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 personnel conversations he has with reporters following the morning walk-through:
So, another day off; does it feel like a day off when you don’t practice?
“No, I still do conditioning and lifting and running and footwork stuff. They do a good job of taking (care of) guys that have a lot of reps underneath their belts over the years, and I’m one of those guys.”
What do you hope to see from the offense in the third preseason game against Houston?
“Just efficient, consistently good football. You don’t know how much you’re going to play—you kind of don’t want to know, just so you don’t start thinking about it. You just want to focus on each play. I just think being efficient in the run game, in the pass game and everybody go in, be on the same page do your jobs and come out healthy. As players, that’s your main concern. You just don’t want to lose somebody in one of these games.”
Is there a shock to your body when the regular season comes and you play into the second half?
“No. I mean our practices are three hours long, two-and-a-half hours long. No, because they chart every one of our throws, and we’re throwing 90 footballs in a practice and I’ve never thrown 90 footballs in a game. So, I think they do a great job with (head athletic trainer) Tom Reed and his guys and (strength and conditioning coach) then Buddy Morris and his guys and the sport science department, they look at it so meticulously and make sure your bodies are prepared and conditioned for the game.”
With the way the offense has performed in the preseason do you need to see something more before the regular season begins?
“I mean you hate to say it, but the preseason games, we’ve had 15 reps in preseason games. We’ve had thousands of reps thus far in training camp. We’ve had tens of thousands of reps together as a unit. There’s enough data looking back at all the plays in last year’s games and OTAs and so far this training camp. That’s where you get your, I think, confidence and you see where you’re made of and what you’re made of by looking at so many reps that we’ve put together as a group, not three series as an offense in a preseason game.”
Coach said he was sorry J.J. Watt wasn’t playing, how sorry are you?
“Not that sorry. I was watching their game against Indianapolis last year and he was all over the place. Yeah, when I watched that game, I was not that sorry.”
Why do you think it’s worked so well here in the past three seasons from ownership (team president Michael Bidwill) down to GM Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians?
“Well, you’ve got three quality individuals in the trio of guys that really run things. Everybody understands their role and I think kind of stays in their lane and handles what they’re supposed to handle and does a great job handling it. None of that’s possible without an owner that’s willing to do what it takes to win and spend what it takes to win. There’s no doubt our owner does that. Steve is, for a young guy, as accomplished as you can be at that position. The proof is in the pudding. The rosters he’s put together, and then guys he’s hired. Terry McDonough, who’s fantastic at what he does in his role (as vice president of player personnel), so Steve has done a great job of hiring the guys around him. And then obviously hiring Bruce and bringing Bruce in to this situation. I think it starts at the top, obviously with Michael. They just work well together. Their egos don’t get in the way of making the right decisions. It’s apparent from the players’ standpoint. It’s obvious. You see it.”
What do you think of Jaron Brown and the opportunities he’s taken advantage of recently?
“Yeah, that’s the main thing is he’s gotten opportunities. For whatever reason over the years he just hasn’t been on the field a ton because there are guys in front of him and he’s been the young guy, the undrafted guy. With ‘Smokey’ (John Brown) being down for a number of days of practice and then J.J. (Nelson) being down and Larry (Fitzgerald) being down, he’s just gotten that opportunity and he seized it. That’s the definition of next man up. I think he embodies that very well because we were down three receivers at one point and then Brittan (Golden) was down, too, so four receivers. The next man up needs to come make plays and he’s done that every day in camp.”
What do you think of Sports Illustrated picking you guys to win the Super Bowl?
“It’s flattering, but I don’t think anybody thinks much of it around here. We know that that’s irrelevant and doesn’t really mean anything. It’s flattering, but there’s so much football—there’s so much training camp. We’re still here until Friday, so we have so much on our plates that I don’t think anybody is focused on that or thinks much of it.”
Offensively, can you build on what you accomplished last year?
“Yeah, that’s absolutely the goal because in no way was it perfect or good enough. But, there’s no doubt that guys are not just saying, ‘ah, we’re going to be good on offense because we were good last year.’ We’ve made efforts, we’ve put emphasis on different periods. Third down and red zone are always something you work on, but third down and red zone are something we have to get better on, and I think we’ve gotten better and you’ve seen that happen from the first of camp to day 18 or 19, whatever it is.”