- DJ Gallo, ESPN.com
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The Arizona Cardinals have Carson Palmer now and all 31 other NFL teams should be jealous.
That’s a (slight) paraphrase of what Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians had to say when introducing Palmer this week: “I think our quarterback room is as strong as any in the National Football League.”
That’s what he said. About a team that employs Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer to throw footballs in a professional football environment.
Now it’s easy to laugh and get all snarky like the big jerk who wrote the preceding sentence. But Arians’ positivity is refreshing. All NFL teams with seemingly horrid quarterback situations have great quarterback rooms when their depth chart is looked at through Arians-colored glasses.
Let’s put on those (stylish!) glasses, shall we, and have a look.
The Buffalo Bills’ quarterback room is as strong as any in the National Football League. Really. Kevin Kolb is a big star. Don’t believe it? Watch “Silver Linings Playbook.” The Oscar-nominated film features Robert DeNiro, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper … and has a major supporting character who wears a Kevin Kolb jersey. They don’t put your jersey in a big Hollywood movie if you’re some scrub. No, you have to be a star. That’s a fact. So Kevin Kolb is a star. A superstar.
Then there is Tarvaris Jackson. He is so good he’s been wanted by three different teams -- the Vikings, Seahawks and Bills -- in the past three seasons alone. You don’t get more desired than that. The Bills’ quarterback room is strong.
The Miami Dolphins’ quarterback room is as strong as any in the National Football League. You’ve heard about how great the 2012 NFL draft quarterback class was, right? Well, Ryan Tannehill was part of that class. Therefore, he is great. Learn how basic logic works so you can stop embarrassing yourself, OK?
Behind Tannehill the Dolphins have Matt Moore, who was handpicked by the Carolina Panthers in 2010 to replace Jake Delhomme. Delhomme holds, like, every Panthers passing record. Yet the Panthers thought more of Moore. Enough said.
Oh. Let’s not forget about third-stringer Pat Devlin. Devlin played quarterback at Delaware. Hmm. A quarterback from Delaware. Does that ring a bell? Yeah, Delaware is only the same school that produced ELITE SUPER BOWL MVP JOE FLACCO! The Dolphins’ quarterbacks are so good they essentially have Joe Flacco as their third-string quarterback. Boom. Case closed. The Dolphins’ quarterback room is strong.
The Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback room is as strong as any in the National Football League. People talk all the time about how great Adrian Peterson is. And he is great. He is a future Hall of Famer. But Christian Ponder missed Minnesota’s wild-card game last season, Peterson played, and what happened? The Vikings lost. That makes Ponder better than Peterson. That makes Ponder better than a Hall of Famer. Wow.
It would be easy to leave it at that, but the Vikings also have Matt Cassel now. Cassel has made a Pro Bowl in his career. The Pro Bowl is for the best NFL players, meaning the Chiefs have one of the best NFL players as a backup. This is an embarrassment of riches. The Vikings’ quarterback room is strong.
The Cleveland Browns’ quarterback room is as strong as any in the National Football League. Brandon Weeden is part of the vaunted QB class of 2012. So there’s that. But there’s more. So much more. Consider this: The future of the NFL is athletic quarterbacks and Brandon Weeden is so athletic he has been a professional in two major sports. That’s a fact. Weeden was also better at baseball than Russell Wilson, so you can make the case he’s a superior athlete to the Seahawks star.
Cleveland also sports Jason Campbell as its backup. He is an established NFL starter who protects the ball. Teams have won Super Bowls with men like that under center. So a world-class athlete and a Super Bowl champion-caliber quarterback? The Browns’ quarterback room is strong.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback room is as strong as any in the National Football League. Blaine Gabbert looks like someone who would be cast in a movie to play a star NFL quarterback. So he looks the part, but you say he doesn’t have the production to back it up? Fine. Guess who also didn’t win a Super Bowl in their first two years? Just a few guys by the name of Bradshaw, Montana, Aikman, Elway, Favre and Manning. Decent company, no?
A guy who actually did win a Super Bowl in his second year is Tom Brady. He went from Michigan to backup to legend. Someone else who went from Michigan to backup is Jaguars backup quarterback Chad Henne. The next Tom Brady? Maybe. No, probably. The Jaguars’ quarterback room is strong.
The Tennessee Titans’ quarterback room is as strong as any in the National Football League. Want to know the one workout Jake Locker passed on at the 2011 NFL draft combine? The bench press. True story. His strength is so well-known he didn’t even see the need to demonstrate it.
His Tennessee backup is Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yeah, the Harvard grad. So Tennessee has brawn mixed with brains. Impossible to beat that combination. The Titans’ quarterback room is strong.
The Oakland Raiders’ quarterback room is as strong as any in the National Football League. Matt Flynn holds the Green Bay Packers record for single-game passing yards and passing touchdowns. Yeah, that’s the same franchise that employed Bart Starr, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers.
The Raiders also have Terrelle Pryor. In his lone career start, he passed for two touchdowns and ran for 49 yards and a score. In Colin Kaepernick’s first career start last year he also had two passing touchdowns, but he ran for only 10 yards and had no rushing touchdowns ... and then went on to quarterback the 49ers to a Super Bowl. Is Pryor the next Kaepernick? Maybe not. Maybe he’s better. The Raiders’ quarterback room is strong.
New York Jets
The New York Jets’ quarterback room is as ... hmm. Uhh. Huh. This is a tough one. Very tough. Ahh! AHHHHHHHHHH! My Arians glasses just shattered while watching Jets quarterback film and shards of glass are now sticking into my eyes. Blood is everywhere. Help me! HELP MEEEEEEE!
Well, not every team’s quarterback room can be “strong” or the word will lose its meaning, right? Like “elite.” Yeah. So let’s go with this: Thirty-one NFL teams have strong quarterback rooms. The 32nd team is the New York Jets.