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AP: 23164a9c-954b-45a0-b8b2-4fc8cf80070f
Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback Carson Palmer (3) makes a throw as backup quarterback Drew Stanton (5) waits his turn during NFL football training camp at University of Phoenix Stadium on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Nobody's suggesting the Arizona Cardinals are perfect by any stretch. To suggest that they'll make the playoffs is a stretch.

They've got an offensive line that looks good from afar but last year was far from good, a revamped group at running back, very little depth at the wide receiver position and too much turnover for a defense that didn't do anything to warrant an overhaul.

Oh yeah, and they play in a division featuring perhaps the two best teams in the NFC and perhaps the NFL.

The problem the Cardinals don't have, the one that is blessedly behind us all, is the quarterback controversy. Love him or don't; Carson Palmer is an upgrade over last year's twisted situation.

So when I read stories from Buffalo that Kevin Kolb, who is competing with E.J. Manuel for the starter's gig, "looked at times like he was trying to complete passes to the water cooler on the sideline." I think to myself… I'm glad that's not my team.

When I read stories from New York that say Geno Smith looks like "he had done no conditioning." I think to myself… I'm glad that's behind us.

When I read tweets that the QB's in Jacksonville threw eight straight passes without a completion in 11-on-11 drills.

I think to myself… thank goodness those days are over.

Truth is, quarterback controversies make for great radio in August and garbage teams the rest of the year.

Last year, it was a daily mandatory mention from practice; Kolb looked sharp, Skelton has no touch, Kolb missed the guy down the field, Skelton has more arm strength, Whisenhunt prefers Kolb, the guys in the locker room want Skelton. And on and on and on.

On Monday, I watched Palmer throw over the middle to Larry Fitzgerald. The pass was a little behind Fitz and dropped. A year ago we would have dissected that pass like a frog in biology. This year, it is exactly what it is supposed to be: A starting quarterback and his wide receiver that need to work on their timing. Nothing more. Nothing less.

That, my friends, is progress.

Dave Burns, Co-host of Burns & Gambo

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