Say what you will about short-week football; it definitely has one benefit. Playing on only three days rests leaves no time for dwelling on subplots.
We saw it earlier this year, when Chiefs coach Andy Reid returned to Philadelphia. And we’ll see it this week, when Carson Palmer faces his college coach for the first time.
Palmer played for Pete Carroll at USC. But Palmer and Carroll hadn’t crossed paths since Carroll returned to the NFL in 2010. They will on Thursday night, when Palmer’s Cardinals take on Carroll’s Seahawks.
“On such a short week, I’m so focused on . . . I really haven’t thought much about it,” Palmer told reporters on Tuesday. “I’ve been so focused about getting the new install and third down and red zone, and then all of the film that I had to get watched in such a short amount of time. I haven’t even really had much of a chance to think about it. But just think back, I absolutely love playing for him. Loved the game. After the game, I hope to get a chance to see him. But really, on such a short week, you just don’t have much time to sit back and think about the good old days. I’ll do that later. But it’s an honor to play against this team. I’m not surprised they are where they are. I’m not surprised he’s been to the playoffs, year in year out. He’s one of the best there is.”
It’ll also be the first game between the two franchises since the Seahawks blasted the Cardinals 58-0 last December.
“It got brought up,” Palmer said. “There’s some new guys on the team that didn’t experience that. But, it definitely got brought up by the head coach and I think he said it in a way that everybody responded well to it.”
We don’t know what the head coach said, but here’s a possibility: “I probably wouldn’t have this job right now if you guys didn’t get your butts kicked so bad. So thanks.”