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Carson Chats: Palmer ‘excited’ to have Peterson on Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals' Carson Palmer passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

TEMPE, Ariz. – Quarterback Carson Palmer, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media every Wednesday during the regular season.

Here, in this space, with help from the Cardinals’ media relations staff, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters.

On the acquisition of RB Adrian Peterson:

“I’m excited. I’m excited. Been a fan of his for a long time, and now to have him on our team is exciting.”

On how struggling to run the ball has affected the offense:

“Well, struggling to run the ball always affects you. It helps when you’re successfully running it. It opens up some play-action stuff you have in. It eats up the clock, gives your defense a rest and helps you in numerous ways.”

On struggling to gain yards on first and second down:

“Yeah, getting behind the sticks is never good. Last week, a couple times, we ended up in second-and-13 or 14. So, we’re working to improve that to get in more third-and-manageable situations.”

On Peterson being a play-action threat:

“Yeah. Yeah, I think so. And he’s a threat out of the backfield catching the ball, too. We’ve got some special stuff in that I think he’ll excel at and will help all of us.”

On how Peterson looked at practice:

“It was a walkthrough. So, he looked good.”

On if running back is a position more suited to picking up an offense quickly and making an immediate impact:

“For the most part. There are a handful of runs that are all kind of the same. There may be a little bit different terminology, but whether it’s counter footsteps or straight downhill footsteps, it’s the same. Where if you get thrown into a game right away as a receiver, there could be digits system or it could be a word association system. It could take a lot longer. I think the transition should be as fluid as it could be if you compare it to other positions.”

On if Peterson’s arrival provides an locker room boost:

“If you sign a future Hall of Famer, there’s always a little pep in everybody’s step, I would think.”

On the big-picture impact Peterson could have on the offense:

“I just think he adds that extra dimension. He can run away from defenders; he can run through defenders. He runs violently. He runs behind his pads. He’s a threat, obviously. He’s been a threat since his first day in this league. I think the big picture is that he’s a guy that can rip one off and run away from defensive backs, and he can run through defensive backs.”

On how confident he is that Peterson still has the ability to produce:

“I haven’t thought about that for a second. I’ve seen the film. I’ve seen what he’s done this year. He looked great. He looked great walking in the door.”

On RB Andre Ellington’s performances the last few weeks:

“Really good. Really good. Done a really good job. He’s extremely explosive with the ball in his hands, and I can’t think of a situation he’s been tackled by the first guy. He’s done such a good job of getting the ball and finding a seam to hit and getting north, getting vertical very quickly. There’s very little wasted motion or wasted steps. He catches the ball and gets downhill.”

On having success against the Buccaneers last season:

“I don’t think much about playing teams years past. Whether you’re successful against a team in 2016 in a certain way, things change so fast from one year. Players change, schemes change, you change offensively with your own players, so I really don’t look to years past. I look at the film from this year, and that’s it.”

On the Buccaneers giving up big plays this year:

“This year, they have. But, I haven’t compared this year to last year. We were a different team last year and so were they.”

On throwing the ball more this season and if that’s a product of trailing in games:

“Yeah, we were down 21 points in the first quarter. You can tell yourself, ‘There’s a lot of game left. There’s a lot of game left.’ But, 21 points is 21 points. That’s been a situation. Obviously, losing Dave (David Johnson), our featured back, has been a situation. It just seems you throw the ball a little bit more.”

On how he feels about throwing the ball more:

“I love throwing the ball, but I also like getting a defense to suck up against some play-action. Getting in second-and-six and third-and-manageable. It’s a doubled-edged sword. A lot of quarterbacks want to go out and throw the ball every play, but when defenses start to pick up on that, it makes it more difficult. I’m at the stage right now, we’re at the part in the season, where if we can to more 60-40, it probably would be better for all of us.”

On how he feels physically with the high number of passing attempts countered with the offseason rest:

“Yeah, I feel great. That hasn’t changed much. I didn’t throw any balls today. Wednesday is a typical practice day. Whether you throw 60 balls in a game or 40 balls in a game, it doesn’t really affect your arm either way.”

On if he is concerned that the number of passing attempts will remain high throughout the season:

“No. Like I said, I like to throw it. We’d like to get to the point where we’re a little more 60-40, or closer to 50-50, but I’m not concerned.”

On how Peterson’s arrival affects the offensive line’s performance:

“It’s easy to blame the offensive line, but it goes on everybody. Myself, I’ve missed hots. I haven’t done the right thing in protections. Tight ends, running backs, we’re all affected by that. So, it’s unfairly been thrown on a handful of guys, but it’s the entire offense when that comes. As far as how Adrian affects the offensive line play, you put a guy that’s done what he’s done in this league back there, I think guys will get excited. Guys will come off the ball and know that if they get just enough of an edge, or create enough of a seam, that he’s a guy that can hit it. So, like I said, when a guy like that walks in the door, there’s a little more pep in everybody’s step.”

On getting T D.J. Humphries and G Alex Boone back on the left side of the offensive line:

“It’s going to be huge. It’s going to be huge. The tough part about it now is that they haven’t played next to each other, which is so important up there. Chemistry and all the things that come with playing next to a guy for a year, or six weeks, or practicing Thursday or Friday is what it’s going to be this week. It’s difficult. It’s a tough thing to do, but those guys are all in, and they’re excited about the chance to play next to each other.”

On the benefit of experiencing injuries earlier in the season, rather than later in the season:

“I don’t think there’s a benefit to injuries at all. Injuries are part of the deal. You just have to overcome. If they come in the preseason, or early or late, it’s just something that you’ve got to overcome and get past.”

On the challenges the Cardinals will face against the Buccaneers’ defense:

“A really good front four. Gerald McCoy is a great player. They’ve got two linebackers that have been injured and haven’t been on film last week and the previous week. Lavonte David is a great player. Kwon Alexander is a great player. I’m not sure if they’re going to be back. T.J.’s (Ward) a great safety, but I’m not sure if he’s going to be back. It’s one of those weeks where you’re seeing different numbers in there and different numbers cycled through between base defense and dime defense and all that. It’s a solid group and the strength of it is definitely up front and in the middle.”

On what can be done to keep the opposing pass rush off balance:

“Yeah, getting Adrian the ball early would be great. Getting him downhill, even when it’s just coming to the line of scrimmage, it may not be a 10-yard run, but a big guy like that, putting his body on a corner that’s having to come up and make tackles. Getting him going early would be great.

On if it’s easier to play in front of fans during a home game after a tough loss:

“No doubt. No doubt. We’re in an ideal situation, coming off of a long East Coast trip, playing at home. It’s not ideal playing another team coming off a Thursday night game, but they are an East Coast team having to come out here and play early. It’s great to get back and be home.”

On the elements it takes to get hot late in the season:

“You’ve got to do a lot. You’ve got to be great in situational football. You’ve got to win your home games. You’ve got to go out and execute, and that’s what we’re working to do every week.”

On what stuck with him from the Philadelphia game:

“Not one thing. I just remember feeling like you’ve got to press early with being down early, to late in the game, just some miscues here and there. Not one thing from that game. The whole game.”

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