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Carson Chats: Being a mentor, facing the Cardinals and what speed brings

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Quarterback Carson Palmer, now in his second year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets with the media several times during training camp.

Here, in this space, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following the morning walk-through:

Do you feel like you have a role helping young quarterbacks Logan Thomas and Ryan Lindley prepare throughout camp?

“I definitely have a role. I see myself as a mentor and a guy that’s been around longer, so I have more experience to share. I try to help out (quarterback coach) Freddie (Kitchens) — Freddie’s got a lot going with game planning and scripts and all that, he’s got a full plate. So I try to help him out and help the young guys out. Answer as many questions and quiz and just do anything I can that can help them.”

Do you need to help other QBs deal with the fact that if all goes according to plan, they won’t see any snaps this season?

“That’s the game. That’s the game. Everybody wants to be healthy and not give up any reps, that’s the life of a quarterback that’s not a starter, whether you’re the second, third practice squad, whatever it is. You always have to be ready. You never know when your number’s going to be called. You don’t want to see anybody get hurt, but at the same time you want an opportunity. Whether you’re a rookie or not, that’s something you learn from day one when you start playing quarterback. There’s only one on the field at a time.”

Bruce has said he may have the starters play less in the preseason, but do you feel like you need those extra plays?

“It’s a double-edge sword. There’s good and bad to it. Obviously we want to play, but we don’t want to be out there and have anything crazy happen and miss real time in the regular season. You compare this year to last year, last year we desperately needed those reps. We needed those reps against a different color uniform playing different coverages and different pressures. I think we’re a lot more comfortable and in a much better place where we may not need those reps and they may not be as vital. You keep guys fresher that way by going through live tackle situations like you do in preseason games. It’s not our decision to make, that’s a head coaching decision and an organization decision. Coach knows how to win in this league, he knows how to win championships in this league. What he says goes, and we’ll follow his lead.”

What’s it like facing your secondary every day?

“It’s been a great challenge, individually, because there’s some really good athletes and good cover guys. But you mix in those guys with Coach Bowles’ system and the different looks. I mean, we’ve seen every single coverage there is. There’s a couple that we couldn’t identify — it’s like he’s making some stuff up just to try it, to see how it goes. So you combine, obviously, Pat and Antonio and the speed and athleticism and the ball skills that those guys have with the multitude of looks and bluffs and pressures, it’s as good a challenge as you can have in camp.”

What has it meant to add extra speed to the offense?

“It’s changed our offense. We were looking for it all last year with Brittan when he came in and played in that 49er game and had a couple long plays late in the year. You look at Mike and Larry who can run, but they’re physical, they’re going to outweigh guys, they’re going to outmuscle guys. They’re possession-type receivers, and you add guys that we’ve added this offseason like Bruce has had in his offense in the past with T.Y. Hilton and Mike Wallace and (Emmanuel) Sanders and all these guys. You add that dimension to this offense, it’s changed our offense.”

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