Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (right) watches QB School with coaching intern and former NFL quarterback Byron Leftwich.
Carson Palmer was mostly a spectator during the first day of QB School on Tuesday at University of Phoenix Stadium, as backup quarterbacks Matt Barkley and Jake Coker split the reps in advance of training camp.
But after coach Bruce Arians wrapped up the session, Palmer wasn't ready to call it a day. He remained on the field with rookie center Evan Boehm to practice snaps, and the two talked shop as they walked to the locker room about 15 minutes later.
While the two-day QB School is generally a low-key affair, Palmer made as much use of it as he could. It's unknown if Boehm will beat out A.Q. Shipley for the starting center job, but Palmer is intent on helping as many youngsters as he can get up to speed as training camp begins Thursday.
"We've got some really good young guys," Palmer said. "Some of these guys are going to need to help us. Not all of them are going to be able to help us this year, or are going to help us this year, but we've got a handful of guys we're going to count on. And they're going to play big roles in the season. We've got to get them going now."
Cornerback Brandon Williams could fall into the group of rookies that make an early impact. Even though the converted running back is raw, he is in line to see significant work early in training camp because presumed starter Justin Bethel will begin on the physically unable to perform list.
For veterans coming off injuries like cornerback Patrick Peterson, nose tackle Corey Peters and guard Evan Mathis, QB School is a time to slowly ramp up the intensity as training camp beckons. For Williams, it means much more.
"I'm still learning the ins and outs of my position," Williams said. "These two days are very important for me."
Even though Barkley isn't a rookie, he is putting plenty of emphasis on QB School, which wraps up on Wednesday. Barkley is battling Coker for the third quarterback spot on the roster and appreciated the high volume of work given to them by the coaching staff.
"I'm treating it as camp, and I think every rep can make you better in some little way," Barkley said. "If you can store muscle memory or just get a rep that you can fall back on, I think it will help. I'm soaking it in and making the most of every rep."
Soon, the real training camp will be here. For a team with sky-high ambitions, it's an appetizing thought. Palmer is preparing for his 14th training camp, and admitted the work can sometimes get tedious, but sees a bounce in his teammates' steps as they prepare for this year's journey.
"I'm just excited because it means football season's almost here, and it's been a long offseason," Palmer said. "You can just tell, walking around the locker room and seeing guys check in, guys are excited to be back."
Some of the Cards take part in workouts before the opening of training camp later this week