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Carson Palmer “addicted” to challenge of getting to Super Bowl

NFC Championship - Arizona Cardinals v Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 24: Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates with head coach Bruce Arians after David Johnson #31 (not pictured) scored a touchdown in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers during the NFC Championship Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 24, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

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The 2015 regular season was filled with highs for Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer as he played the best football of his career while leading the team to a 13-3 record on the way to the NFC West title.

Postseason action wasn’t as rewarding. After surviving a pair of interceptions in a win over the Packers, Palmer turned the ball over six times in a 49-15 NFC Championship game loss to the Panthers in a game that set up a question about whether Palmer can win the big game.

It’s not a question Palmer was particularly interested in answering after the team held its first OTA on Tuesday. Palmer said he is “focused on what we’re doing today” and that they’ll “revisit that [question] when we get back to the NFC Championship.” He was clear, though, that he’s not pretending to ignore the expectations that NFL quarterbacks have on their shoulders.

“I don’t look at it as a negative,” Palmer said, via “That’s the challenge. I love this position. I love this game because there is no better challenge -- maybe having the lead on Sunday at Augusta and trying to hold on to that, so that’s an incredible challenge. Playing quarterback in the National Football League, getting to the Super Bowl is an incredible challenge. I enjoy the challenge; that’s why I’m still playing. I fiend for it. You get addicted to it. It’s part of playing this position. That’s why a lot of guys start playing the quarterback position. That’s why I play it. I enjoy that. I enjoy working to prove doubters wrong. I enjoy waking up every morning and trying to improve on something. That’s why I play the position.”

The Cardinals as a team are facing the same question a Palmer. They’ve steadily moved up the ladder in Bruce Arians’ first three seasons as head coach with only one step left to take if they are going to continue that process and end questions about winning big games.