Senior Bowl and unfortunately got put on his team. I remember walking out the first day and it’s just like this Greek god throwing lightening bolts. Like, this is not going to be a good week for me, next to him.
“Phenomenal talent. I mean, like, if God made a quarterback, how it’s supposed to look, how he’s supposed to throw, how he’s supposed to drop, great charisma, personality.”
Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald
“His toughness. You guys saw him on the field … just to the great measures and lengths he would go to keep himself healthy. It was no secret he took a beating.
“I remember ’15 playing with an index dislocation. I mean, that’s the finger that really controls your accuracy and the countless other injuries he tried to play through.”
Cardinals running back David Johnson
“His humor, he’s always joking, even serious moments. I think that’s one of the things I loved about him, we’d have a two-minute drill or something, he’s joking with us. He just likes to enjoy his life … enjoy being in the league. When you see that, it helps out the morale.
“I always say, anytime I talk about Carson, he was such a tremendous help for me. Not just me but everyone on the team. When I came in as a rookie, man, my head was spinning, trying to learn (Bruce Arians’) offense, and B.A.’s over here cursing me out and stuff. Carson was the one who always kept me mellow, kept me even-keeled. I’m always going to be grateful for that.”