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Carson Palmer Press Conference


Q: Is Atlanta's defense as fast as you saw on tape?CP:

I think so. We'll find out this week, but just looking at them on film, they're flying all over the place. A typical NFC South defense, like we've seen it the last couple of weeks in a row. They're not as big and physical as some of the teams we've played in the past, but they're much faster, and much more explosive. They've got a lot of movement up front and linebackers that can run east and west and a great secondary behind them.

Q: Do you sense that Chad is more fired up for this game because of DeAngelo Hall?CP:

Not really. Chad is always fired up. He's always looking forward to the opponent, looking forward to the cornerback that's going to be covering him. I remember him talking some stuff in the summertime about DeAngelo. I'm excited to see this matchup.

Q: Did you watch the Atlanta vs. Pittsburgh and see what they did successfully?CP:

Oh, definitely. You look at every game that your opponent plays and look at some of the plays that worked against them and plays that didn't work against them and decide what's best for your team.

Q: Would you be excited if Chris Henry was back this week?CP:

I can't wait. I think he's missed the last three games and he's one of the best playmakers we have on this team, including Chad Johnson and Chris Perry and all of the guys. He consistently makes big plays, consistently beats people and consistently runs by people. When you're a quarterback and you've got a guy running by people, you get anxious to get guys like that back on the field.

Q: What was your reaction to Peter Warrick's workout?CP:

I was excited. I had a great time when Peter was here and I thought he was one of the better playmakers when he was here. I was disappointed to see him go. I'm not sure what the situation is, if they're planning on bringing him back or not but I know everybody in that locker room would be excited to have Pete back.

Q: Do you think Chris Henry has finally learned his lesson?CP:

I hope so, I hope he has learned his lesson and is on a straight and narrow path from here on out. From what I've seen, he's been at every single meeting. He's been able to be a part of a number of things and been there and been into it. You can tell he's been a little bit down that he's been sitting out and hasn't been happy about it. I think he's learned his lesson and I just hope he's back and back for good.

Q: Do you expect him to play?CP:

I do. I'm not sure what the deal is, but I expect him to be out there.

Q: What does having Chris Henry and Chris Perry mean on third down?CP:

It just creates a little more anxiety for the defense. When you have that much speed and playmaking ability on the same side of the field or on the field at the same time, I know the defense needs to be aware of it and needs to know exactly what is going on. They need to try to figure out what's going on before the ball gets to their hands. It just gives us more options offensively and makes us more explosive.

Q: What impresses you when watching Michael Vick?CP:

He's amazing. I've been a fan of his since his redshirt freshman year back at Virginia Tech. The things he does are amazing. He takes a lot of criticism, but the truth of it is that there is nobody in the league that does what he does. Whether he sits in the pocket and throws, it doesn't matter. What he does, whether he runs around people, runs through people, runs by people, it's scary. I'm worried about this week. Especially in third-down situations with the ball in his hands, if somebody isn't open, he can get it any time. It doesn't matter who is coming at him. It doesn't matter what defense you're playing. If you've got two guys spying him in the middle of the field he can always get a first down. It's scary playing him. I know that. Like I said, I've been a fan of his for a long time. I hope he doesn't have a great game against us, but I'm excited to watch him play.

Q: You'll watch him from the sidelines?CP:

I'm always watching. I love to watch our defense play. But with him on the field, you could be on the sidelines a long time just because on third down he can always get a first down.

Q: Where are you in coming back with your mechanics and accuracy?CP:

I'm doing everything I can to get back to where I was and working in that direction.

Q: Does part of your evolution include recognizing matchups?CP:

I think it's just experience. When you come into this league and you're a young quarterback trying to figure things out, you're strictly staring at coverages and thinking about where the ball needs to go. As you progress in this league and you're in a particular offense, you become more and more aware of coverages, mismatches and opportunities to get people the ball -- in situations like getting T.J. Houshmandzadeh against a linebacker, or getting Chad on their second corner. I think I have, but that's just part of the process and something you learn through experience.

Q: Is it easier now that John Abraham is out for this game?CP:

Definitely. We've played against him before and he's one of the better defensive ends in this league. I know our offensive line and I am looking forward to the matchups we have when he's not in there.

Q: What are your thoughts on playing an NFL game overseas or out of the country?CP:

I know our fans wouldn't be happy. You can tell when you walk into the stadium here on Sundays that they love their football here. I know players wouldn't be excited about it, having to travel. Our time gets squeezed as much as possible as it is and having to travel out of the country or wherever, it would be something the players wouldn't be too happy about.

Q: Do the Falcons switch their defensive schemes as much as Pittsburgh and New England?CP:

They do it, but not as much as those two teams. They definitely have some things in certain situations, where they try to confuse you, and where they jump in and out of three or four-down looks. They show a lot of different pressures and do a lot to confuse you.

Q: Do you think you might get more man coverage opportunities?CP:

Not necessarily. We've played NFC South teams the last couple of weeks. We've seen more in previous weeks, but you never know going into a game what things people are going to change up against you.

Q: If Chris Henry is back, you get a better chance of seeing that?CP:

One way to look at it is, the more weapons you have back, the defense could say we're going to play a lot more zone and not play one-on-one with you.

Q: Why is it that there are more pocket passers in the NFL?CP:

There just haven't been as many guys who have the combination of Vick to throw the ball the way he does and be able to run the ball the way he does.

Q: Some may question his accuracy:CP:

From what I've seen, I think he throws a very accurate ball. I haven't seen him a ton. There are a lot of things that get factored into completion percentages, from dropped balls to pressure. There are a number of things that can affect that so I'm not sure what his instances are. What I've seen on film, he seems pretty accurate to me.

Q: Has the tight end play recently opened some eyes?CP:

Those guys don't get a ton of balls and I think defenses recognize that and kind of leave a guy on the tight ends as few as possible. Sometimes in the past couple of weeks they have been wide open. When defenses start to cheat and start to realize that our tendency is not to throw the ball to the tight end in this situation, it gives us another opening. Against Tampa Bay we had a big completion to Reggie Kelly. Again this past week, he was wide open in situations that he should be blanketed, but defenses are cheating a little bit. Hopefully that keeps happening because that's worked out well for us.
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