Carson Palmer Press Conference

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palmer_carson.jpg

Q: How's the ankle doing? CP:

It's good. Healthy. I'll be full practice all week and ready to go on Sunday.

Q: How did you do it?CP:

Somebody rolled up underneath me.

Q: Did you watch the Giants Super Bowl game? If so, what did you think of the Giants defensive line?CP:

I have. I've watched it twice. You've got (Michael) Strahan on one side and Osi (Umenyiora) on the other, just explosive guys off the ball. Strahan and Osi got a lot of the attention, but the guys up front with Tuck, 93 and 96 and 66, there's guys all over the place that were bull-rushing people and making moves and getting pressure. The thing that jumped out to me is, it's not just Strahan. He got a lot of the attention because of the situation they were in, but the six guys they can rotate in and out are all guys that are very good players. They play extremely hard up front. It's kind of similar to last week with the Tennessee Titans. They rotate guys in and out, they don't let you get tired, and they come every play whether it's run or pass. So, we've got our hands full up front, but it's nothing we can't do. We'll get everything squared away and protect them up and get them going in the run game and see what can happen.

Q: How much has it hurt your offense that the running game hasn't been consistent?CP:

A little bit. Obviously you want to be able to run the ball, and that's something that we've been talking about here for a long time, about being physical and being a running football team. We haven't got off to the start we'd like to have gotten off to, and we're not exactly where we want to be in the running game, but there have been some real bright spots in certain areas, and some things we can keep growing on and keep working on. But we're definitely not where we want to be. Like I said, there are some areas where there are some nice holes and there are some nice runs, and we have one or two guys not finishing on certain stuff. So we continue to get coached up on it and continue to work on it and hopefully, maybe this week we'll see some big strides made and some big holes and some big runs.

Q: Chad (Ocho Cinco) and T.J.(Houshmandzadeh) have 11 receptions between them. How much of that is due to the fact that teams are covering them closely, or is it because the three of you aren't really in sync yet?CP:

There are always some situations where they're going to try to double those guys. There have been some games, especially against Baltimore, where Chad was virtually double-covered on every single play. Some of it's me just missing guys, like I had T.J. open on one play last game. It's been a combination of teams saying, 'We're not going to let Chad beat us, and we're not going to let T.J. beat us,' and also my fault. So I need to do a better job of getting the ball to the guys when their shots are called, and we need to keep running the ball and keep being aggressive in the run game to not let a defense take a guy out of the box and get them on Chad and try to take Chad out of the game.

Q: How would you grade or critique your performance so far?CP:

Not good at all. We're 0-2. Not where we want to be offensively, as a team, as a record. So not good at all.

Q: How about you personally?CP:

Personally, not good at all.

Q: What's been wrong?CP:

There's never one thing to say, 'OK, this is the reason,' then you go and fix it and everything's great. Just inconsistent play, misjudging some balls in some wind, to a bad read to a number of things. Like I said, there's never one reason.

Q: The last seven or eight games, you've had some of your lowest passer ratings. There's been bad weather for three of them, any common denominator?CP:

No. If you played in domes half the season, the weather gets obviously taken out of it, or a majority of it. But whether it's weather or not, I've still got to find a way to get completions, whether it's the wind or rain or snow or whatever situation you're in. I still have enough confidence in myself and still believe in myself enough that I shouldn't let any outside factor control what happens to our offensive play. I've still got to find a way to move the ball consistently and find a way to get points.

Q: How about Eli Manning? The two of you were back-to-back No. 1 picks, so there's going to be a lot of comparisons about the two of you:CP:

To be honest, I never really look at Eli and try to see differences between the two of us. Just because you're the No. 1 pick doesn't mean you're the same type of player. Michael Vick was a No. 1 pick. There's a lot of different types of players, so I really don't put much into what he's done or what he's done differently. Yes, I definitely do want a Super Bowl ring and obviously he's got one. That's a big difference between the two of us, but personally between the two of us, I don't really look at stuff like that. I just try to work on my game, myself, see what improvements I can make and not what improvements he's made or hasn't made.

Q: Last year's Giants' are proof that you can be good at 0-2; is this game a must win?CP:

I think so. I think we're in—everyone says a must-win situation—but we have to win every game we've got left. You can't put in any more simply than that. This is a perfect opportunity. I said it after the (Tennessee) game that when you're 0-2 and you don't show a lot of chemistry on offense or defense and things aren't going well, what better place to go than the defending world champs at their home? They're 2-0. They're talking, I'm sure, about repeating, their fans are talking about repeating. What better place for us to go into this situation and try to get a win, try to get us on a roll?

