Carson Palmer Press Conference Transcript

Q: You mentioned on Sunday that they played that deep Cover 2. What percentage of the time do those defenses play that coverage against you?CP:"Quite a bit. It's a coverage we're used to seeing with Chad (Ochocinco). It's a coverage that Larry Fitzgerald, Chad (Ochocinco), T.O. and Calvin Johnson see typically a good majority of the time."

Q: In that coverage, you probably want to hit the underneath stuff and have those safeties come up, right?CP: "In a perfect world, you just run the ball at that side. But the defense also understands that it's a weakness of the defense, too. They try to do different stunts and schemes to try to slow you down that way. The best thing to do is, if you're not running the ball, to get the ball to other guys to make them come out of a double coverage situation to worry about other offensive players. If it's your tight end, your slot receiver, your strong-side receiver, try to get the ball and spread the ball around a little bit more and make them play a little more true to the rest of the receivers and not so much focus the defense around Chad (Ochocinco)".

Q: You guys ran the ball a lot in the first half and were pretty successful, but you didn't run the ball as much in the second half. Did Denver make a halftime adjustment? CP: "We were successful running the ball, and we tried to do it in the second half, and they made some really good adjustments to slow us down. I'm not sure exactly what the numbers statistically were run to pass, pass to run, but we just weren't getting the same bigger hits in the run game that we were in the first half. A six- or eight-yard run here. They were more two, three, four-yard runs. We just weren't as successful. We weren't executing as well as were in the first half."

Q: There has been a theme since the beginning of the season where you guys can move the ball between the 20s, then can't finish. Is it a mental block? How do you rectify that?CP: "It's been a number of things. A turnover, a penalty, a sack. We really don't look at it as something that's been happening since the preseason, because so many guys were playing in the preseason. We're going to look at it as Week 1, that's what we struggled to do. We have to do better than we did in Week 1. I wouldn't start calling it a trend or anything like that, because there were so many different players and so many different circumstances that went on in the preseason. I just think it's something we struggled with this last week, and it's something we've already started working on this week in our walk-throughs and we need to get it corrected. We will. We'll keep working on it until we do."

Q: Is this a must-win game?CP: "Everybody talks about must-wins. Every game is a must-win when it comes down to it. At some point in the year, if you don't make the playoffs or if you don't have home-field advantage in the playoffs or you don't win the Super Bowl, you look back at one game, or two games, or three games, or four games and say, 'We should have won that game.' In the grand scheme of things, we're not looking at statistics as far as how many teams have made the playoffs, or won a playoff game starting with a season record. We look at it as we have to win every week. After this week, it's Pittsburgh, and we'll move on throughout the season. The game we must win is Green Bay, and the only reason we must win is because it's the next game."

Q: How is this Green Bay defense different from years past with the 3-4?CP: "They're very good. I haven't played them in a couple years, other than the preseason, but very, very good. They have two of the better corners in the league, one of the best tandems. They don't get the credit they deserve because everybody says they're getting up there in years. But I've felt for a long time that Al Harris, if not the best corner in the league, is the second-best corner in the league. He's extremely fast and quick, and he comes up and hits people. He's tough. Charles Woodson, for a long time, has been an outstanding corner. They also have a very good linebacker corps – they have some high picks in that linebacker corps – and up front, they have two very good d-tackles and a top-10 pick that's backing both of them up. He (draft pick B.J. Raji) is having a hard time seeing the field because the two guys in front of him are so good."

Q: Why have the Packers been so good at getting turnovers? What do you have to look out for against them?CP:"They've had picks from confusing quarterbacks, from making quarterbacks force throws. They've created turnovers by hitting people hard and knocking the ball loose. They've broken up a lot of balls in the passing game. They've done a number of things. It's a really good unit. You've got to be on your game. You've got to see what's coming at you. They bring a lot of corner pressures, a number of different blitz zones, and do a really good job of disguising. So you've got to be on your A-game and recognize things as they're happening and make sure your eyes are on the right spots before the snap and after the snap to confirm what you've got coming at you and make sure the ball's going in the right place."

Q: Is their defense similar to Pittsburgh?CP: "It's similar. No two teams are alike, just because they run similar running plays or similar pressures. The personnel's so different and the coordinators are different. It's similar stuff that Pittsburgh's done. But like Pittsburgh, it's a very good unit top to bottom."

Q: You liked playing in Dallas because of the tradition there. Is Lambeau Field like that too?CP:"Definitely. I've played at Lambeau once, so it won't be my first time. It's exciting. It IS the NFL. When you think of the Green Bay Packers, they're one of the teams that have been around forever and won a ton of championships. It's that same  stadium; there's been some renovations and some changes, but it's that same stadium, which makes it cool, too. A lot of history has happened on that field.  It's exciting. It's a great atmosphere for a game. It's very intimate. It's not real hostile, because it just seems like all the fans are really nice. But it's really loud. They understand football. Their football IQ is tremendous as far as when to be loud and how quiet they can get when the offense is on the field so the offense can communicate. So it's a fun place to play, and I'm looking forward to playing a regular season game there."

