The months of May and June are for getting players on the field and letting them run around in shorts and helmets, sans pads. It's not a time for hard-hitting defense and run-stuffing plays up the middle. Instead, it allows quarterbacks to read coverages and make appropriate throws without much difficulty.
That's why Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer is just out there pretending during OTA practices. With the way rules work this time of year, defenses aren't exactly allowed to play, well, defense. So Palmer is taking the time to work on his arm and take risks, rather than checking down every time.
"I'm kind of just pretending," Palmer said via the team's official website. "I'll say that guy's 'pressed,' and I'm going to work the other side of the field. I could throw a million hitches. I could throw a hitch every time out here. Even though they're playing Cover 2, they're not allowed to get within a certain number of yards, and we're very strict about rules and making sure we're following all those rules."
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His head coach, Bruce Arians, doesn't mind that Palmer is making tough throws in practice and taking risks. After all, what harm could it do? Interceptions won't hurt his stats at this point in the year.
"He went back into coverages to see if he could make some throws and that's what you want out of your quarterback," Arians said. "You have to find out, 'Can I make these throws in these windows?' Not just always take the guy who is [wide] open. I really like that about that about him."
Palmer and the Cardinals still have a while to practice before taking on the (probably) Tom Brady-less Patriots in the season opener.