Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 7/15/13
USA Today Sports Calais Campbell is a big fan of new Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer. July 15, 2013 Remember football? Yes? The Cardinals report to camp in just 10 days -- crazy, right? -- and while last year went (ahem) poorly, there's a cliche about how every team is a contender in training camp. True, it's just a cliche, and the Niners and the Seahawks are really good and so on and so forth, but Calais Campbell is telling everybody that yes, seriously, the Cardinals will contend in the NFC West. Why? What's different this year? As he told CBS Sports in an extensive interview over the weekend, We have a quarterback." That would be Carson Palmer, of course, acquired in a trade with the Raiders after nine seasons (featuring varying degrees of statistical success) in Cincinnati and Oakland. Regardless of your opinion about Palmer's age or lack of wins, one thing that's almost certain is that, for the Cardinals, it really can't get any worse. We'll spare you a recap of last year's utter debacle at quarterback following Kevin Kolb's season-ending injuries, but here's a telling stat: Over the last three years (since Kurt Warner's retirement), the Cards have twice finished 31st -- out of 32 teams in the league -- in scoring. In 2011, they finished 19th, which comparatively makes them the equivalent of the 2008 Patriots but didn't even make them average relative to the rest of the league that year. So the Cardinals offense has ranged only from bad to flat-out awful over the past three years. And even last year, the Cards lost five games in which the opponent was held to 23 points or fewer. The distinction between 5-11 and 10-6 isn't a huge one in the NFL. None of this is new information for Campbell. I think it's very likely we can win the division, yes," he tells Freeman. "I respect every opponent in our division. Every one. But I think of it this way: We were able to hang in a bunch of our division games without a real quarterback. I don't want to disrespect anyone, but now we have a real quarterback to go with a good defense. When we play with a lead, we're hard to beat. This is the first time in years that we have an offense that matches our defense. So he doesn't want to disrespect anyone, but he does want it to be clear that the Cardinals' quarterback play has been so awful that he can't even consider it "real" quarterback play. Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley, Brian Hoyer, Derek Anderson and Max Hall might disagree, but an opinion is an opinion. Whether Palmer is a real quarterback (based on Campbell's unstated definition) remains to be seen, but hey, it's summer, which means optimism is welcome. -- Matt Swartz
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Clippers ‘overwhelming favorite’ to keep Chris Paul

Giants owner: Signing Kaepernick would anger fans

Mike Trout to undergo MRI after suffering thumb injury

John Wall: Bench was cause of Wizards’ ‘downfall’

Arum says Pacquiao would fight McGregor if Mayweather won't

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Aaron Judge hits first grand slam of his career

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbaugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Meet your Stanley Cup finalists: Nashville Predators

Getaway Day: There's a murderer's row in the NL West

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker