QB Carson Palmer
Q: You had sat out a year when you joined the league. Do you think that helped you ultimately? It's the same thing that happened with Aaron [Rodgers]. Aaron was out for three years…
Palmer: Yeah, I've been asked that question a lot as every draft approaches and quarterbacks are taken early. I think it's just completely dependent upon the situation of the team. If you have a guy that can win you more games than a first-year rookie, then you play him. If you don't and the best quarterback on your roster is a rookie, he gives you the best chance to win, then the rookie plays. That's just kind of been my belief on it since I went through it.
Q: What are your thoughts on the Packers defense going into this week's game?
Palmer: Obviously, it's a group that's won a Super Bowl. It's very accomplished; it's a good group overall. Very good pass rushers; obviously Charles Woodson can make plays and he's been making plays for the last handful of years being the Defensive MVP of the league, but just a good, very solid group.
Q: They get a lot of interceptions. Do you go about taking chances, are there things you can do to exploit that or how do they get them?
Palmer: They make good plays on the balls. I wouldn't say they're a team that jumps routes all over the place. They jump routes at the right time when the ball is coming their way, but they force turnovers also. They're a ball-hawking defense, they know they want to get their offense the ball and what their offense can do with the ball so they take chances and try to force fumbles. They're swinging at the ball and always taking opportunities to try and knock the ball loose.
Q: How do you avoid the critical mistake because teams have been able to put up points and yards, but they always seem to get a pick-six or a pick in the end zone or something that'll swing the game their way?
Palmer: Yeah that's the tough thing to do. Obviously when you win 12 games in a row, you figure some things out, you know how to play as a team and you look back to the last year where they won a bunch of games in a row and they play well as a team. Obviously, statistically, it's not like it's the number one defense in the league but it's a very good defense and a defense understands how to play within their own game and when you add the offense and the special teams units into it. But, you've just got to be patient. You can't feel like they're going to score on every drive so you need to score on every drive. You need to take what they give you and when you get the ball in your hands as a receiver or running back, you need to cover it up because you know they're coming after it. But, don't feel like you need to score 14 points in one drive. The most you can do is obviously score a touchdown a drive and if you have to punt, you have to punt.
Q: You watch your own team and your own performance but just from afar seeing the way Aaron Rodgers is playing right now; maybe you saw him at the Super Bowl, I don't know if you've seen him play this year. What's your perspective on the kind of string he's put together the last 12 games plus last year?
Palmer: Yeah, it's been obviously second-to-none. He's playing at a level that other guys haven't played the position at before. You can look at his film and us playing the NFC North this year, you see a lot of Packer games, and he's doing something that nobody's done before.
Q: Anything specifically that you look at and say, 'wow?'
Palmer: Everything. Avoiding pressures, getting rid of the ball, throwing the ball downfield, being accurate with the ball, throwing the ball towards the sidelines, running with it, everything. Every facet of the game.
Q: You talk about you like challenges and obviously this is one coming up. Against a great team right now, what do you want to happen with the offense that hasn't happened thus far since you've been here?
Palmer: Just play consistently for four quarters. It's going to be a four-quarter football game. They're going to score points. It's not a game where you want to just be smart with the ball and hope your defense hold them. That's not the type of game it is. But, you need to play efficiently for four quarters and we've got to stay on the field and keep them off the field, and that category is third down. You've got to be successful on third down, staying out of third and long situations, being able to run the ball on first and second downs is huge. But, just playing consistently for four quarters and being good on third down.
Q:Jacoby [Ford] and Denarius [Moore] have been out the last couple of weeks. Have you seen defenses approach you guys differently without having that speed on the outside, do they focus more on the run?
Palmer:Yes, I mean when you lose obviously a guy like Jacoby and Denarius and Darren [McFadden] you go into a game playing with a certain guy that you're really focused on and every team that we play against focuses on a handful of guys offensively for us. Normally it's Jacoby or Darren or Denarius and when you don't have that guy that the defense focuses on usually they have to turn to somebody else. So if it's Darrius [Heyward-Bey] or Chaz [Schilens] or Michael [Bush] obviously we don't know that until we get to Sunday but it's just depending on who's kind of our go-to guy that week.
Q:Are you frustrated that you haven't really gotten the chance to work with Darren yet?
Palmer:Yes, I'm looking forward to the opportunity. I had heard a couple weeks ago that this was going to be the week. But Mike's done a great job filling in for him and when he's back he'll be ready. This team knows that Darren's doing everything he can to get back on the field.
Q: Has the increased amount you've been hit the last couple of weeks and pressure is that a direct relation to running the ball and the fact that maybe you throw the ball down the field a little more when some quarterbacks usually hold on to it a little more? Or what factors go into factor with the pressure you've been getting?
Palmer:There are not one or two things. I've always, my entire career, I've always held on to the ball and waited to the very last second to throw the ball for guys to come open. It's kind of one of my strengths, obviously my strength isn't taking off and running around the corner and running for a hundred yards a game. So, it's something that I've done for a long time and I'll continue to do. Obviously, offensive lines don't want their quarterback to get hurt, but when you play against Minnesota's pass rush and Cameron Wake last week. We've been playing against really good players just week after week after week and Clay Matthews is up this week. So, that's part of the game.
Q:You played at Lambeau a couple of years ago, actually won there, it was early in the year, but what do you remember from just that experience in playing at a place like that?
Palmer:It's my favorite place to play. I've only been there I think two or three times but it just reeks with history. It's just a special place, it's a special atmosphere. The environment is great; it's fun when it's cold. I'd rather it be more chilly than warmer. But just obviously with what has happened there over the years there have been subtle changes to the stadium over the years but just an awesome environment to play in.
Q:Carson, when you got here I heard a couple commentators, former players on T.V. and radio, saying the key for you physically is not whether your arm would hurt after some activity but after a couple of weeks how your legs would feel. I'm wondering just physically how that process has been for you?
Palmer:It's been good. It's been as expected. The last couple of weeks I started to feel it I guess, but it's kind of like I compared it the other day to training camp. Where you go through training camp and you feel great and then you kind of hit a wall and you just have to go through that wall. Once you get through that your body kind of gets used to the wear and tear and the movement and the pounding and all that. Fortunately I got that out of the way, I got through that last week and feel great this week.
Q:Generally I mean, when you're on the field now do you feel like the guy who had the big years in Cincinnati just physically?
Palmer:I'm getting more and more comfortable. Every chance, whether it's practice or a game, the more opportunities I get to throw with these guys and figure them out as I go, I'm just getting more and more comfortable and fundamentally getting better each week also.
Q:Did the Dolphins take away Marcel [Reece] last week, or was he a marked man that game or what happened?
Palmer:Yeah, they had a good package for him. We got him loose a couple of times but obviously not enough. He's one of the probably best mismatches you'll find in the NFL as far as the position he plays and what he can do. But they had a good plan for him and we'll have a good counter for that plan this week and figure out more ways to get the ball in his hands.
Q:Is it encouraging seeing the Giants take Green Bay kind of down to the wire showing that even though they're undefeated, they are vulnerable possibly?
Palmer:Yeah, it's encouraging but as the season goes on for them and the longer they stay undefeated the bigger that bullseye gets on their back because everybody is trying to be the one that knocks them off. So I expect to see if they're going to go for that undefeated record and continue to play, I expect games to be closer and closer because teams are going to give them everything they got. We're going to give them everything we've got; we're going to go in and expect to win. It's tough to do as the season gets later and later in the year, you saw it with the Giants last time they played or the last time a team was almost undefeated was when New England was there the Giants took them down to the wire also. We expect to give them a run and see how we stack up.