Carson Palmer Press Conference

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Are you trying not to avoid a letdown going into Cleveland?CP:

Yeah, you do. Anytime you come off a big Monday night game, big division game and a physical match like we had, it's tough. I think this team is excited where we are. Whether we're playing the Colts, Patriots, or the Browns, we're going to be ready to play.

Q: What do you think about the Browns defense after their loss to Pittsburgh?CP:

You can't base too much on that game. They were unlucky in a few situations. They were trying to defend the ball on their own 20-yard line a couple times and Pittsburgh got 17 right away pretty easily. We know this is a good defense. We have a lot of respect for their guys. They are a very physical front seven and young. They have some young fast linebackers and some top draft picks. Some older vets like Robaire Smith, and Ted Washington that understand how to play the game and their schemes. We know that we have our hands full up front. You look at the guys behind them, they have two fast physical corners. They have two safeties that than can be ready It's a very good defense and we'll need our A-Game to beat these guys.

Q: As a quarterback, isn't your best bet to control the line of scrimmage?CP:

Yeah, it is. We're at our best when we're running the ball. If we can get Rudi going and get him some creases to hit and get some momentum for him to move forward, more often than not he'll run people over and fall forward for some yards. That's where our offense starts, that's the meat and potatoes. Everything is based off the play-action stuff. We have to come out and know that we have a physical run game ahead of us and get after it up front.

: How do you feel about the offensive line?CP:

I feel great. I thought they played great last week against one of the better defenses, personnel-wise. They're about as good as it gets. There are some teams that are equal to the Ravens' front guys, but they're going to be as good as anyone. We gave up one sack, not from lack of ability, but just a mental mistake. I should have been able to get out there and get around it anyway. They've done a great job in the past against these guys but like I said, it's a very good front seven. We have our hands full in the run game, and also the passing game.

Q: How advantageous is it to have so much depth on the O-line?CP:

It's good. It's not that deep. You really only have six guys, seven at the most. We have guys who are used to coming in and out. Scott  Kooistra is used to coming in and out. Andrew Whitworth is used to a couple different positions, and now Step (Alex Stepanovich) has to get used to playing guard and center. Those guys will continue to work. When they aren't at one position, they study others.

Q: Do you think Eric Ghiaciuc is starting to come into his own?CP:

I think so. All he has done is come in and play well when he got the chance. Even back when Richie (Braham) was hurt, he filled in during his rookie year and did his job. He knows it's his spot. He wants to claim his position and be the center for this organization in the future. He works hard, studies, and understands the game. He just needs to continue to keep playing well.

Q: Can you hear fans screaming at you when you're in the Dawg Pound?CP:

Yeah, it's an intense place to play, especially in the Dawg Pound zone. It's one of my favorites in the league. We love playing there as an offense. I'm sure defense does, too. It's always a fun game to play because it's the Battle of Ohio, and they have so many crazy fans. It's a lot of fun. It's a good rivalry.

Q: Chad's thinking of diving into the Dawg Pound on Sunday. Any objections?CP:

No. I hope he doesn't do it. Those are some crazy fans. They would tear Chad apart.

Q: There is a good chance that Brady Quinn will not start, and probably won't play. But if he does ... had you played in Game 2 as a rookie, what would have been your biggest concern?CP:

There would be a lot of concerns. It's tough. It's tough for a rookie to play. Outside of Roethlisberger, there aren't many guys who are successful when they come in. When guys are struggling around you like they have in their offense, it makes it even tougher. If you don't have a run game that's pounding the ball for 130, 140, 150 yards per game, it makes it even tougher. There's not one concern, there's a lot of concerns. I'm sure he's been studying hard and preparing and looking to take advantage of an opportunity if he gets one.

Q: What do you think about playing against Shaun Smith and Eric Steinbach?CP:

It will be fun. I miss playing with Steiny. We came in together and we were roommates. I definitely miss him. It will be good to see him and I'm glad he's doing well. Shaun, he'll be in my ear the whole game. The Mouth of the South. He'll be going at it and jawing the whole time and hopefully, you know he's a little bit out of shape. He'll be running around a little bit and won't have enough air to be talking too much.

