Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald shakes the hand of future teammate Blaine Gabbert after a 2015 game.
Carson Palmer likely won't throw until the end of the offseason work, coach Bruce Arians said Friday following the Cardinals' first rookie minicamp practice, in an effort to keep the quarterback fresh for the season.
"He'll do everything mentally," Arians said. "He tosses some soft ones around. He doesn't need to be out there right now."
Adding veteran Blaine Gabbert – "We'll have four arms for two fields," Arians said – was to make up for Palmer's schedule. But Arians also made it clear that he likes Gabbert, even through all the on-field struggles for the former No. 1 pick.
"I remember a throw when I was with the Steelers," Arians said of Gabbert's time in Jacksonville. "(Linebacker) James Harrison came unblocked. (Gabbert) threw a skinny post on the money for a touchdown and James Harrison clocked him. He jumped up, kept on playing. Always have that memory of him.
"When you get beat up mentally by the press and everybody else, it can weigh on you. I don't feel that when I talk to (Gabbert). I feel some confidence still. I'm really anxious to throw him in the mix with our guys."
In his career, Gabbert has a 9-31 record as a starter, with 38 touchdown passes and 37 interceptions. Arians tried to recall the number of head coaches and offensive coordinators Gabbert has had over six years.
"Whatever those numbers are, that never is a recipe for success," Arians said.
(Arians declined to take questions about players that are not on the Cardinals' roster. It seemed aimed toward any queries about recently released linebacker Daryl Washington, but included any about signing Gabbert over Colin Kaepernick.)
Arians said he "loved" Gabbert coming out of college. In his workout with the Cardinals, Arians said he liked Gabbert's velocity as well as accuracy, and perhaps more importantly liked the way he could repeat playcalls to verbiage similar to Arians' playbook.
Gabbert will battle for a job behind Palmer alongside Drew Stanton, Zac Dysert and undrafted rookie Trevor Knight.
"It's a fresh start," Arians said.
The Cardinals hold their first rookie minicamp practice in 2017