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Carson Palmer Press Conference


Q: Are you excited to see some of the best wide receiver tandems in the league go at it? CP:

Playing that division in the NFC West, you see their offense a lot against the teams we're watching on defense. They have a great tandem, too. Anquan Boldin has been hurt a little bit, he hasn't been quite as productive since he's playing injured. But those two guys have put up numbers for years now. Now they've got a little more experience that Kurt (Warner) is playing. They throw the ball all over the field. Our defense definitely has its hands full with those two guys, and Edgerrin James  in the backfield. As far as being a fan, it should be a fun game to watch. Five of the better wide receivers on the field at the same time in this league. So it should be fun.

Q: Do you sense your guys are pumped up because of Arizona's WRs?CP:

Actually, I don't. Once we get to game day, I know our guys, as competitive as they are, they want to be the best trio or the best duo. I haven't heard much talk about it yet. I know our guys are concentrating on what we're doing, especially the receivers. But I know once we get to game day, knowing the pride they have, I know our guys our going to want to show them up.

Q: Any simple explanation for the lack of run offense?CP:

Simply execution. Getting the right guy on the right guy and finishing blocks. Blocking, and the quarterback getting the ball to the running back deep enough, me putting us in the right play. It's a number of different things. If you want to clump it all together, it comes down to execution.

Q: Do you have anything to say to those who want to see Kenny Watson in the starting position?CP:

I think it's a valid point. Kenny has done nothing but move the ball forward since he's been in there. There's always the possibility of a big play. Rudi's always moving forward, he's always going to run somebody over, always churning, always falling forward. He is more powerful and he can always get us out of bad plays. I see the argument. Rudi has been doing it for three of four years. I've seen stats where Rudi has led the league in carries the last three or four years. Rudi has been productive over the past four or five years, and Kenny has gotten in and taken advantage of his opportunities and done great things. 

I want to see them both carry the ball 20 times a game because they can both make things happen. I also want to throw it 30, 40 times a game. There's always two sides to look at it. I think it's a great combination of changing up the speed, changing up the plays we actually run, even getting DeDe Dorsey in there. Whether its a pass route, catching the ball out of the backfield or run a wide sweep play. He can make things happen, too. We're fortunate to have three guys who can carry the load by themselves, but they're not in that situation. I like seeing all those guys getting their hands on the ball.

Q: Does it look to you like Rudi Johnson is still feeling his hamstring injury a little bit?CP:

Not to me. I see him in practice every day and I see him get to the line of scrimmage and explode and run. It's not Rudi's fault. I think we've struggled up front, whether it's the offensive line or me calling the wrong play. It's not all on Rudi. Rudi is still Rudi Johnson. It's not a hamstring issue. It's not he's getting old. He's still one of the better backs in this league and can still run the ball and get 1,500 yards a year if we need him to. It's easy to point it all on Rudi and say well, look at the numbers with Kenny. But we're still going to give Rudi the ball and Rudi's still going to make things happen because he's capable of doing it.

Q: What do you see in Kurt Warner?CP:

A veteran. He makes a lot of good throws, but he's always throwing the ball to the right coverage. It's easy to see if you watch a lot of games, there's a lot of guys throwing places, into certain zones when they shouldn't be, and sometimes they get away with it, sometimes they don't. You can just tell by watching the offensive scheme of things that he's always throwing the right way, he's always figuring it out, like a safety trying to bluff him into a certain coverage. He's extremely accurate. 

Watching the last couple of weeks, he's putting the ball in places to Larry Fitzgerald where Larry can jump up and make plays. It's easy to say, "Well, he just threw it up for grabs,' but he's putting the ball in the right spot for him to make a play. It's kind of a throw we call 'us-or-nobody.' where he throws it to where Larry can catch it, and it's a tough catch, but if he doesn't catch it, it's not an interception. Nobody's going to catch it. It's going to go out of bounds.

Q: Does Larry Fitzgerald remind you of Chris Henry?CP:

They're both taller, bigger receivers. But they're in two different classes with the little things they can do. Chris can flat-out run by anybody in this league. I don't know if Larry can do it. But Larry can jump up over any player and make any catch he needs to make at any point in the game.

Q: How close do you think Chris Perry is?CP:

I don't know. I've seen him in practice, I think this is his second week back. He's looked good, he's looked quick. It just takes a little bit of time at that position to kind of knock the rust off and get the confidence back and get the confidence back in his ankle. But I would think in the next couple of weeks here, we might get a shot at it.

Q: Can you compare Adrian Wilson to anybody in the AFC?CP:

He's not Troy Polamalu, he's not Ed Reed, and those are the first two guys you want to compare people with. He's not Bob Sanders. He's a phenomenal player. They play what he has to do in the defense to all his strengths. He's big, he's fast, he bull-rushes coming off the ball, uses speed moves. He can rip, he can get underneath blocks. Just a great player. Really one of a kind. He doesn't do the things that Troy does in Pittsburgh or Ed Reed does in Baltimore. The defense is built around him and he does a lot of things well. We've been telling our running backs all week, he's banged up but if he's playing, they've got to bring everything they've got to block him because he blitzes like no other defensive back in this league.

Q: Do you see a common theme for struggling inside the 20 in the Baltimore game?CP:

I think when you look at the last couple of possessions, we were very under-aggressive just because of the situation. When you don't need seven points and you feel that you've done the right things on defense in order to stop them and have a good feel for what they're doing, three points is the safer way to go and we were playing safe. We weren't really challenging them in the red zone. Some of it was that. And some of it is they just did a good job. 

When the defense is rushing three guys and dropping eight and you have three receivers in the pass route, chances are the ball's going to get checked down to somebody underneath and it's going to go for three or four yards. Had the game situation been different, as opposed to running screens and doing shovel passes, if we'd have a chance to throw the ball in the end zone, we could have gotten in there.

But just because of the game plan, it was just safer to run the ball and run those screens and get us in field goal positions. But I don't think we're struggling at all in the red zone. I know it looks bad being 0-for-7. But when we want to and when we need the seven points, I feel we can get it against anybody, if we have to do that.

Q: Were you more aggressive as an offense two years ago?CP:

That's two years ago. Completely different team. We were a lot more aggressive. If you're asking me, I want to throw the ball every single play. But it's not realistic and it's not the best thing for this team. And we have been less aggressive, but like I said, that was two years ago. You really can't compare. It was two completely different teams. But yes, I would like to be more aggressive. But the way this team is set up and the way that we're playing now, we've got to be able to run the ball.

Q: Were you surprised Chris Henry has such a big game?CP:

Not at all. I expected it.
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