It was a one-two punch to the gut that Arizona Cardinals center A.Q. Shipley figures he will feel awhile.
First, came the news that Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, with whom Shipley has pretty much spent the bulk of his NFL career, was retiring.
‘It was a pretty emotional scene after the game in Seattle’
Then, on Tuesday, came word that Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer would also be walking away from the game.
“It was a pretty emotional scene after the game (Sunday) in Seattle,” Shipley told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn on the SiriusXM Blitz. “We strung together two good wins at the end of the season, and then (Arians) comes in the locker room and tells us (he was retiring). And everybody kept it quiet until he kind of told everybody on his own terms the next morning.
‘I kind of had a feeling Carson was done just from talking with him’
“I kind of had a feeling Carson was done just from talking with him, but he wouldn’t come out and tell anybody for sure anything. And then you read all the stuff across Twitter and everything. It’s definitely been a whirlwind of emotions the last couple of days, no question about it.”
Now, the speculation is over. It’s time for Shipley and others within the Cardinals to face the fact that two of the more important members of the team are gone.
‘With Bruce … I’ve been with him basically my whole career’
“When it becomes reality, it sinks in a whole lot differently, there’s no question,” Shipley said. “With Bruce, he was the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh when I got drafted (by the Steelers in 2009), so I’ve been with him basically my whole career, whether it was Pittsburgh, whether it was Indianapolis or here, so it’s most of the offense that I’ve been a part of my whole career.
“And then I’ve gotten a pretty good rapport with Carson the last couple of years. I had a feeling that it was possibly going to happen last year and when he came back this year, it was definitely a blessing, no doubt about that. But when he got hurt halfway through the year, you don’t know if he’s going to want to go out that way. He’s had a heck of a career, but in the back of your mind, you’re always just hoping for him to say, ‘I only got half a year this year, so maybe I can come back for one more.’ Obviously, he didn’t go that route.”
‘It’s going to be interesting moving forward’
There could still be another massive retirement facing the Cardinals.
“There’s still the possibility and the realm of Larry (Fitzgerald) retiring,” Shipley said of the star receiver. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen there, either. So it’s going to be interesting moving forward. We’ll see what more headlines we can come up with this offseason.”