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The Arizona Cardinals expected quarterback Carson

first_img The Arizona Cardinals expected quarterback Carson Palmer to do big things, but how he’s done it in 2015 comes as a bit of a surprise. That’s because Arizona has been nothing but successful running play-action — faking hand-offs before throwing the ball downfield.Aggressive play-action wasn’t expected to be part of the plan considering the Cardinals weren’t projected to be a run-heavy team. But running back Chris Johnson has changed that, according to ESPN Insider Ron Jaworski. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Your browser does not support the audio element. “Here’s a wily ol’ veteran who has a tremendous clarity of what the defense is doing,” Jaworski said. “He knows how to settle in the zone. When you play a zone against Larry Fitzgerald, he will slice you up.” Comments   Share   Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) drops back to pass against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)center_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “You can see the benefit to Carson Palmer when you’re running the football and the play-action passing game is at your disposal,” Jaws told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7. “And Johnson is getting better every week. I”m starting to see that jump-cut, that quickness, that explosiveness. I think he’s going to get better as the season goes on.”Johnson is tied for second in the NFL with 405 total rushing yards and his success has opened up an efficient passing attack. Last week against the Detroit Lions, Palmer threw just 14 passes but completed 11. He recorded as many touchdowns as incompletions.Jaworski and his research team found just how effective Palmer has been using the run game to make big plays. He said Palmer has completed 22-of-27 passes for 354 yards out of play-action. That’s 13 yards per attempt, which ranks No. 1 of all quarterbacks with at least four starts. “By the way, that is a perfect passer rating out of play-action,” Jaworski added.Jaworski also shared what he’s found in studying Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald.Arizona’s leading receiver (35 catches for 490 yards and six touchdowns) has thrived against zone coverage but his age has shown against man. Fitzgerald has made 12 catches for 126 yards against man-to-man coverage this season and 23 receptions for 364 yards against zone schemes. Eight of nine incompletions that targeted Fitzgerald were against man coverage, according to Jaworski. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo LISTEN: Ron Jaworski, ESPN NFL analyst Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more