Carson Palmer Press Conference


Q: Is the first half last Sunday the most comfortable you've felt this year?CP:

I don't know if comfort level was a factor. You're never comfortable in a game. I definitely felt everything was working. We were being consistent on a number of different plays. We were clicking and rolling.

Q: Thoughts on the Saints defense:CP:

They're a very good, solid defense. They don't do a ton of stuff. Especially in our division with Pittsburgh and Baltimore, we're used to seeing a lot of stuff week in and week out. But these guys just play what they play very well. They're very solid. They're coached very well. Technique-wise they're very good. It's just a very solid defense that isn't out of place very often and doesn't make a lot of mistakes.

Q: Thoughts on Reggie Bush:CP:

I'm a big fan of Reggie's. I've been watching him for a long time. Hopefully he doesn't get off to one of those days like he got off to so often back at USC. He's just a phenomenal player. He's a lot of fun to watch.  

Q: Do you know Reggie Bush personally?CP:

Not very well.  

Q: Do you expect New Orleans to do something different on Chad Johnson than San Diego?CP:

Week in and week out, we see stuff unfamiliar to most teams, just because most people try to take away and stop Chad. We're definitely expecting and preparing for some certain coverages that Chad typically gets, and the base stuff they've run all year long.

Q: With Bob Bratkowski calling plays, how does that change the dynamic of the game?CP:

The only thing it really does is slow down the game. When we get the stuff that Bob can call off the play sheet, we have a lot more options, a lot more play combinations, different formations, different motions, and different routes. It just gives us a little bit more offensively.

Q: How comfortable are you with that, and do you wish you still had the same authority?CP:

I'll do whatever the coaches tell me to do. It doesn't matter to me. They know the game plan better than me. They know why they're calling certain plays from the box, because they're watching certain things develop. They see some possibilities from the top of the field looking back. It doesn't matter to me either way. 

Q: Does it take pressure off you?CP:

Not really. There's a lot of pressure on this position in this league regardless. You still have pressure even when he's calling the plays. There are still certain things you need to see and protection adjustments you have to make and a bunch of different scenarios that come up. It doesn't matter to me. I like going both because we can be successful in both cases. 

Q: More on Saints defense:CP:

They're very balanced. It's not like you're playing Indianapolis and you've got Dwight Freeney, Robert Mathis and a bunch of guys coming at you. You've got two very solid pass-rushing defensive ends. Hollis Thomas and Brian Young both get off the ball extremely well and have high motors.  Mike McKenzie is probably the best corner we've seen all year and will see all year. He's a shutdown, big, fast physical corner. And they have two safeties that tackle very well. So it's not a team where we're focusing on one player and really worried about an individual. We're worried about the unit because they've got a lot of guys who can make plays.

Q: How tough is it to avoid the 'sky-is-falling' talk from the fans and the media?CP:

Not tough at all. I avoid it completely. I've said a number of times that I don't worry about what's going on outside this organization. I don't worry about what the media thinks we should be doing, or what fans think we should be doing. I worry about what the organization thinks, what the coaches think, and just move on from there.

Q: Is there any feeling that the sky is falling?CP:

Not at all. This team's been through a lot. A lot of guys on this team have been through losing seasons, a winning season and been 8-8. We've been all over the board, so that's not our approach at all. We know what's going on outside of us, but all we're worried and focused on the next game at hand. We're very confident that we can end up winning a bunch of games and have a shot at getting in the playoffs. There's no sky-is-falling talk, or what's wrong with us talk. There's none of that going on. All we're focused on is the next game, and make our adjustments, make our corrections from the previous week and move on from there.

Q: How tough is it to practice in the rain for a game that is to be played in a dome?CP:

It's tough. We don't have the ability to prepare for a dome game, so it makes it tough. It's a definite disadvantage practicing all week in the rain, especially if you're not going to be playing in the rain. We've been through this before. We've been out there in 15-degree weather, snow and rain and then played when it's 65 degrees or 70 degrees. So we've adjusted to that, we've been doing it for a long time. So it's definitely a disadvantage, but we're used to making that adjustment and moving on.

Q: Have you been in the Superdome?CP:

Not the Superdome.

Q: With the fans being recharged by the Saints after the devastation from Hurricane Katrina, are you prepared to handle that?CP:

I think so. Like you said, we've played in a lot of loud games, a lot of distracting stadiums that have distracting fans. Personally, I haven't played there. There are a number of guys on the team who haven't played there. So we're going to prepare, just like you said, like we're going into Baltimore, Pittsburgh, or Cleveland.

Q: Have you lost any faith or trust in Chris Henry?CP:

Not at all.

Q: With the play-calling change, was that just coincidence that there was so much success with Bob Bratkowski calling most of the plays?CP:

It's just game plans. We have a different approach to different teams and different game plans week-in and week-out.

Q: How tough is it to get out of the no-huddle mentality, and get back into the play-sheet mentality?CP:

Not at all. We do a great job of practicing it at different periods of the practice. We're out there typically for 2½ to 3 hours, so within the first 15 minutes we have a no-huddle, later on we go to call sheets, go back to no-huddle, go to call sheets. So we practice going through different scenarios and changing it up, going no-huddle early, in the middle of practice, and late in practice. We talk about it on the sideline, we discuss it and we move on from there.
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