Q: Do you expect to see more of the deep cover-2 that Denver played this year?CP: "I have no idea how other teams are going to play us. The only way you can try to figure it out is to look at some things they did against you the previous years that were successful and guess. But you go into a game plan with what they've put on film, and we're looking at Chicago and their four preseason games. That's what Green Bay has played this year. So you can't really go into a game plan and know this is exactly what you're going to get, but we'll go in and we'll see what they're going to do and try to get a feel for it and try to make adjustments if we need to make adjustments and get to some (long passes) if we feel we have a good assessment of what we're getting and we can take some shots. If they're not going to let us take shots, we're not going to throw the ball downfield just to throw the ball downfield, because these safeties are very good. When the ball's in the air, they make a lot of plays. We've got to take what they give us and be really good up front and be able to run the ball and give us some opportunities to take some shots downfield."

Q: Since you missed the three preseason games, do you feel in regular season rhythm, or are you still in more of a training camp rhythm?CP: "I practiced most of training camp, and then we broke camp, and with the ankle issue I was out for a little bit going on three weeks. Now, with a regular season game under my belt, I'm excited and ready to play and feel like I've got my rhythm and timing going. I'm going to keep developing that this week with the receivers and tight ends and backs and keep moving forward."

Q: After looking at the tape what did you like, and dislike, about your performance?CP: "It's very easy to find a lot of things you don't like after a loss, but there's a number of areas we need to improve on. There's some good things that happened for me and a number of guys on our team, and there's some bad things that happened for me and for a number of guys on our team. We've spent a lot of time going through it and figuring those things out and making adjustments. We'll continue to get better as the season goes on. With a couple new guys, in game experiences, you find out guys' strengths and weaknesses, guys like Laveranues (Coles) and Cedric (Benson) being here for this whole year and Andre Caldwell coming along, we've got the two tight ends that are kind of switching in and out, some guys that are going to get better as the season goes on. You try to get better in the OTAs and the offseason, but once you get to the regular season, you really see strengths and weaknesses. You try to play to each other's strengths, and we'll continue to grow together and get better as the season goes along."

Q: The offensive line seemed to be giving you a lot of time: CP: "Yeah, they've really set up nice pockets for us all through the preseason and this first week. They take a lot of pride in that. They take a lot of pride in keeping hits off the quarterback, and they've done a great job and will keep doing a great job. Whatever the injury situation is, with Nate (Livings) being banged up, and we've got different guys coming in and out, it's a group that has good leaders with Bobbie and Whit and Kyle coming along. Just a good group of guys that's going to get better as we go, just like the other positions. So it's exciting to know that they're very stout up front. They do a good job against bull-rushes, and we're athletic on the outside, which is a good combination to have."

Q: You ran a couple of rollouts against Denver. What do you like about that?CP: "I like it anytime you have a chance to get the ball downfield, and we did on both of those. There were some errors made on the plays, and we'll keep working on them and hang onto those and wait until we get better at them, because there were two mistakes that really shouldn't be made, but we'll continue to get better, like I keep saying. It's a group that doesn't have a lot of experience playing together, and the more you play together the better you get."

Q: What does the rollout do for you, and the offense?CP: "It just changes up where the quarterback's setup point is. You get a chance to get a little bit of a run action with some bite on the defense, and moving the hit point that the defense is setting up for quarterback sacks and getting pressure on the quarterbacks."

Q: In preseason, and against Denver, Brian Leonard took some short passes and turned them into long gains. How do you like having someone like that in the backfield with you?CP:"He's really special because in those two-minute situations and third-down situations, he can pick up anybody in the pass protection because he's a big, physical guy, but he has really good hands. He has surprisingly good hands. So it's a good combination, being able to put him in there and pick up a 260-pound D-end or a big linebacker with a bull-rush, and then put him in with some screens because he can catch the ball and on check-downs. You're so confident that he'll catch the ball, and then you combine that with he's got some speed and moves. He's a big threat for us on third down."

Q: Does he have surprising speed?CP: "His speed's surprising, but he's real shifty. He's really good in the open field breaking tackles and making people miss, too."

Q: Do you buy into the notion that some teams just know how to win, and others don't? And why is it that some teams seem to have wacky endings go against them? How do you change it?CP: "I'm not sure what you do to get over the hump, but it does seem that some teams get luckier breaks than others. Our break was definitely unlucky. You look at the Patriots' break with the fumble, it was lucky. But you just keep working, and that's the only thing I know is to keep working, keep trying to find ways to win."

Q: Is it luck?CP: "I don't know. I'm not very philosophical, so I'm not sure about that one."

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