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'The training wheels are off' for Carson Palmer, QB continuing return with 'one step in very long road'

Carson Palmer is completely good to go, but he still has things to work on.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mini-camp for the Arizona Cardinals brought great news -- quarterback Carson Palmer was cleared for all activity and participated on all drills, including 11-on-11 work, which previously he had not done.

Will there be limits for the veteran coming off ACL surgery?

No. Palmer can work "as fast as he can do now," Arians said. "The training wheels are off, so he's ready to roll."

He looked sharp in practice. On Tuesday. Arians said out of a 100 throws, Palmer really only had one, a pass he threw too late down the middle of the field deep and it was intercepted by Deone Bucannon. He was 25/34 on Tuesday in 11-on-11 work. On Wednesday, he was 23/28. He threw for six scores on Tuesday and four more on Wednesday. The four were in wHe did have a potential interception dropped by linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.

Larry Fitzgerald said "nothing's changed for him," explaining "he throws a great accurate ball."

But Palmer knows there is a lot to improve. He called getting into 11-on-11s and simple "one step in a very long road."

He said he was "absolutely" rusty and focused his discussion on technique.

"You have these surgeries," he said. "You start the walking process, the jogging process, the running process, You reteach the foot, the knee, the leg the technique of each one of those steps. The same thing is true in five-step drops, seven-step drops, running, gun footwork and under center footwork. I've got a long ways to go, but I'm where I expected to me and I knew I'd have a lot of work to do once I got here."

He noted he needed more work with running game footwork.

He said he didn't even think about guys falling down around him, not until one of the reporters brought it up. He knows players can touch him in practice. He indicated it is the little things he still thinks about and needs more reps at.

He spoke very in detail about all the little things that go into being a good quarterback -- all the footwork, all the balance.

Getting the work in against a very talented defense is good for him, too.

"We're playing against a really good defense, so it's a good test for us," he said. "They give us a lot of looks, a lot of personnel groups. There is nothing vanilla that we see, so it's a great challenge for us day in and day out."

That defense makes adjustments, too. Arians admitted after a very good job against the defense on Tuesday, Palmer "was confused a few times" with what he saw from the defense.

Palmer continues to work hard and to have an all-football focus. He is "never satisfied after practice" and said there were five or six plays he was thinking about after Tuesday's work and knew there would be a few more to think about after looking at the film.

Arians love that about him. "I hope he's never happy," he said. "And I don't think he will be until he hoists that Lombardi Trophy."

That is the goal for this season. Palmer is probably the single most important factor to that. He is right where he needs to be and his head is in the right place.