For the first time in his career Stanton started more than three games filling in for Carson Palmer, who missed 10 games with shoulder and knee injuries. The extra playing time gave Stanton enough tape to see trends and tendencies develop. He's broken it all down, analyzing every nuance.
"It's exciting from my standpoint because this is first time I've really had that opportunity to evaluate myself and take an honest look," Stanton said. "Now, [I'm] able to take a step back and say, 'What did I do good? What did I do bad? What routes did I throw well? What could I have done different in different situations that could have turned out better for us and helped us win football games?'"
With Palmer expected to be out for most, it not all, of organized team activities and minicamp, Stanton will take what he learned on tape and implement it on the football field. After injuring his knee and missing the final three games of the 2014 season, including the Cardinals' playoff loss to Carolina, Stanton said he's 100-percent healthy "as far as football wise."
"I can do everything," Stanton said. "I don't have any limitations. There's some stuff that we're going to be smarter on throughout the course of the offseason as far as conditioning and trying to do less pounding on that knee and let it fully recover.
"As far as football is concerned, there will be no limitations. I feel awesome."
With Stanton expected to get most of the snaps with the Cardinals' starters this offseason while Logan Thomas is expected to be on the second field working with the rookies, second- and third-teamers, Stanton's not changing his approach to the offseason.
Especially after last season. The game started slowing down for Stanton during his first start in Week 2 at New York, so the next step will be refining his mechanics in an attempt to become more efficient.
"Any time you get a chance to play and play for an extended period of time, you get to see where you're at and where you want to progress to," Stanton said. "With each start I was getting more comfortable and doing more within the offense, and the game was slowing down around me. That first game in New York, as soon as the huddle broke, you're trying to identify everything that's going on. Granted, New York was pretty multiple in their fronts in what they did, but it slowed down over that period of time.
"And given a chance now to go back and watch all the film and work on some of those things mechanically and [figure out] what was I thinking going through the read and progression."
Stanton, 30, began his rehab two weeks after the season ended with Brett Fischer, an Arizona-based physical therapist who also works with the Cardinals. He toyed with the idea of wearing a knee brace but it felt inhibiting, so Stanton decided against wearing one.
Stanton isn't preparing for another 2014, when injuries decimated the Cardinals quarterbacks all season long. He understands his role, but he also knows he needs to be ready. And after last season, his state of readiness will be better than it ever has been.
"I realize I'm the backup. Carson's the starter here," Stanton said. "He's going to do everything he can. Whatever he can't do, my goal is to do everything else and go from there. This is a great opportunity again for me to go out here and get these invaluable reps and see everything unfold in front of my eyes."