Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Staff Writer 16d

QB Drew Stanton: Cardinals' resident jokester, quipster

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Drew Stanton who's self-deprecating, giggles and likes to crack corny jokes during news conferences is the same guy when he's in the huddle as the Arizona Cardinals' quarterback.

Well, there might be one difference.

He's a smartass, too.

Stanton, a career backup who improved his career record with the Cardinals to 7-3 in a 20-10 win against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, has developed a reputation for having a calm demeanor about him on and off the field.

"Some people can misconstrue that laid-back sense of humor as a smartass," Stanton said. "I've definitely gotten that a lot throughout the course of my career. I feel like I've even matured a little bit over the years, so it was probably even worse initially.

"I feel like that's one thing I've always tried to do throughout my entire career. We make it hard enough on ourselves. We take everything so serious, and it should be serious. It's very important, but at the same time, we need to go out and have fun and you only do that by being able to relax and play at your potential. Sometimes, I just go out there and do what I need to do and try to be infectious with that in some way, shape or form."

Calling himself names isn't another one of Stanton's self-deprecating jokes.

His teammates feel the exact same way.

"Drew's the biggest smartass I know," left tackle D.J. Humphries said. "You got to love that about Drew, though. That's his personality. That's who he is. He's not just being a smartass. That's who he is."

Stanton will admit his jokes and quips have gotten better over the years, especially as he's learned the right time and place to drop them.

In the huddle seems like one of his favorites.

"He'll say something during the game and you'll kind of chuckle," wide receiver Jaron Brown said. "You'll be like, 'Wait, we're playing right now.' It's all business once the snap goes."

When Stanton is bickering back and forth with center A.Q. Shipley in the huddle, he's showing his grasp of the offense, which he began running in 2012 in Indianapolis when coach Bruce Arians was the Colts' offensive coordinator and Stanton backed up Andrew Luck.

But there are times when Stanton's teammates throw the heat right back in his face.

On Sunday, Stanton told receivers Larry Fitzgerald and J.J. Nelson to run a hot route. Both Fitzgerald and Nelson looked at Stanton and said, "If it's not hot, we're not going to run it. We don't want to be on the board for something."

That led to a funny exchange between the three of them, Nelson said.

Since Stanton has taken over for Carson Palmer as the Cardinals' starter, he's had a chance to show off his personality more. When asked if what his relationship is like with Fitzgerald, who has been his favorite target since 2013 with the Cardinals, Stanton retorted: "Wouldn't you throw it to Larry?"

When Stanton was asked Monday if he liked the run play Arians called for him on third-and-1 in the fourth quarter, Stanton was brutally honest.

"No, I didn't," he said. "But it works, so I did."

When Stanton isn't being a quipster, he has a calming command on the huddle, according to his teammates.

"I'm always super relaxed when Drew is in the huddle," Humphries said.

That command leads to confidence, Arians said. And on Sunday, that confidence led to a win.

"When Drew steps in the huddle, there is total confidence in the other 10 guys," Arians said. "They know he knows this offense inside and out, and when he gets a hot hand, he can really light it up."

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