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:
Do you like scheduled days off?
“Love scheduled days off.”
Bruce Arians says you being a California guy makes you a bit of a different QB for him to work with.
“I don’t know if that’s good or bad. He’s worked with the best to ever play the game and great young ones. Everybody knows his track record, and I just try to be a sponge. You try to learn as much as you can and absorb as much as you can because there’s a deep well of knowledge that he has.”
When you were younger and played against the Colts, did you go out to the field early and watch Peyton Manning warm up?
“When I was young I wasn’t living far away from Indy and a handful of times I went to Monday Night games to watch just, not watch the game, but to watch the sideline interaction and what was going on. As a young quarterback — in college you don’t have pictures, you don’t have the dialogue you have in the NFL because everything’s so much more simple. So I learned a lot just watching during timeouts, after series. You don’t learn a ton, obviously, because you’re sitting up in the stands, but I definitely have respected him since I first came in the league and I first met him.”
Why did you want Jermaine Gresham and Chris Johnson back so badly?
“Well, they’re great football players, obviously. They had great success. You think back to some of the catches Jermaine made and how short he was actually here. He came in, had just come off surgery, and it took him a while to actually be able to practice last training camp, but as soon as he got it going — I think back to that Seattle game, the huge third-down conversion he had, the big touchdown to seal the game he had. And Chris Johnson, I’ve said it before, he’s an unbelievable teammate. Obviously been, at one time, was probably one of the most dominant players in the game for a while. And what he brings with experience and just his humility and his team-first mentality is something that’s great for young guys to see. Great for young guys that want to be the Chris Johnson of 2009, ’10, ’11. To see the teammate that he is and the way he interacts and the way he studies, he is so entrenched in this offense and knows it inside and out and knew it right away and learned it right away, and that’s a great thing for young guys to see.”
With Chris Johnson back and David Johnson growing, what do you see in the backfield?
“We have high expectations, they have high expectations. I don’t know another backfield like it because Andre (Ellington) is in there, too, and Stepf (Taylor) is so dependable and Kerwynn (Williams) — there’s a ton of competition at that position and it’s such a great change of pace because everybody does something different; everybody has a strength that might be a little bit different than each guy’s strength. So it’s a really diverse group of guys, abilities. I don’t know what the potential is, I’m just excited to be a part of it.”
What’s your take on the offensive line so far?
“Great, great. We’ve got a lot of depth. We’ve got a young guy playing next to as veteran a guy as you will see, a guy that’s won a Super Bowl, a guy that’s played at a high level for a long time and is really, really smart. And obviously Jared (Veldheer) and Mike (Iupati) are great players and A.Q. (Shipley) is coming along and really done a great job, so it’s a very, very solid group and as good a group as you will find.”
Thoughts on D.J. Humphries, who said he’s getting comfortable.
“I think it’s tough, especially his situation, first-round pick, don’t know if he dressed for a game all year and was carrying shoulder pads in from practice. He kind of was the big dog on campus and then he was the young rookie. He knew he had a lot of growing up to do, he knew he had a lot of improvements to make in every part of his game. Confidence is such a big part — we talk about intangibles and talent — confidence is another big part of it. You don’t just get confidence. The more ways you can build that up other than strictly playing in games, the better. But I just love the way he competes. He is such a competitor. He’ll get beat on one play and then absolutely try to take a guy and just blow him off the screen and take him out of the play, and that’s what you want to see from a young guy that, at the end of the day you just don’t know you can play in this league until you play in this league, and just love the way he competes, his attitude, his work ethic. He’s done a great job.”
How do you handle expectations being thrown on you from outside?
“I don’t know. I don’t think about it; I don’t worry about what anybody’s expectations but our own expectations. I think everybody thinks they’re going to win the Super Bowl right now — maybe some people more than others — but there’s a lot of teams, more than half the league has a legitimate shot at it. We like where we’re sitting, we’re in a great spot. As far as what you’re projected, none of that, it’s just nonsense right now. There’s so much work that needs to be done. There’s a lot of potential and talent, but that’s irrelevant. The work has to be put in that’s being put in.”
Bruce Arians was asked if he ever gets into yelling matches with you, and he said he yells at you but you’ve never yelled back.
“I haven’t heard anybody yell back at him and I’m not going to be the first. So, yeah, I haven’t seen it or heard it yet.”
How does your relationship with a coach change as you get older?
“I think you relate more to 30-year-olds than you do early 20-year-olds, no matter if the coach is 65 or 40, whatever it may be. And I’ve noticed that. Obviously, I relate more to Larry (Fitzgerald) and Evan (Mathis) and some of the older guys, Frostee (Rucker) and these guys that are born in the mid-80s that come in the locker room, it just seems odd — late 80s now. But you just have a different connection. Jermaine (Gresham) made a reference about a TV show when he was a little kid and he asked me a trivia question, and I was like, ‘Dude, I was in high school when that movie came out; I wasn’t watching Disney movies when I was in high school and you were in fourth grade.’ You have different backgrounds and references when it comes to things like that.”