Q: What do you like about Eli's game?CP:

Them being an NFC team I don't see him play a whole lot. I saw him play in the playoffs and that's about it. He's a very good quarterback, very solid, great running game, great defense. He does a good job of managing the situation he's in with what he's got to work with. He doesn't take a ton of chances, he's smart with the ball, but like I said I haven't seen a ton of his games, really just a couple in the playoffs."

Q: One of the national broadcasters said on TV before last week's game that if you guys lost, Marvin will have lost the locker room:CP:

"Somebody on the outside, somebody who has no idea what's going on here, all he sees is 0-2. It's kind of an easy thing to throw out there. In no way has Marvin lost this locker room or lost any attention from players. We're going about it as business. It seems like it's the end of the world to a lot of people, but this team still has a lot of hope left. We have a lot to play for, a lot of pride. It has been said that the Giants started 0-2. A lot can be done from 0-2. Definitely the season can keep going downhill, it happens to a lot of people, but this team is going to fight and scratch and try to get ourselves back into this.

Q: Your first career start was at the Meadowlands, is there anything about the stadium that makes it more difficult than any other place?CP:

No. I've played there quite a bit in college and preseason. As a team, the guys that have been here for a little while have played there a number of times. But going in with a team that's 2-0 coming off a Super Bowl, it's going to be rocking. It's going to be loud, so our no-huddle stuff is going to have to be great. There is so much communication within our no-huddle, so we really have to be great in that part of our game. It's business as usual. It can't be much louder than Baltimore, Cleveland or some of the places we play on the road. But we've got to go into it expecting the worst, that we're not going to be able to hear each other, and we've really got to be good with communication stuff up front, especially in the no-huddle.

Q: Albert Haynesworth said he thought it was part of your game plan to get the ball away very quickly:CP:

Definitely that was our game plan because of the problems that they create with Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch and all of the guys that they rotate in and out. You don't want to sit there and hold the ball, because their rush is going to get to you. Vanden Bosch is a 12-sack-a-year guy, Haynesworth already has a whole bunch, so we went in with the game plan of trying to get rid of the ball and get it out quickly. They did a good job of making us do that. 

Q: The Titans should be pretty similar with this Giants front:CP:
. Pretty similar. It's different names with kind of a different style, but as far as playing all-out every snap, it's the same type of up-tempo front-four guys. It's a little different with some of the techniques and some of the pass rush moves that they do, but they bring it every single play, and as soon as somebody is tired, they're rotating somebody out and getting a fresh guy in. We've got to be real good up front, and to be real good and real consistent we have to get the ball out.

Q: In the fans' minds as a quarterback, you can't win. You either hold it too long or get rid of it too fast:CP:

That's part of the position; when you win, you're the hero, and when you lose, you're the bum. I've learned that. I've been playing quarterback for a long time, I've known that's the case. When you win and you get sacked, they blame it on the offensive line and they always make the quarterback look good. That's just how football is. I'm really not too concerned about what Haynesworth thinks or what his assessment of our game plan is. When you go into games like this and you know you're going to have a lot of pressure and you know they have a really good front four and guys that can get to the quarterback, you don't want to hold on to the ball and let anything happen.

Q: People say when you struggle that you're not mentally over your (2005 season) knee injury:CP:

I'm over the knee. I don't really care what people say.

Q: When can the wraps come off Jerome Simpson?CP:

He's still a young guy, still young-minded from the standpoint of seeing a whole different type of football, a whole different game. Slowly, though, I think we'll try to work him into certain situations. But until he proves that he can go out and be perfect with assignments, blocking, lining up in the right spot and always running the right route ... once he gets all that together and that part of his game comes along, he can be a very effective player for us. But it's still going to be a slow process.

Q: Do you see the athleticism and talent?CP:

Oh, yeah, definitely. He's got a lot of potential. But you've got to be ready for this stage. Are you going to put him in for Chad, T.J. or 'Tone (Antonio Chatman)? We've got very consistent guys that understand our game plans and do a good job. He's come along. He's made a lot of strides in that area, and he just needs to keep doing it.

Q: Seems like you need a guy just to make a play:CP:

Yeah. Our mindset is, we just need something to get us going. Chad has plenty of that capability. T.J. has that capability. Antonio has that in him. Chris Perry has that in him. So it's not like we need somebody else or we don't have enough and have to find a way to get Jerome in the game. But we'd love to get Jerome in there, because he is a big play maker, but we've got plenty of guys and plenty of firepower. We just need to hit on a couple of plays and have the right play at the right time, and execute it correctly and perfectly, and we'll get going.

