Carson Palmer on Cardinals offense: “We keep improving and working”

TEMPE, Ariz. — Carson Palmer’s been ready for minicamp for a long time.

He was so worked up for the first day that he could hardly sleep on Monday night.

“I’ve been anxious since November 18. Last night was a long night; didn’t sleep great, just excited,” Palmer said. “There’s nothing like it. When you do get injured, and you have it taken away, it gives you a different perspective. I don’t know if it’s a new found love for it, but just a different perspective. I’ve been anxious for a while.”

Palmer finally got a chance to get some 11-on-11 work with the first-team defense on Day One of minicamp. His head coach – Bruce Arians – thought he was “outstanding,” saying of a hundred balls Palmer threw, only one of them was bad.

Palmer didn’t feel that way. He was much more critical of his performance. Palmer says he’s still got a coat of rust on him that he needs to buff out over the next couple of days.

“This is just one of the many steps in the long road,” Palmer said. “This is a goal from the get go, from November 18 on. Just one goal achieved, but there’s a lot bigger goals and a number of goals still to go.”

Palmer’s rust is coming from him having to re-teach himself everything he already knows about football – from his footwork down to his throwing technique.

“Being in the heat of the battle, and directing protections, footwork in the run game,” Palmer said. “I’ve been working so hard at footwork in the pass game, but run game I overlooked a little bit, just kind of waiting for this time, because this is when you really realize when bullets are flying, and guys are going full speed; angles and depths of your steps in the run game.”

“It’s very expected. I knew it was going to come,” Palmer said. “I got a long way to go.”

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Palmer is a perfectionist. Even though he’s human, he holds himself to a super-human standard when he’s out on the field. When he was talking to the media after practice, Palmer said he had “five or six plays” that were running through his mind as he stood on the podium taking questions, and another “four or five” he’d tack on once he got in the locker room.

Arians hopes that Palmer is never happy after a practice.

“I don’t think he ever will be, until he hoists that Lombardi Trophy,” Arians said.

Palmer says he didn’t once think about the defense coming full speed at him during practice. Even though they can’t touch him, per CBA rules, he says that part of it was “irrelevant.”

“It’s just the little things, the little steps, the footworks, the foot angles, the foot depths, having to move out of the way when a guy does come, and get back to balance and get back on your platform to deliver an accurate ball. Those are the things that I need continued reps at,” Palmer said.

Palmer is liking what he’s seeing from his offense, now that he’s gotten a full practice under his belt, and he survived the defensive onslaught.

“We just keep taking strides. We just keep getting better. We just keep improving (and) working,” Palmer said. “It’s a group that’s not satisfied with anything. We’re playing against a really good defense, so it’s a good test for us (seeing) a ton of different looks and different personnel groups. There is nothing vanilla that we see, so it’s a great challenge for us day in and day out. We just keep grinding.”

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