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Carson Palmer Press Conference Transcript

Q: What do you see about the Cleveland defense that might pose you problems on Sunday?CP: "They have a lot of really, really talented individual players. Shaun Rogers is one of the best guys at his position in the league, very disruptive. He can take over a game if he gets off to a good start and you're struggling with him. He poses a lot of threats, so we've got to handle him, and try to contain him as much as possible. They have two fast, play-making corners and some experience all over the place, and Brodney Pool's been there for a long time and played well. It's a good unit that has some play-makers."

Q: You have been through some losing seasons during your time in Cincinnati. What do you think is going through the Browns' minds as they get ready for Sunday's game at 0-3?CP: "I'm not exactly sure. They're in a bad need for a win, starting off the way they've started off. Nothing would feel better for them than to get a home win against a division team. We've got our hands full. It's a dangerous team to be playing this early in the season. They're fighting and scratching and doing everything they can to get in that win column, and they're going to bring their A-game and do everything they can to try to beat us at home."

Q: Does the rivalry add to that?CP: "Definitely. You throw in that, on top of the situation they're in, the situation we're in -- it's definitely a dangerous game. We've got to go in there with the mindset we went in with last week and the week before, and do everything we can to get prepared and sharpen everything up for this Sunday's game."

Q: Do you have to force yourself to have that mindset?CP: "Definitely. You have to do that for 16 straight weeks. The season is a grind; 16 weeks is long, with four weeks of training camp, and we've got back-to-back-to-back division games. So it's definitely a grind, and we're beat up and sore from a very physical game we played a couple days ago. We've got to get our bodies back, get our minds right, go in with the right mindset, and expect to out-execute them."

Q: Two years ago, you guys went up to Cleveland after a big win (vs. Baltimore) and lost to a struggling Browns team, 51-45. Do you think back to that at all?CP: "I really haven't thought much about it. That was a different team for us. They were a different team back then. All that is on our mind right now is getting through today's practice and getting all the looks and getting back to look at the film. Figure out the good and the bad that we've done, and get ready for tomorrow's practice. So as far as last year or the year before, two previous years, it's not in our mindset and I don't think it would be in theirs."

Q: You have a chance to go 2-0 in the division. How big is would that be?CP: "Huge. It's a big game for us, but it's also a big game for them. But if you can get up two games and have a chance to go into Baltimore and kind of see how things play out there, it's definitely a good situation to be in. But we don't need to start thinking about anything other than Cleveland and try to get a win. Regardless whether it's a division game or not, we need to go in and get a win."

Q: Does an 0-3 team with nothing to lose, and hungry for a win, present a bigger challenge? CP: "Definitely. They've got nothing to lose, and they're extremely hungry for a win. They haven't tasted one yet, and the rivalry gets kind of thrown in there and the quarterback situation that's going on. A lot of times, teams overlook teams in that situation, but we won't do that. We know they're talented, they're capable of scoring a lot of points, they're capable of doing a lot of special things on special teams as far as (Joshua) Cribbs is concerned. So we've got to go in and play our best football to win."

Q: Why haven't you guys thrown the ball long very much? Is it because of the coverage, or is it that you haven't needed it?CP: "Well, I think you always need a long ball. Everybody wants to throw the ball over people's heads. But you've got to be careful and pick your options and pick your times, because the worst thing to do is, on second-and-10, take a long shot down the field when it's not there pre-snap, and then everybody is bailing and running for the hills because then you put yourself in those third-and-long and second-and-long situations. Those are difficult. We'd love to take some deep shots. If they're there, we'll take them. If not, we'll keep throwing the ball underneath until they present themselves. But the last thing you want to do is force things down the field."

Q: Is this offense confident now about having a balance with the run game?CP: "I hope so. We still definitely are not happy with what we've done in the run game. We've done some nice things and had some nice plays, but we've also had a lot of yards called back on guys mis-stepping and putting their hands outside or jumping offside, whatever the case is. So we've got a long way to go before we get to where we want to be. But we have the confidence and the mindset that we can run the ball on anybody, and it's not about what the defense does, it's about what we do upfront and what the tailback does and what the guys on the outside do as far as picking up safeties and pressures. We have the confidence, but we still need to get a lot better."

