I'll start off this post by saying I'm one of Carson's biggest fans. I've been defending him for the last 2 years like nobody's business. I was out today listening to 1530 Homer and all the callers into the station were ripping on Palmer. The host of the show was defending Palmer as well. I heard lots of the same complaints as I see on a regular basis here. He doesn't have it anymore..... his arm is weak..... he makes bad decisions etc. etc.
So here is my question. Is Carson Palmer really not that good? Palmer hasn't been "Carson Palmer" since 2007 and even then he was beginning to show signs of a decline. Sure the yardage was there, but the accuracy seemed off and lots of balls sailed high.
In 2008 my excuse was that the O-line couldn't get keep him upright. I think the injury just a few games in to the season proves this was correct.
In 2009 my excuse was that the O-line couldn't create a good pocket and that we had no weapons. Oh and the ever popular Bratkowski sucks.
In the off-season I took a step back and evaluated his play over the last few years. Looked at game film available on the internet and compared what I saw with other "elite" QB's.
What has struck me more than anything is that Carson does not get the same zip on the ball that he used to. I'm beginning to think letting the elbow heal naturally was a big mistake. He doesn't seem to be able to get much velocity on the ball to get it in the tight spaces like we have seen before.
This could be why his accuracy isn't what it once was. I know that when I throw a ball as hard as I can I have no-where near the accuracy I would if I threw it at even 90% of my max. Is Carson having to throw the ball as hard as he can now to make routine plays?
Is it the fact that we played 2 good defenses back to back? Maybe I'm being too harsh on him.
The O-line definitely sucks. I feel like Carson could put up Brady type numbers if he had the kind of do your taxes time Brady gets.
Maybe it's all timing? One thing that Carson was so well known for was his timing with his receivers. I remember lots of plays in 05/06 where the ball would be in the air a good 10-15 yards before the targeted receiver even turned to look at Carson. Was this a product of a good O-line?
Part of me also thinks it's all in his head. Somewhere between 2007 and 2008 we lost our 4,000 yard ability.
The only time I really see Carson excel is in the no-huddle. When he runs it he literally appears to be like a different player. He's more accurate, less gun-shy, we don't telegraph a run with "NUMBER 74 IS ELIGIBLE". So this tends to throw wrench in my whole argument.
It would lead me to believe that Carson's inability is a by-product of the system.
Is anyone constantly going over this stuff in their heads as well... or am I just crazy?