After near-perfect game, Palmer back at practice
Carson Palmer didn’t throw a pass in practice last week, then
had one of the best passing games of his career.
The Arizona quarterback won’t try that this week.
Palmer said before practice Wednesday that he planned to throw
some in preparation for the Cardinals’ game at Tennessee on
Last Sunday, despite a sore elbow that had made him questionable
for the game, Palmer completed 27 of 32 passes in Arizona’s 30-10
victory over St. Louis. The 84.4 completion percentage was the
highest of his career and second-highest in franchise history.
The only Cardinal to do better was Kurt Warner, who completed an
NFL-record 92.3 percent – 24 of 26 – against Jacksonville in
Pretty much everything clicked in the passing game.
”Everybody caught the ball well,” Palmer said. ”The
protection was great. Play calling as phenomenal with the timing of
play calls. Everything went into that.”
Palmer’s near-perfect performance was further evidence that he
and his offensive teammates have a grasp of coach Bruce Arians’
”The receivers played by far their best game, and he did
also,” Arians said. ”They were really in tune. The protection
helped a bunch, but he got away from some stuff (pressure) too and
made some really nice throws. Larry (Fitzgerald) made some great
Palmer threw to Fitzgerald 11 times and completed all 11 for 96
yards, including a 7-yard touchdown catch.
”Larry caught the ball really, really strong and did a great
job,” Palmer said. ”He made some routine plays for Larry that are
extraordinary plays for most receivers in this league.”
Palmer injured his right elbow early in Arizona’s 24-21 loss at
Philadelphia on Dec. 1, perhaps explaining why he underthrew a pair
of receivers on passes that were intercepted.
He said he felt better Wednesday and was listed as limited in
”Missing practice is a big deal for a quarterback,” Palmer
said. ”I enjoy practice. It’s fun. I don’t have to hit anybody. I
don’t have to tackle anybody. Hand the ball off a couple of times,
throw the ball around. I don’t enjoy missing practice, but I’m
going to go out and do a little more than I did last week.”
Arizona has won five out of six to improve to 8-5, one game
behind Carolina and San Francisco in the race for the NFC’s final
wild-card playoff berth.
In that span, Palmer has completed 69.3 percent of his passes
for 1,717 yards with 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. That
compares with eight touchdowns and 13 interceptions in the first
seven games, when the Cardinals went 3-4.
Arians said that previous quarterbacks he has coached – he
mentioned Peyton Manning, Tim Couch and Ben Roethlisberger – all
had interception problems in the early stages of operating the
”Once you get the nuances of everything, and you know where the
ball is going pre-snap” Arians said, ”once you see the coverage
and you start trusting your receivers, those things come
Palmer said everyone in the offense is simply more
”I think we have just come a long way as a group,” he said.
”I know we have come a long way in the trust department for sure,
just trusting where a guy is going to be, trusting where the ball
is going to be on their end. …
”After a while you start to get it. `’
Notes: WR Michael Floyd (ankle) and TE Rob Housler (groin) did
not practice. … Arizona OLB John Abraham was named NFC defensive
player of the week after getting three sacks, one for a safety,
against the Rams. Abraham, 35, moved up to ninth on the career
sacks list with 133.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org