Patrick Peterson's teammates think he's having best training camp of his career

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians says that cornerback Patrick Peterson is in "fantastic condition." Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Usually by the time a quarterback has been in training camp for three full weeks, he's ready to face a defense -- any defense -- other than his team's.

Not Carson Palmer.

The 37-year-old Arizona Cardinals quarterback has practiced against his defensive teammates 14 times since reporting July 21. But Palmer isn't aching or yearning to throw against the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night. He has been getting pushed enough by his own defense, which has some of the league's best players at specific positions.

"It's such a great challenge going against our defense when we see so many different things," Palmer said. "There are days when you just don't know what you're going to see. At least in games, you know at least, 'This is the kind of scheme they're going to run.' You know what to expect.

"There's days when we see completely different fronts or things we haven't covered, or they're trying completely different things, so it's a tremendous challenge."

Every day, Palmer is facing the likes of Chandler Jones and Markus Golden off the edge, Robert Nkemdiche up the middle, Haason Reddick at inside linebacker, Tyrann Mathieu at safety and Patrick Peterson at cornerback. That's half of a perennial Pro Bowl defense staring across at Palmer every day.

But none of them are having as good a camp as Peterson.

Once Palmer said he feels Peterson is having the best training camp he has seen from the six-time Pro Bowl cornerback, anyone asked about it fell in line with the same belief.

"This is the best I've seen him," Palmer said. "I told him that the other day."

To which Peterson responded that, in his seventh season, he's like a fine wine. He ages well.

"He's just had great practice after great practice," Palmer said. "He's contested every single ball. Not that he's broken up every pass, but he's right on top of it."

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians quickly agreed with Palmer's assessment of Peterson's camp.

"He's in fantastic condition," Arians said.

Trying to keep up with the speedy tandem of receivers John Brown and J.J. Nelson has helped that process. But Peterson also covers Larry Fitzgerald, giving him experience against a bigger, more physical receiver.

And Peterson has been holding his own, Arians said.

Peterson has stood out to the coaching staff off the field as well, with his leadership in the locker room. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher said Peterson leads with his energy and effort on the field and has been vocal in the locker room and meeting room.

While he has caught the attention of his teammates, the 27-year-old Peterson said he doesn't think this camp is any different than his others.

"I mean, I feel pretty good," Peterson said with a laugh. "It's a typical camp. I don't know. I think everything's just clicking now. Going into Year 7, pretty much seen it all. Been there, done that. It's all about continue perfecting my skill and getting better."