Q: In the NFL, how much influence can a head coach have over a player's willingness to play hard? CP: "I think it's different in every situation, depending on the team, depending on the player and depending on the coach. As far as I'm concerned and as far as this team is concerned, guys would do anything for Marvin. If he tells you to run through a wall, you run through a wall.  Whatever he tells you to do, we would do. He's the leader of this team and the leader of the group. Whatever he needs us to do, we'll get it done."

Q: How disconcerting would it be to have a QB controversy?CP:"To be honest, I'm not sure. I haven't been in a situation like that. I'm sure for most guys on the team, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. It's about executing and the upfront guys doing their job, and getting the running game going and taking some of the pressure off the quarterback. Both guys (in Cleveland) are very capable. Derek has had a lot of success. Brady was a high draft pick because he's had some success. I think the guys around them know they're both capable players and both can move the ball and get wins for their team. I think they'll go out and play the same if No. 3 is out there or No. 10 is out there."

Q: With a new cast of receivers, is it hard fitting them all in? CP: "It's been tough. Trying to find a spot on the field for all the guys has been difficult. In this division, you can't line up in four receivers every play and expect to win games on the road. You have to be able to run the ball, run the clock, keep your defense off the field. We'd love to get a number of guys on the field, but you can only have 11 at one time. We'd like to get Chris (Henry) on the field more, we'd like to keep Laveranues on the field more. We'd like to get Chad the ball more. It's tough for the coaches to do, but it's a fun game to play because there's fun stuff to put in for each individual guy. There are a lot of  big plays that can be made with individual players.

Q: How does it feel to have that many capable playmakers?CP: "It's great. I have all the confidence in the world in those guys. Some guys have done it a lot. Then there's Andre (Caldwell), who's kind of in his first year really, showing up week in and week out, making plays and making blocks. It's fun to watch. It's fun to go back after a win and watch those guys play."

Q: Do you guys see the offense as a big-play offense, like in '05, or do you see it as a "grind it out" offense?CP: "Our mindset is run first. Years ago, we used to be big-play first. The way our defense plays now, and as well as they're holding people down to 17-20 points a game, we need to run the ball. We need to keep them off the field, keep them fresh, so they can keep attacking and keep doing what they do. We're still capable of the big plays, but we probably won't take as many chances as we used to because we have to control the clock and wear down the clock a little bit more and win games defensively sometimes, because we're capable of doing that."

Q: Do you like that?CP: "I like whatever wins. If it wins to throw the ball 50 times a game, that's great. If it wins to run the ball 50 times, I'm happy with that."

Q: How are you adjusting to the new style?CP: "It's still a work in progress. Looking at game film after every week, there's still a number of areas to improve on. I work on those during the week. But whatever wins, works."

Q: Since there are so many playmakers on this team, do any of them ever get frustrated when it gets difficult to spread the offense around?CP: "No, the old saying, 'Winning cures everything,' kind of takes care of that. Everybody wants to contribute more and help win, when you're not winning, everybody thinks they should be doing more or less of this or that. Right now, we have a good group of guys with the right mindset and the right focus, and it's not about any individual player or any individual players' stats. It's about winning."

Q: Is Chris Henry still bothered by his injury?CP: "No, I think he's feeling great. He'll be ready to practice this week and be ready to play on Sunday."

Q: What's it going to be like going against the talented Cleveland secondary that you talked about?CP: "Eric Wright is a really good corner. (Brandon) McDonald is fast and explosive. He's a smaller guy who can really run. We need to go out and win our one-on-one battles when we get our chances. We have to do a great job of blocking on the perimeter because their safeties do a good job of filling in on the run game and helping out. It's definitely a good challenge for us."

Q: This is the first time since you threw six TDs that you will be going up against Derek Anderson in Cleveland. Do you think back to that?CP: "No, it was two years ago. I said earlier that we're a different team, they're a different team. They've changed a lot. They have a new coach now and a new staff. We have a lot of new players. Most of the players we have here weren't on the field for that game. It was two years ago."

Q: Can you believe you threw for six touchdown passes and still lost?CP: "No, you wouldn't expect to, but crazier things have happened."

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