Q: Are you trash talking?CP:

No, I'm just being honest. I'm not trying to stir him up. If he ends up reading this quote, he'll say, 'He's right.' It's not talking trash. I'm just speaking the truth.

Q: Does it shock you how fast Charlie Frye's world was turned upside down?CP:

That's part of this league. It's part of this position. You never know what's going to happen. Your job is never secure. Look at Doug Johnson. His world was turned upside down, too. I'm going on five years now. I'm used to seeing crazy things. Crazy things happen all the time.

Q: Are you concerned about people stealing your plays?CP:

I think after this whole New England deal shakes down, hopefully we won't have to worry about that. Hopefully there's a harsh enough penalty that it's not worth it to cheat and try to get an advantage that you're not allowed to get. It'd be nice if they would penalize them against us, so they would have to forfeit that game (laughs). I can't see it going on much longer, because I hope the Commissioner is just as harsh on them as he's been on individual players for making mistakes.

Q: How helpful is it to have your earpiece and not have to take signals from the sideline?CP:

It's helpful. I'd gotten away with doing it in college. There's always ways. Whether you're running back and forth from the sideline, or have a signal system. It is nice. There are always times when it will go out, or it will get too loud and you can't hear. The system isn't perfect, but it is helpful.

Q: You and Tab (Perry) aren't clicking the way you normally do. What do you think is the problem?CP:

The problem is me. Looking back at the game film, he ran a great comeback on one play and I threw too far inside. I rushed a curl route and threw him too far outside. There was another play on another route I threw too far outside. The problem has been me. I've missed him. He's run great routes and done a great job. I need to get the ball in his hands. You can't wait to see him catch a ball and see what he can do. I don't think he's gotten a ball, at least when I've been in there. I haven't gotten everything dialed up with him yet. I just can't wait to get him a couple of catches and get him comfortable and then see what his athleticism can do. I've said this before, he's a tailback in a receiver's body. He has the vision, the explosiveness, the power, the speed. I'm excited. Hopefully we'll get him going this week.

Q: Have you ever had the Dawg Pound single you out?CP:

 Probably. Yeah.

Q: You haven't actually heard anything?CP:

Nothing I can remember. There are always people yelling at you, but when you're playing at an away stadium, you try to block that out.

Q: Against Baltimore, there were quite a few times when you were under duress and you did a great job getting the ball out of your hands. After looking at tape, did you think you really helped the team by moving quickly in some cases?CP:

 Yeah, against that team you don't want to take sacks. Once you get sacked, Ray starts jumping around doing jumping jacks, and Ed Reed comes in, and Terrell and all those guys. They feed off that momentum. It' s something you go into that game plan thinking, 'Don' t let them get a sack.' And there are a couple times you've got to get rid of the ball early, but that happens against a lot of teams. But against those guys especially, once they get one sack, there's just some momentum that gets them going. They're bouncing around, they get that energy going. And then one turns into two, and two can be three. Then you've got to worry about sack fumbles and all that. So we did a good job of holding up up front. 

Q: Are you not as accurate because you're trying to keep it away from them?CP:

No, you saw what Ed (Reed) can do when he gets the ball in his hands on a punt return. I mean, we talk about it all the time, every time we play them: Don't turn the ball over. You can't turn the ball over. Whether we have six turnovers on our defense or one, that one can be deadly. But you want to be as accurate as possible. I think you want to be more accurate than less accurate. You want to hit guys in the hands and not throw the ball too hard over the middle. It seems like every time the ball gets tipped against those guys, it somehow ends up in Ed Reed's hands. Whether it's a fumble or something, Ed Reed somehow gets his hands on it, just like he did against us late there in the fourth quarter. You just need to be accurate, and next time we play them we'll be more accurate, and we'll generate a little more offense.

Q: What would be a harsh penalty (in the New England spying case)?CP:

To be honest, I don't know. I don't know how the Commissioner goes about penalizing them, whether it's putting Belichick up in the booth. Something needs to happen. That's a big-time AFC opponent. I hope something happens. ..Forfeit the fourth game. (laughing). We'll still play them, they just don't get the win.
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