Arizona Cardinals training camp: Carson Chats

Jul 29, 2016, 3:23 PM
Arizona Cardinals' Carson Palmer (3) stands on the sidelines during an NFL football minicamp, Wedne...
Arizona Cardinals' Carson Palmer (3) stands on the sidelines during an NFL football minicamp, Wednesday, June 8, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

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

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

When you arrived here, what did you think your window was?

“Personally, I just wanted to play. I don’t think I looked at with a specific timeline or had an idea of how many years. I just wanted to play because I love the game.”

Was the clock turned back a little bit after the knee injury?

“A little bit. I think, when you miss games, you realize how much you really miss the game, so I think it’s kind of refreshing to go through that loss. To be so prepared and work so hard to get ready for the season and then get injured and miss those games, it’s refreshing to get another opportunity to train mentally and physically and get ready for another season.”

For you and the whole team, what’s the fine line between using the NFC Championship game loss as motivation?

“I don’t think it’s about any one game, motivation-wise. Everybody is motivated differently. We don’t need motivation. This is a group that loves football. It’s a group that loves to work. It’s a group that enjoys the game, and it’s not pulling teeth. There’s guys that are not fretting. You don’t have those guys that are like, ‘oh man, its training camp.’ We’ve got guys that are excited about training, and that’s the motivation you want to see within each other and within the locker room; guys that want to get better because you got to work.”

Would you consider retirement if the team were to win the Super Bowl this season?

“It’s like anything, the more you get of something, the more you want it; at least that’s the way I’ve always been built. You don’t know until you’re in that position, but I think all the time about (John) Elway’s run, his last two years and how special that was. I remember those like they were not too long ago because I used to live in Colorado also as a young kid, so I watched the Broncos. Watching that career come to an end was pretty special.”

Can this team be better than last year’s team?

“Absolutely. Last year wasn’t good enough, and the guys that were here know that. Guys that have come in—we don’t have any guys coming off a Super Bowl team, other than Evan (Mathis), so we got a guy that knows what it’s like, but most guys are just hungry because they didn’t get it last year. That’s a big part of what’s going on within our locker room is we realize we got to get better and we want to get better. That’s what it takes is the realization that you need to get better and the desire to get better and we have that.”

What does it mean to have all the skilled players return from last season?

“Well, we’re starting so differently than the way we started last year. We’re on a whole different level of this offense. We’re talking about different things. We were in step two and three of certain things. We’re in step four and five now. Our base and where we’re starting is so different from where it’s been. We’ve grown leaps and bounds. We’ve taken big steps and strides. We’re a totally different unit just because our knowledge within the system and knowledge of each other within the system, working in the system.”

How good can David Johnson be as a running back?

“Time will tell. We’ve seen unbelievable runs and great catches and great blitz pickups, so he’s a special back. He’s very dynamic. The best thing about David Johnson is Chris Johnson and Andre (Ellington) and Steph (Taylor) and Kerwynn (Williams), there’s a lot of guys that have carries and have touches in this system and have had experience and success in this system. The best thing that can happen to David is he doesn’t touch the ball 45 times a game. It’s not all on David’s shoulders, which is huge for a second-year player. But, the sky’s limit is the easy thing to say, but I think it’s true.”

How have you seen Michael Floyd develop?

“He’s gotten better every year, but he’s matured every year. Being a young guy coming out of a big school and not getting to play right away, I think, is a little bit humbling. He’s just so consistent. He never asks for the ball. He never says, ‘oh, I was wide open.’ He’s so realistic in the way he plays the game. He doesn’t care if it’s ‘Smokey’ (John Brown) or Andre or J.J. (Nelson) or whoever gets the touches, he’s just a team player. But I think his maturity has really gone up ever year, and I think physically, the best thing he’s done is he’s really started to figure out his body and go up and catch the ball at the highest point. He just got so used to doing it being the 6-5 guy in college and high school where he didn’t really need to really get to the highest point and go up and use both hands, that he could still kind of catch it with his body. He’s really made some strides in using his body, using his height to his advantage and out-jumping guys for the ball. It seemed like he did it every day in OTAs. I’m looking forward to seeing him do it and continue to grow in that area for camp.”

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