Carson Palmer: “I’m really getting comfortable in the offense”

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told quarterback Carson Palmer to take Tuesday off, yet in still, Palmer popped up on the field with tight end Jermaine Gresham, as they continued to get re-acquainted.

Palmer wasn’t too pleased about having to take a back seat, but there’s nothing he could’ve done about it.

“It was something that was set in stone months ago; it was something I argued with for six weeks, and then (I) just gave up, because I realized I was getting nowhere with it,” Palmer said. “I think it’s every fifth day or fourth day (that) they’re gonna make me do it. I understand it, I get it, I’m not gonna like it, but it is what it is.”

As much as Palmer bucked at the notion of not being out there in pads, he says it did do him some good.

“I think so. I won’t admit that to them,” Palmer said. “I understand what their thinking is. You gotta stay in your lane, you gotta do what you do, know what you know, and leave medical decisions to the experts (that) we have.”

It was a scary sight seeing running back Kerwynn Williams get trucked into Palmer on Monday, courtesy of safety Tyrann Mathieu. Palmer says he didn’t really understand what happened until he went back and watched the tape of the play. He says he “didn’t think twice about it” because they were in a two-minute drill, and he had his mind on a thousand other things other than when Williams fell into him.

Mathieu’s been extremely concerned about Palmer’s well being. Palmer says he’s checked on him “a bunch of times.”

“I think he was more scared than I was, (and) a little more nervous than I was when it happened,” Palmer said.

Palmer’s mind is razor sharp, and his body seems to be razor sharp, with all the work he’s put in post surgery. He attributes his sharpness to being in the system for what’s going to be Year Three under Arians.

“It’s just because I’m really getting comfortable in the offense, I’m really getting comfortable with the protections,” Palmer said. “There’s things that I’ve made errors, and some time’s gone by and I’ve made that error again, and I haven’t done that. That has nothing to do with any work or anything like that, that’s just simply reps, and being in the system for three years, and doing it myself, and watching other guys do it, and practicing it, and watching it on film, and now watching it in the Virtual Reality.”

The Virtual Reality technology is pretty limited for the quarterbacks, at least for right now. Palmer says they have it in the quarterback room, but it’s limited to 7-on-7 viewing.

“Where it’s really, really good is when you can watch blitzes, and disguises of defensive fronts, and disguises in the secondary, and how they unfold post-snap, and recognizing those, and redirecting protections,” Palmer said. “Like anything, it’s the first edition, and I think it’ll continue to get better and better.”

The technology around Palmer has gotten better with time, and so has Palmer himself. He’s one of the elder statesmen on Arizona’s roster, along with long snapper Mike Leach (16 years), punter Dave Zastudil (14 years), Cory Redding (13 years), Larry Fitzgerald (12 years) and Frostee Rucker (10 years). Palmer’s into his 13th year in the NFL, and part of the reason why he’s lasted this long is because his body’s not only matured, but so has his mind.

“I feel great. I think a good reason for that is because I’m too old to do what I used to do,” Palmer said. “When I was in Cincinnati (Bengals), we had a golf course literally three minutes away, and between meetings, we’d go and play four holes, or eight holes, or 11 holes, and just compete and bet. There’s a basketball court, and we’d go and shoot baskets and play pool. Now, I’m laid up with my feet up resting and studying.”

“I feel better. I shouldn’t, but I feel better, but it was because I was an idiot back then, and I was doing way too much after practice,” Palmer said. “Back when you’re 22, 23 (years old), especially if you’re a quarterback, you’re not getting hit in practice, I was always looking for something else. I’ve stopped doing that just to get my rest, so actually I feel better.”

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