That quarterback room became much better Tuesday when the Cardinals acquired veteran Carson Palmer from the Oakland Raiders. Still, Palmer and the other quarterbacks on the Cardinals' roster combined for 23 touchdown passes, 23 interceptions and a 5-15 starting record last season. Backup Drew Stanton did not contribute to those figures while backing up Andrew Luck in Indianapolis, but still, there isn't a team in the NFC West that would trade its quarterbacks for the ones on Arizona's roster.
Comments such as this one from Arians are forming a pattern, as if Arians is breathing confidence into the organization following a rough three-year run that bottomed out with Arizona losing 11 of its final 12 games last season.
Arians has been available for interviews periodically, and already he has produced great copy. He used the word "elite" to describe much-scrutinized left tackle Levi Brown. He said newly acquired running back Rashard Mendenhall can "carry a team to a Super Bowl" title. Before adding Palmer, Arians said the team could win a championship with Stanton starting. He has said the Cardinals, losers of their last five NFC West games dating to the 2012 opener, should be fine in the NFC West because the team has defeated division rivals in the not-too-distant past.
"We've beaten these teams in the last two years, so it's not like they are dominating us," Arians said.
Suffice to say, Arians does not see the Cardinals being in rebuilding mode.
"I never use that word," he said. "We’re reloading, not rebuilding. We refused to use that word in Indianapolis last year with 37 players turned over on the roster. Robert Mathis said, 'I ain’t got time to rebuild.' We were in the playoffs. There is no rebuilding going on. We are just plugging in new faces and different faces. This team is not very far off."
That was apparent to Arians, the only NFC West head coach with a Super Bowl ring, when the Cardinals opened their offseason conditioning program Tuesday.
"That's as good a looking football team as I've seen on the first day," he said.
Note: The 49ers have added cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on a one-year deal. More on that in a bit.