For Carson Palmer, the only thing that matters about the Arizona Cardinals’ Sept. 11 season-opener against the New England Patriots is that his team wins.
The Cardinals’ quarterback isn’t all that concerned about the victory losing some of its luster because his Patriots counterpart, Tom Brady, will be starting his four-game suspension that night.
He’ll take a win against Jimmy Garoppolo or anyone else who lines up behind center for New England.
“Yes, to an extent (he would like to face Brady), but I want to be 1-0,” Palmer told Bruce Murray and James Lofton on the SiriusXM Blitz Friday. “That’s the mindset. It’d be great, but at the same time, I think our odds go up a little bit of getting to 1-0 and moving onto that second game. That’s all that matters.
“You can say, ‘Yeah, I want to play against the best.’ You’re going to play against the best week in and week out more often than not. I want to get to 1-0 and then 2-0 and continue to roll.”
Palmer believes the Cardinals are set to do plenty of rolling this season after building a strong foundation in 2015 and enhancing the roster during the offseason.
“We’ve done nothing but improve this offseason,” he said. “We’ve drafted well, we’ve brought in vets, we’ve addressed needs. Not that there were a lot of needs. We’re extremely deep. We’re well coached. We’ve got great veteran leadership. No doubt, the bar is set high. We have high expectations for ourselves, but that means nothing right now. We have so much work to do and improvements to make.”
Coach Bruce Arians has rapidly established himself as one of the more beloved figures in the league. But Palmer said his friendly and approachable exterior shouldn’t fool anyone into assuming that he has more personality than football substance.
“Guys like him and that’s nice to be liked, but you don’t have to be liked to be a great coach,” Palmer said. “That part is great. He’s a great football coach. The way he addresses the team, the uncertainty that’s never in the air. He tells you like it is, day in, day out. And it’s not pretty 90 percent of the time. But guys respect that. … You want to play for that kind of guy, but you want to play for a great coach and he’s a great coach and a great mind.”
Vic Carucci is a regular contributor to SiriusXM NFL Radio. Catch all of the biggest names in the game on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Channel 88.
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