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Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer on Week 17 Matchup with Rams

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NFC Championship - Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians – Conference Call – December 28, 2016

(On what he sees on film from QB Jared Goff)

“I see a young guy getting better and better. I thought that first half in Seattle, he played extremely well. With all young guys, you’ve got learn from playing and learn from making mistakes – that’s the only way to get better.“

(On how he thinks Cardinals QB Carson Palmer has played this season)

“I think this last month he’s been outstanding. Earlier in the year, I think he was a little bit of a victim of our receiver room to injuries and illnesses – just not playing up to their standard. But the last month he’s been playing lights out. “

(On whether it will be different facing the Rams without Jeff Fisher)

“Yeah it will. It’s kind of odd. (Defensive Coordinator) Gregg’s (Williams) still there, the offensive coaches, (Offensive Line Paul) Boudreau coach and everybody is still there, so that part’s the same.”

(On how he motivates his players to finish strong despite not having a chance at the post-season)

“Anytime that you throw the ball out there, you play to win – since you were a little kid, you play to win. That’s what got you to this level. We have a chance to go 4-1-1 in the division, make a statement for next year and that’s all we can do at this point in time. We’re not interested in looking at young players, although we’re playing a bunch of them. But it’s more out of necessity than not wanting to win.”

(On Jeff Fisher’s comments on giving Arizona an “early Christmas present” after their first meeting this season and whether that adds any extra motivation to win this week even though Fisher won’t be present)

“No, not at all. We’ve always had our little barks, they’re all out of fun. I think they’re out of respect for each other. But I started it and I wish he had the chance to finish it, so I can say ‘Happy New Year.’”

(On what he thought when he read the Jeff Fisher comments for the first time after the game)

“I laughed. It was good. Hey, when you win, you get to say things, and when you lose, you eat it.”

Cardinals QB Carson Palmer – Conference Call – December 28, 2016

(On if he has any recollection of his last game at the Coliseum)

“Oh yeah, that was the last time I’ve been to the Coliseum – a long time ago. I remember it being the, obviously, the Notre Dame game, which was a huge, huge game. I think they were ranked (No.) two and we were (No.) three. I forget the exact rankings at the time, but it was two top-five teams, and we both had a lot to play for. It was our Senior Night too, which made it extra special. Just a game I’ll never forget.”

(On if it means anything for him to come back and play in his old college stadium)

“Absolutely, that’s where it all started. I’ll never forget my first game there when I was a high school recruit, it was against Washington State. I remember walking on the field after the game and seeing Ryan Leaf in person, and Chris Claiborne in person, and Mike Bastianelli, and on and on. Petros Papadakis – all these guys that I watched on TV, and you’re a high school kid. You don’t really know what’s what. I just remember being in awe of that stadium, and just how big it was. Just the feeling you get when you look up and see the peristyle end, and the feeling you get coming out of that tunnel, having a chance to go in that locker room, and all of those things. It’s a very special place to me. I always grew up wanting to hopefully be able to play there, and I got to live a childhood dream playing college football there, and having a chance to go back and play there again is something I never, ever thought would have happened. Even when there was talks of a team moving to L.A., I just, for whatever reason, was thinking maybe they’ll go to the Rose Bowl, or they’ll build a stadium. Lo and behold that it ends up being a division opponent, and getting a chance to finish off the year and play there is really special to me.

(On if he’s been back to the Coliseum home locker room since he’s graduated)

“No, no I have not. I haven’t seen any of the upgrades. I heard there’s some suites they’ve put in, and I’m sure they’ve changed a handful of things. But, I have not been back to the stadium since that Notre Dame game.

(On how the Rams look now compared to the last time they played in October)

“The same. Obviously (DE Robert) Quinn’s not out there, which is one of the best players in the league. But, still doing the same things, they have very specific game plans for their opponents. Very, very physical group. I think everything kind of starts up front with them – a phenomenal pass rush, they’re really good and stout in the run. They have some really good secondary players that come up and hit you. Just a very, very good defense, one of the better defenses in the league and would be much higher ranked if some things had gone the other way on the other side of the ball. Just a very, very good unit, top to bottom – very well-coached, they’re very multiple, they do a lot of different things, they do a lot of stuff pre-snap and then completely change what they’re showing pre-snap, post-snap. Very, very good group.”

(On if he is sure that he will be playing next season and playing with the Cardinals)

“Well, nothing’s for sure. I love playing the game, I love preparing, I enjoy, even over Christmas weekend, breaking down film and looking at film and looking at the last game we played against them and their last four or five games. All of those little things I enjoy doing. But, you never know – who knows, nothing is for sure, like I said. As long as my body will let me play and as long as I enjoy all the little things that come with just playing on Sunday, all the offseason OTAs, the training camps, the studying during the week, I still enjoy all of that stuff.”

(On the ticket requests for him for this game)

“Not a ton. I’ve got a handful of family members that still live in California. My sister and her kids will come up, I’ve got some buddies that still live in California that will come, but nothing too crazy. Maybe 10 tickets total, something like that.”

(On advice he has for Rams QB Jared Goff after experiencing many of the same things during his rookie season)

“I think when you go through struggles early and bad things happen early, I think it’s so important to learn from them and not bury them away and be disappointed by them – not that you’re going to be happy with not having success, but use them as learning experiences. Bad throws, bad reads, bad choices, whatever it is that comes up, losses, struggling on third down in the red zone – all of those things are so important to learn from and improve from. And it’s so hard to look at it that way, because you look at it with such a negative (outlook) – it feels so bad and it hurts when you lose and all those things and it’s easy to brush them under the rug. Using all those experiences, every experience your first couple of years, re-watching that game film, even though it’s a loss and it’s hard to watch, watch it over and over and over again and take something from it – versus this coverage, I should have done this or versus this blitz, I should have done this. It’s so easy to sit there and fast forward through it, seeing yourself get sacked or whatever it is that happens. Making sure you file that away in your brain and notebooks and however it is that you study and you go about your business and your studying, using those as opportunities to learn from.”