Carson Palmer News Conference

Cincinnati Bengals Dec. 8, 2004

News Conference Transcript

Carson Palmer

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Q:** The Patriots are tough, but you guys beat them 31-3 in preseason ...

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CP:** That was months ago. We're not even worried about that game or thinking about that game. We're watching the last four or five or six games. Preseason, you don't think a whole lot about. They are a completely different team now. We're a completely different team at this point in the season.

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Q:**Bill Belichick seems to disagree about the relevance of the preseason game ... ?

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CP:** I think he's using that just as a little motivation factor. When you've won so many games in a row, you got a 17-game home (winning) streak, you've always got to look for something. That's probably his reason for using it, as motivation for them. But he's going to have his whole bag of tricks for us. We've got to come out and be on our toes. He does a great job scheming offenses, so we're going to work hard this week, get our stuff ready, and hopefully it will match up to what he's doing.

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Q:**Does the Baltimore performance have a carryover effect going into the New England game?

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CP:** I think so. I think it will give us a little boost this week going into this game, giving us some confidence going up against one of the top teams in the league. It will be a similar situation. I don't know if it's quite as loud as Baltimore, but they've got some pretty intense fans. The people really care about their organization and their team, so it will be wild. It'll be a fun game to be in.

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Q:**Your thoughts on T.J. Houshmandzadeh's performance so far this season ...

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CP:** It's been awesome having T.J. kind of come out of the woodwork and really fill in for Peter (Warrick). I think he's slowly, week by week, gotten more and more confident in himself and what he's doing. I know my confidence in him has grown tremendously and I feel that he can go up and make plays at any point in the game. Obviously he's shown that he can be a game breaker. His confidence as high as it is, and him working as well as he is and playing as well as he is, has given our offense another go-to guy.

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Q:**Do you see any similarities between the Patriots' 3-4 defense vs. Ravens' 3-4 defense?

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CP:** They switch it up a lot, but it's two completely different defenses and two completely different personnel groupings. It does help us going from a 3-4-style defense to a 3-4-style defense two weeks in a row. But it's a whole new game plan and a whole new defensive scheme. They play the same style of defense, but Baltimore does so many different blitzes and blitzes different people. The Patriots really like to send Rodney Harrison a lot. They switch in and out of schemes, in and out of looks a lot. Even in third-down situations they switch. Baltimore has a third-down package, so it's really not the same defense. Even though you categorize them both as 3-4 defenses, they play it different.

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Q:**How do you prepare for their schemes?

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CP:** You really don't prepare any differently. I'm going into this game like any other game. They do a lot of disguising. They do a lot of different looks. But a lot of teams do that. They may be the best in the league, so we just need to be on our toes that much more and play that much better. You don't go out and change what you do. You don't go out and change your offense. You don't change the way you prepare or the way you practice. You go out and you play. You expect to be in situations that you can be successful and call the right plays and the right schemes, so we're really not changing anything we're doing. We're doing the same stuff we do every week.

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Q:**Your thoughts on Levi Jones at LOT so far this season?

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CP:** He's been awesome. At the beginning of the year was hurt. He's had a knee problem. But I think the first four or five games since he's been healthy, he's been lights out on that edge. He's playing the toughest position on the o-line at left tackle, which is the blind side of the quarterback, and done a phenomenal job. His athletic ability really sets him apart. He's a pretty physical guy, but he can run, he can move and keep up with guys like Terrell Suggs, the quicker faster defensive ends. With him healthy, he's a completely different person like anybody else would be. We need keep him healthy these last few games.

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Q:**Does the speed of the game seem to be slowing down as you are becoming more comfortable behind center?

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CP:** Not really. It still is fast. Guys are still flying all over the place for me. It hasn't slowed down really at all. It's stayed at the same pace it seems all season long. But I think the more you're in certain situations, the more blitzes you see, the more times you see a certain coverage on a certain play, you start to pick things up and start to figure things out. But it hasn't slowed down at all. I still have a long ways to go to where I need to be to react to certain defenses and coverages. But I don't know. It would be interesting to see...I don't know what Peyton (Manning) sees out there, but it must be really slow for him.

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Q:**Are you starting to get in a comfort zone?

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CP:** Definitely. I think (Ben) Roethlisberger is kind of set apart from everybody else. It seems like all quarterbacks, it really takes them a while to get in the groove. I know it's taken me a while, and I still don't feel...I wouldn't say comfortable out there. But I'm starting to get there more and more. I definitely feel each week, just going into the game, that I can see stuff better and I'm able to react to certain coverages better.

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Q:**What does New England do best on defense?

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CP:** They don't have a bunch of superstars all over the place. They have very solid players at every position. They just do a great job in their scheme. I think those three or four of the linebackers played together for six, seven, eight years. They understand their scheme. They understand each other, and how each guy's role in the scheme works, and how it affects them. They're just a smart defense. They don't have the biggest, strongest, fastest guys over there. But they have a very solid defensive line, a very experienced linebacker corps, and their secondary has been their weakness in the past. But they still have guys like Rodney Harrison back there. It's just a solid defense with guys that understand their scheme and each other.

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Q:**Ever play against a wide out turned defensive back like Troy Brown?

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CP:** I don't think so. I always thought the receivers would make the best DBs because you understand routes, you understand route concepts, and you can read routes better. He's done a good job. He's gotten a couple of interceptions back there and made some plays. So we're going to attack him just like any other DB.

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