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Arizona Cardinals mini-camp: Carson Palmer calls defensive packages 'confusing'

Lost in all the talk of the offense, the defense continues to be solid.

Jonathan Daniel

With the hiring of Bruce Arians and the trade to acquire quarterback Carson Palmer, most of the focus this offseason has been how the offense will produce in 2013. Yes, there is some concern about the defense after Ray Horton was let go in favor of Todd Bowles, but it sounds like we can expect a defense that confuses opposing quarterbacks.

Palmer praised the defense for what they have presented him.

"I'm excited about what I'm seeing on defense," he told reporters on Wednesday. "They're putting together some packages that are really confusing."

Note that this is an intelligent, established and successful quarterback saying this and not a young, inexperienced signal caller. When Palmer says it, it carries more weight than if, perhaps, Ryan Lindley said it. Palmer said, "And you combine that (the confusing sets) with some of the players over there, the guys that are going to win one-on-one battles, you've got a good combination."

At Fan Fest, the defense picked off a couple of passes and deflected several balls. The defense on Wednesday finished very strong. They picked off two passes in the two minute drill.

Bruce Arians said that it is something to address with the offense, but it presents an interesting situation with the offense and defense you both want playing well.

Arians downplayed it. "No, Cardinals win. I can't lose," he joked. "You get to cuss out one (unit) and cheer for the other, so it's fun."

"They are executing at a high level," said Arians about the defense. "It's great for our offense to see that many looks, get in there and understand how to handle it because we'll see some of that stuff during the season.

"It's a great cross-check for both systems. They've got a blitz that is unblockable, we pick it up. And we think we've got our protection for the blitz and the guy comes free. All those things go hand in hand."

Arians said that Todd Bowles has "done an outstanding job."

The one thing I saw over the past couple of days is the defense's ability to get their hands on the ball. Even without pads, the players are active and flying around. It looks like we can expect the same type of approach with Bowles defensively that we say with Ray Horton -- aggressive play calling and blitzes, with pressure coming from lots of different areas.

Palmer is one of the more intelligent QBs out there. If it is confusing him, imagine how it will be for the young quarterbacks in the division.

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