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Carson Palmer Has Bruce Arians Support

Notebook: Falcons ready to face Abraham; Mendenhall sits; Williams signed for special teams


Quarterback Carson Palmer throws some warm-up passes during the game against Seattle last week.

Bruce Arians has criticized Carson Palmer before. It's just not necessarily out in front of everyone.

"He's rough on everybody in private if you're not doing what you're supposed to do or you're not working as hard as you should be," the Cardinals' quarterback said Wednesday. "He lets you know. He doesn't have to do it very often."

Arians reiterated the need for faster starts in games for his team, and that would seem to be most important for the coach's offense. It would also be important for Palmer, who hasn't looked sharp early in games since a game-opening touchdown drive in New Orleans in Week 3.

Palmer's struggles have led many fans to call for a quarterback change to backup Drew Stanton, but Arians made clear on his weekly Sirius XM NFL radio appearance Tuesday night that wasn't happening, because "I'm not a jump-off-the-horse-type of guy."

Arians did talk about the trust he has in Stanton knowing the system and his readiness if called upon, pointing out Stanton got 10 to 15 reps in the offense during Monday's practice.

"He doesn't need a lot of reps," Arians said.

Regardless, Palmer is going to be the quarterback barring injury. Arians has made that clear multiple times, and continues to defend Palmer when asked.

"That's who Bruce is," Palmer said. "He's going to fight for his guys. He's going to fight for his locker room. You show fight for him and he'll show it back for you. I think that's who he's been probably his whole career."


Linebacker John Abraham said facing his former team of seven years Sunday wasn’t a big deal to him, but the Falcons – who cut Abraham and his big salary in March, replacing him with Osi Umenyiora -- haven't forgotten about him.

"John is a very gifted athlete, a very explosive pass rusher off the edge," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "He's playing a lot of snaps and he's doing a very good job. We know John well. He knows our guys. We look forward to going out and competing against him. I know he does the same."

Abraham has been in good spirits all week, although he is trying to downplay the matchup.

"We need this win. Period," Abraham said. "It'll be good to see my (former) teammates, but I've got a job and I've got to do my job."


Arians said guard Earl Watford was rear-ended in a car accident on the way to the facility Tuesday morning, and Watford did not practice Wednesday because of a knee injury. It is not expected to be serious, and that's important, since Watford is backing up Daryn Colledge, who also sat out again because of his bad back.

Running back Rashard Mendenhall (toe) and linebacker Matt Shaughnessy (knee) also sat out Wednesday's practice.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) practiced full.

The Cards also had a handful of limited players: wide receiver Jaron Brown (ankle), linebacker Karlos Dansby (quadriceps), wide receiver Brittan Golden (hamstring), running back Alfonso Smith (hamstring) and nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu (hip).

For the Falcons, running back Steven Jackson (hamstring) was limited in practice and while Smith said didn't commit to a return Sunday, reports are that Jackson wants to play. Wide receiver Roddy White (ankle, hamstring) did not practice Wednesday and the decision to play him will be made later in the week, Smith said.

Running back Jason Snelling (ankle) and linebacker Stephen Nicholas (thigh) also sat out for Atlanta. Besides Jackson, cornerback Robert Alford (ankle), tackle Sam Baker (knee), tight end Chase Coffman (knee), linebacker Akeem Dent (ankle) and defensive tackle Corey Peters (shoulder) were limited.


Arians said the addition of wide receiver Teddy Williams, who played cornerback for the Colts last season, was mostly for special teams.

"You can't turn down that kind of speed," Arians said, noting that Williams can play across from Pro Bowl-worthy gunner Justin Bethel and cause havoc for the Cards' coverage units, even if Bethel is double-teamed. "They could be the fastest pair of gunners in the league."

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