Injured Arizona Cardinals tight end Jeff King knows he's not the fulcrum of his team's offense. And he never will be. He's a tight end.
"Everybody understands this league is a coach and quarterback league," King told The Doug and Wolf Show Friday morning, following the Cardinals' 34-22 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night.
"The quarterback gets all the credit and all the blame," the eight-year veteran went on to explain.
With such a reality at play, it's easy to point to Cardinals' quarterback Carson Palmer -- and his 13 interceptions -- as the sole culpable party in the team's offensive struggles. That's not the case, says the 30-year-old tight end.
"There's a ton of things timing wise that Carson can do better, no question," King conceded. "But he needs a little help as well, from protection to routes to everything.
"When any quarterback of Carson's caliber struggles, it's a group effort."
Because it's not just one player's inability, but the collective maturation of an entire offensive unit, King believes there's reason for optimism with the Cardinals' offense, which he says will improve.
"This is going to be a learning process," he said. "Anytime you have a new coaching staff, anytime that you go through a season where everyone says, ‘Okay, this is week 7, this is week 8, these guys should know the offense.' Well, the offense is also evolving every week."
Of course, in a ‘coach and quarterback league,' as described by King, it's not helping the Cardinals that both coach and quarterback are brand new.
"These guys are still learning this offense," he said. "You know, right now I think guys are just a step slow. As the season goes along, everybody's going to get better and a little more comfortable. On the same hand, the coaches are going to understand what they can and cannot do. Right now, they're kind of feeling out the process for a game week as well."
And although they're nearly midway through a season of offensive disappointment, King sees things coming together, predicting successes down the stretch for Palmer, Bruce Arians and company.
"In the latter half, the latter third of this season, I think you're going to see this offense go from 0 to 100."