Q: How's the ankle doing? CP:

It's good. Healthy. I'll be full practice all week and ready to go on Sunday.

Q: How did you do it?CP:

Somebody rolled up underneath me.

Q: Did you watch the Giants Super Bowl game? If so, what did you think of the Giants defensive line?CP:

I have. I've watched it twice. You've got (Michael) Strahan on one side and Osi (Umenyiora) on the other, just explosive guys off the ball. Strahan and Osi got a lot of the attention, but the guys up front with Tuck, 93 and 96 and 66, there's guys all over the place that were bull-rushing people and making moves and getting pressure. The thing that jumped out to me is, it's not just Strahan. He got a lot of the attention because of the situation they were in, but the six guys they can rotate in and out are all guys that are very good players. They play extremely hard up front. It's kind of similar to last week with the Tennessee Titans. They rotate guys in and out, they don't let you get tired, and they come every play whether it's run or pass. So, we've got our hands full up front, but it's nothing we can't do. We'll get everything squared away and protect them up and get them going in the run game and see what can happen.

Q: How much has it hurt your offense that the running game hasn't been consistent?CP:

A little bit. Obviously you want to be able to run the ball, and that's something that we've been talking about here for a long time, about being physical and being a running football team. We haven't got off to the start we'd like to have gotten off to, and we're not exactly where we want to be in the running game, but there have been some real bright spots in certain areas, and some things we can keep growing on and keep working on. But we're definitely not where we want to be. Like I said, there are some areas where there are some nice holes and there are some nice runs, and we have one or two guys not finishing on certain stuff. So we continue to get coached up on it and continue to work on it and hopefully, maybe this week we'll see some big strides made and some big holes and some big runs.

Q: Chad (Ocho Cinco) and T.J.(Houshmandzadeh) have 11 receptions between them. How much of that is due to the fact that teams are covering them closely, or is it because the three of you aren't really in sync yet?CP:

There are always some situations where they're going to try to double those guys. There have been some games, especially against Baltimore, where Chad was virtually double-covered on every single play. Some of it's me just missing guys, like I had T.J. open on one play last game. It's been a combination of teams saying, 'We're not going to let Chad beat us, and we're not going to let T.J. beat us,' and also my fault. So I need to do a better job of getting the ball to the guys when their shots are called, and we need to keep running the ball and keep being aggressive in the run game to not let a defense take a guy out of the box and get them on Chad and try to take Chad out of the game.

Q: How would you grade or critique your performance so far?CP:

Not good at all. We're 0-2. Not where we want to be offensively, as a team, as a record. So not good at all.

Q: How about you personally?CP:

Personally, not good at all.

Q: What's been wrong?CP:

There's never one thing to say, 'OK, this is the reason,' then you go and fix it and everything's great. Just inconsistent play, misjudging some balls in some wind, to a bad read to a number of things. Like I said, there's never one reason.

Q: The last seven or eight games, you've had some of your lowest passer ratings. There's been bad weather for three of them, any common denominator?CP:

No. If you played in domes half the season, the weather gets obviously taken out of it, or a majority of it. But whether it's weather or not, I've still got to find a way to get completions, whether it's the wind or rain or snow or whatever situation you're in. I still have enough confidence in myself and still believe in myself enough that I shouldn't let any outside factor control what happens to our offensive play. I've still got to find a way to move the ball consistently and find a way to get points.

Q: How about Eli Manning? The two of you were back-to-back No. 1 picks, so there's going to be a lot of comparisons about the two of you:CP:

To be honest, I never really look at Eli and try to see differences between the two of us. Just because you're the No. 1 pick doesn't mean you're the same type of player. Michael Vick was a No. 1 pick. There's a lot of different types of players, so I really don't put much into what he's done or what he's done differently. Yes, I definitely do want a Super Bowl ring and obviously he's got one. That's a big difference between the two of us, but personally between the two of us, I don't really look at stuff like that. I just try to work on my game, myself, see what improvements I can make and not what improvements he's made or hasn't made.

Q: Last year's Giants' are proof that you can be good at 0-2; is this game a must win?CP:

I think so. I think we're in—everyone says a must-win situation—but we have to win every game we've got left. You can't put in any more simply than that. This is a perfect opportunity. I said it after the (Tennessee) game that when you're 0-2 and you don't show a lot of chemistry on offense or defense and things aren't going well, what better place to go than the defending world champs at their home? They're 2-0. They're talking, I'm sure, about repeating, their fans are talking about repeating. What better place for us to go into this situation and try to get a win, try to get us on a roll?

