|Cardinals coach Bruce Arians (above) says it's too early to tell if there's another Andrew Luck in April's draft. (USATSI)|
More than almost any team in the league, the Arizona Cardinals have a glaring need at quarterback that will likely be addressed in the offseason.
Since Kurt Warner's retirement, the Cardinals have yet to finish a season ranked above 17th overall in passing. In two of the three seasons, Arizona was 28th or worse.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine that his team is just in its initial phase of the evaluation process of the quarterback position.
“There are a couple guys you probably won't know until you get your hands on them,” Arians said. “You can see how they throw, how they run and how they jump, but the two (biggest) muscles you play quarterback with are your brain and your heart. They are really hard to judge until you step in the huddle with one of them.”
For a prospect in the draft, Arizona might be a preferred destination given Arians' success in helping develop young quarterbacks. Arians served as the Colts' quarterback coach from 1998-2000 early in Peyton Manning's career. Arians also worked as an assistant on the Steelers' staff for the first eight years of Ben Roethlisberger's career and coached Andrew Luck last season.
“They have a good body of work right now, whether there is an extremely elite guy is yet to be seen,” said Arians of this year's crop of quarterbacks. “Is there an Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger? I think all that is to be found out in the next month or so.”
USC quarterback Matt Barkley might be a possibility for the Cardinals if he slides past the first round.
“It looks like he's going to be well soon, he'll have four or five full days (in Indianapolis) because some guys will want to meet with him individually,” Arians said. “I think Pro Day will become important for him. He will be fine once he shows up and his arm strength comes back.”
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