Carson Palmer Press Conference

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Q: How was bye week? CP:

Phenomenal. Bye weeks are always good. You can't go wrong on a bye week.

Q: Coming out of the bye week, is there sense of the offense wanting to play up to standards?CP:

Definitely. Looking back over the previous four games, we've underachieved. We still haven't played a great game. Looking at ourselves offensively, we haven't really exploded yet and played up to our potential. You always want to play right after you get a bad taste in your mouth, especially after a loss. Going up against these guys is a huge challenge for us. They've been one of the best defenses in the league for it seems like the past decade. They have set a standard. People have named their defenses after these guys. It's a huge challenge for us offensively. It's another opportunity to get that negative, bad taste out of our mouth.

Q: Have injuries slowed you down, with Richie Braham and Chris Perry being out and with the uncertainty at wide receiver?CP:

I think it's possibly slowed us down a little bit because guys like Chris Henry, Chris Perry are explosive playmakers. We have a lot of guys on this team who have waited for an opportunity and have done a good job. Losing those guys is no excuse for us not playing up to standard. We need to go out and get a great game under our belt and be firing all over the place, run game, pass game, and give us our confidence back and hopefully get us going the rest of the year.

Q: Coach Gruden called out his defensive line. Would you expect them to do something different?CP:

When you're 0-4, you're always looking for answers. Fingers start 

getting pointed, and people start thinking you need to do new things. We're preparing for everything. We're preparing for Tampa 2, we're preparing for man, we're preparing for three fire zones, and any and all pressures they can bring. We don't know exactly what they're going to do.

Q: Chad Johnson hasn't caught a pass of more than 18 yards this season. What do you do when teams play cover two and try to take him away?CP:

I don't think you can ever completely take someone away. There's always a chance here and there, just depending upon if you've got the right play called at the right time and if you throw the right ball in the right pattern. But people have done a good job. On the flip side of that, Chris Henry's done a good job, T.J. Houshmandzadeh's done a good job, and Kelley Washington has made some plays when he needed to. So if people are going to keep taking Chad away, we're going to keep looking for other options as well as keep looking for options to get Chad the ball.

Q: How has Chad handled the lack of catches?CP:

He's been frustrated like everybody has. When your number's not called, you get frustrated. But he's had a very level head about himself and realizes what's going on. He's been a team player about it and that's all you can ask. When you're called on to block, you block for the running game. And when you're called on to run a certain pattern against a certain coverage, you run your pattern. If you don't get the ball, somebody else does. And that's what's going on.

Q: Why is Tampa's defense so good at taking away the long pass?CP:

It's probably the most veteran defense in the league. You watch these guys on film and they understand schemes. They understand alignments and splits by receivers and what patterns are coming. The linebacking corps is extremely fast and also very smart. They are 0-4, but they're a phenomenal defense and have been for a long time. They play extremely hard and have been in a lot close games, especially last week against New Orleans, and have played well defensively. So offensively it's a huge challenge for us. It's a great measuring stick to see where we are and where we think we are. It's just a great opportunity for us as a team.

Q: Have you seen that video on Tampa's Web site?CP:

I think those things are fun and funny, and that's about it.

Q: The offensive numbers are down for everyone, but you're winning. How do you get it going?CP:

I don't think anybody on our offense cares, as long as we get the win. You always want the win, and that's what you play for. People have done a good job adjusting to what we've done, and we need to keep doing a better job of evolving as an offense and do a better job of not being quite as predictable in certain situations. We've come a long way, especially with this bye week, and getting a chance to look at ourselves offensively. But numbers, that's all they are ... numbers. All we're worried about as a unit offensively is wins and losses.

Q: When you studied film of the offense during the bye, did anything stand out that you didn't realize was happening?CP:

There's a couple of things that we've done as a unit that we need to do a better job of, and that I've done that I need to improve on. We've made some adjustments already.

Q: Any specifics?CP:

No, I'm not going to get specific on what adjustments we've made.

Q: Was that just now the first time you saw Tampa's Web site?CP:

Yes.

Q: It shows you getting a black eye, is that a little over the top?CP:

No. Like I said, it's a fun thing. It's not meant to be anything other than something that makes people laugh, I'm sure.

Q: Does that motivate you or the team?CP:

I could care less about what they have on their Web site.

Q: Have you seen much of Tampa's young quarterback?CP:

I just saw numbers, I haven't seen him play. He looks like a solid quarterback. I don't know a whole lot about him, but for coming in during your rookie game and putting up some of the numbers he did, he's obviously a good player.

Q: Chris Henry is suspended for two games. Have you talked to him about it?CP:

I know he's obviously disappointed. He's paying the price for some of the things he's done. He realizes that. He's a smart kid and knows that he was going to have to pay the price at some point. It's a big hit for us offensively because of the plays he's made and the ability he has to make big plays. Like I've said before, Antonio Chatman, Kelley Washington, and T.J. are all going to pick up the slack.
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