Carson Palmer Press Conference

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Q: Has anything changed? Is it definite you will play some Monday?CP:

Yes. I am going to play, nothing's changed. We set this date a while back and everything's on schedule. I've been fortunate enough to progress from day to day, week to week. I'll be out there for the first time this week.

Q: Are you as curious, as the rest of us, as to how it's going to go?CP:

I'm not sure how everyone else in this room feels, but I'm confident and excited. As I've said before, it seems like everyone thinks I've been out forever, or I've missed a whole year. I played five, six, seven months ago and I haven't completely missed even one whole game. So it hasn't been that long or that big of an absence. I wanted to get back my rhythm and timing during training camp, just like every quarterback wants during training camp. It's not like I haven't been able to throw to receivers and work with my guys. I'm going to go out there, be confident, hopefully move the ball around, get in a number of different situations, get some experience, get that game rhythm and timing back, and hopefully be ready for the opener. 

Q: Is it going to be a series by series basis, or are you going to play for a certain amount of time?CP:

I'm not sure yet. We haven't set anything aside. I haven't sat down with Marvin or (Bob) Bratkowski yet. But we will here eventually and we'll figure out exactly what's going to happen.

Q: The third preseason game is where the starters usually play into the second half. Do you anticipate doing that?CP:

It's a possibility. We haven't discussed that yet, but it's definitely a possibility.

Q: How much better do your mechanics feel now compared to the beginning of training camp?CP:

Much better. I've worked with keeping my weight distributed, keeping my shoulders level, getting the right depth on my different drops, keeping the ball up and throwing at different angles. If you compare me now to a month ago, I feel a lot better and a lot more confident. I'm a lot more consistent with different routes and different route combinations.

Q: How comfortable do you feel moving out of the pocket compared to at the beginning of training camp?CP:

Much more comfortable. I needed a month to work with our receivers on different spread opportunities, different ways to move in and out of the pocket with people around me. I feel I've gotten a lot more confident and comfortable. I'm excited at the opportunity to do it a live game atmosphere.

Q: Are you eager to get that first hit and get over that hurdle?CP:

It hasn't been that long since I've been hit. I'll get hit, get knocked around a little bit, but it will feel good because I haven't been doing that in training camp. It's just another preseason game, another start for my season this Monday night. I'll get knocked around a little bit and still feel confident. We'll move on from there.

Q: Have the doctors told you that the swelling and tenderness is normal for this type of injury?CP:

It's going to be sore and you're going to get some swelling. You need to control it and just keep it down as much as possible, and get rest when it needs rest.

Q: Do you want to play in the fourth preseason game if you don't get enough against Green Bay?CP:

I won't know until next Friday, when we play our final preseason game. It's a short week, so we'll see how I recover after the game. We'll decide that week depending on the soreness and the swelling.

Q: What certain play will you have to complete to let you know that everything's OK?CP:

I don't think I really need to.  I feel confident. I've been in every situation and moved outside the pocket. I have thrown from inside the pocket with people stepping in front of me. I don't feel like I have to do anything to have confidence or to be successful. I've prepared myself, and this past month has gotten me to this place. I want to go out there and complete balls and move the chains like we always do. Hopefully I'll have some opportunities to get outside and run, and throw some balls deep down the field when I've got some guys in front of me and I can't get my weight through. Hopefully I can get through a number of different situations. 

Q: Are your eyes looking at your feet during the rush more than you would have last year?CP:

They were at first, but the last week and a half I've felt great. I haven't been looking at the rush, and I've been staring at the defense. I have been looking downfield and not at what's going on around me. 

Q: Since you haven't played in the preseason, has that heightened your anxiety to get back out there?CP:

I think so. It's been tough to stand on the sidelines and watch. I realize that's the situation that I was getting into coming into training camp. I'm excited just to be able to play. It's on national television and Brett Favre is on the other sideline. There are a lot of things that make this game fun, and this is another opportunity to get out there and play, and I'm excited about it. 

Q: Even though you've worked against the defense in practice, is getting hit low something you haven't experienced yet this year?CP:

I haven't. I have experienced throughout my career, and it happened one time where there was a bad result. I've been hit low hundreds of times since fifth grade. Only one time it hasn't worked out. If it happens a couple of times, that's great. My knee is strong enough to withstand it, and I'll have a knee brace on. I won't know how it will react to that until it happens.

Q: That's something you don't want to test in practice?CP:

No, it's not worth it. I was hoping I would get a chance in preseason to test it out. If it happens it happens, if it doesn't we'll move on through the regular season. It's not something I'm going to be worrying on or concentrating on. 

Q: Was it difficult to balance the desire of wanting to play and the need to be cautious with the injury?CP:

Somewhat. From the beginning, I have put all my trust in the trainers and the guys that have been with me from day one. With rehabbing my knee, this is uncharted territory. I have never had any knee surgeries or surgeries in general. I leaned on them and trusted them. When they said I was going to be ready, I've been ready. I will continue to do that during this year. 

Q: Looking back, what was the lowest point of the rehab?CP:

The beginning process of going into rehab on crutches, not being able to bend your leg past ten degrees, still having staples in your skin and having stitches hold your skin together, and knowing how long of a journey and comeback it was going to be. And the playoffs were still going on. That was the toughest part. It's something that a lot of people have been through, and I had a lot of support and help.

Q: Have you talked to Anthony Wright about his similar knee injury back in college?CP:

I've talked to him. He came back quickly and he wasn't wearing a knee brace at first, which I was shocked at. I've talked to a lot of friends, who have had this knee injury, and everyone's advice is the same. Take your time. Don't push it. Your body will eventually heal on its own. 

Q: Is there any special incentive for your offensive line to keep you untouched?CP:

Those guys always do a good job. I count on those guys, the same way that Anthony Wright and Doug Johnson have. I talked to Levi (Jones) earlier, and he's fired up to come back and play because he had a little bit of an injury. Those guys give one hundred and ten percent every week, and play great every week. I don't think there's much of a difference now that I'm in there.

Q: Where does this game rank in the list of all the big games you've had in your career?CP:

I don't think this is a big game compared to a lot of the games we've played. It is just a preseason game like you said. It's a chance for our starters to get some work, for me to get some work, and later on in the game a chance for some guys who are fighting to make this team. The game we're all looking forward to is the game on September 10th, because that's the one that counts a lot. Not to take anything away from this game, but it's just a preseason game, a chance to get some work. 

Q: How are you going to feel when you walk on that field and the fans erupt?CP:

I'm going to feel just like I always have. Every time you come out of the tunnel, it's a rush. Every one of us is very fortunate be one of those guys who get to run out of an NFL tunnel, and feel that atmosphere. It's just another game, and I'm excited. I'm looking forward to the opportunity, as is everyone else on this team.    
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