Dynamic Peterson gets expanded role on offense under new Arizona coach

  • Article by: BOB BAUM , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: August 3, 2013 - 4:00 PM

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Patrick Peterson is catching passes, throwing some and running with the ball during training camp.

No doubt about it, new Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has plans for the dynamic player on offense.

In his first two NFL seasons, Peterson made the Pro Bowl as a punt returner, then as a cornerback. He remains a shutdown cornerback, first and foremost. And he still plans to return punts.

But Arians says Peterson is too talented to be standing on the sideline all the time when the Cardinals have the ball.

Peterson is all for it.

"I'm pretty dynamic with the ball in my hands," he said. "I'm not saying the offense needs help. They have great talent over there. But I guess (Arians) just wanted more explosive plays from guys that could help."

Peterson is supremely confident, to say the least.

"I'm definitely an athlete that can pretty much play every skill position on the field," he said.

It's no idle boast.

"There's not much he can't do," quarterback Carson Palmer agreed.

Arians approached Peterson early about playing some on offense.

"He kind of put a bug in my ear when he did get hired," Peterson said. "I didn't know he was going to take it this far. He has a pretty big package for me. But as a defensive player, I'm definitely honored to even be in consideration for taking some offensive snaps."

Peterson had a few snaps last season in the wildcat formation under then-coach Ken Whisenhunt. When Whisenhunt was fired and Arians came in, the new coach had an idea that he'd like some kind of package with Peterson on offense.

That idea has only grown as Arians watched Peterson up close.

"I had hopes that he could be something special in a package a week," Arians said. "But after you see the athlete he is, he probably could be one of the top five receivers in the league. So you say, 'Hmm, that's a lot of weapon sitting over here next to me.'"

Arians, speaking Saturday before the team's annual "Red-White" practice, said he's installed about 15 plays with Peterson on offense, although there wouldn't be that many in any single game plan.

"But there's no doubt we're going to utilize his skill set on offense," the coach said.

Arians doesn't use the wildcat. Instead, he has Peterson either at wide receiver or in the backfield. On several occasions, he's caught a pass over the middle.

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