Q: What do you like about Eli's game?CP:

Them being an NFC team I don't see him play a whole lot. I saw him play in the playoffs and that's about it. He's a very good quarterback, very solid, great running game, great defense. He does a good job of managing the situation he's in with what he's got to work with. He doesn't take a ton of chances, he's smart with the ball, but like I said I haven't seen a ton of his games, really just a couple in the playoffs."

Q: One of the national broadcasters said on TV before last week's game that if you guys lost, Marvin will have lost the locker room:CP:

"Somebody on the outside, somebody who has no idea what's going on here, all he sees is 0-2. It's kind of an easy thing to throw out there. In no way has Marvin lost this locker room or lost any attention from players. We're going about it as business. It seems like it's the end of the world to a lot of people, but this team still has a lot of hope left. We have a lot to play for, a lot of pride. It has been said that the Giants started 0-2. A lot can be done from 0-2. Definitely the season can keep going downhill, it happens to a lot of people, but this team is going to fight and scratch and try to get ourselves back into this.

Q: Your first career start was at the Meadowlands, is there anything about the stadium that makes it more difficult than any other place?CP:

No. I've played there quite a bit in college and preseason. As a team, the guys that have been here for a little while have played there a number of times. But going in with a team that's 2-0 coming off a Super Bowl, it's going to be rocking. It's going to be loud, so our no-huddle stuff is going to have to be great. There is so much communication within our no-huddle, so we really have to be great in that part of our game. It's business as usual. It can't be much louder than Baltimore, Cleveland or some of the places we play on the road. But we've got to go into it expecting the worst, that we're not going to be able to hear each other, and we've really got to be good with communication stuff up front, especially in the no-huddle.

Q: Albert Haynesworth said he thought it was part of your game plan to get the ball away very quickly:CP:

Definitely that was our game plan because of the problems that they create with Haynesworth and Vanden Bosch and all of the guys that they rotate in and out. You don't want to sit there and hold the ball, because their rush is going to get to you. Vanden Bosch is a 12-sack-a-year guy, Haynesworth already has a whole bunch, so we went in with the game plan of trying to get rid of the ball and get it out quickly. They did a good job of making us do that. 

Q: The Titans should be pretty similar with this Giants front:CP:
. Pretty similar. It's different names with kind of a different style, but as far as playing all-out every snap, it's the same type of up-tempo front-four guys. It's a little different with some of the techniques and some of the pass rush moves that they do, but they bring it every single play, and as soon as somebody is tired, they're rotating somebody out and getting a fresh guy in. We've got to be real good up front, and to be real good and real consistent we have to get the ball out.

Q: In the fans' minds as a quarterback, you can't win. You either hold it too long or get rid of it too fast:CP:

That's part of the position; when you win, you're the hero, and when you lose, you're the bum. I've learned that. I've been playing quarterback for a long time, I've known that's the case. When you win and you get sacked, they blame it on the offensive line and they always make the quarterback look good. That's just how football is. I'm really not too concerned about what Haynesworth thinks or what his assessment of our game plan is. When you go into games like this and you know you're going to have a lot of pressure and you know they have a really good front four and guys that can get to the quarterback, you don't want to hold on to the ball and let anything happen.

Q: People say when you struggle that you're not mentally over your (2005 season) knee injury:CP:

I'm over the knee. I don't really care what people say.

Q: When can the wraps come off Jerome Simpson?CP:

He's still a young guy, still young-minded from the standpoint of seeing a whole different type of football, a whole different game. Slowly, though, I think we'll try to work him into certain situations. But until he proves that he can go out and be perfect with assignments, blocking, lining up in the right spot and always running the right route ... once he gets all that together and that part of his game comes along, he can be a very effective player for us. But it's still going to be a slow process.

Q: Do you see the athleticism and talent?CP:

Oh, yeah, definitely. He's got a lot of potential. But you've got to be ready for this stage. Are you going to put him in for Chad, T.J. or 'Tone (Antonio Chatman)? We've got very consistent guys that understand our game plans and do a good job. He's come along. He's made a lot of strides in that area, and he just needs to keep doing it.

Q: Seems like you need a guy just to make a play:CP:

Yeah. Our mindset is, we just need something to get us going. Chad has plenty of that capability. T.J. has that capability. Antonio has that in him. Chris Perry has that in him. So it's not like we need somebody else or we don't have enough and have to find a way to get Jerome in the game. But we'd love to get Jerome in there, because he is a big play maker, but we've got plenty of guys and plenty of firepower. We just need to hit on a couple of plays and have the right play at the right time, and execute it correctly and perfectly, and we'll get going.
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