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Continued: Dynamic Peterson gets expanded role on offense under new Arizona coach

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

"Now I get a chance to see what the receiver's point of view is in trying to attack defensive backs, and having that head start on defensive backs," Peterson said.

He has been a starting cornerback from the time the Cardinals selected him as the No. 5 pick overall out of LSU in 2011.

As a rookie, he tied an NFL record, becoming the fourth player in league history to return four punts for touchdowns in a single season. Of the four, Peterson is the only one to have all four returns go at least 80 yards. One was a 99-yard game-winner against St. Louis.

Last season, he didn't get a single punt return to the end zone, but he did excel at cornerback, ranking fourth in the league with seven interceptions. Peterson became the ninth player in NFL history to make two Pro Bowls before his 23rd birthday.

It is, Palmer said earlier in camp, too much talent to waste on one side of the ball.

"If he wasn't playing corner, he'd probably be just as good a receiver or an H-back," Palmer said, "a Percy Harvin-type player, because you've seen what he can do as a punt returner, obviously."

Palmer said he loves having Peterson in on offense.

"Obviously he can be very effective with the ball in his hands, but he's also effective on the field as a decoy," he said. "We've got a pretty big package in for a guy that's a defensive football player. That's something you have to prepare for, something you have to think about and worry about. Whether he touches the ball every time he's on the field or he doesn't touch it at all, he's a threat and he's something the defense has to prepare for and account for."

Javier Arenas or Peterson's former LSU teammate, Tyrann Mathieu, could spell Peterson as punt returner.

But, Arians said, "I don't really want to take too many touches away from him."

Arians said that if the defense has just endured a long drive, Peterson probably won't be in the game the next time Arizona has the ball. But Peterson said he put himself through tough offseason workouts to be prepared for just that.

"I practiced in pretty much weather like this back in south Florida, pretty humid, things like that," he said. "So my body can definitely take the wear and tear. I'm definitely prepared for whatever the coach needs me to do.

"I feel that I'm the best conditioned guy on the team, so running is not an issue for me."

With or without the ball.

Notes: RB Rashard Mendenhall missed his second straight day of practice with knee tendinitis but is expected back Monday, Arians said. ... RB Ryan Williams had another treatment on his ailing knee and Arians hope the injury-plagued back can return to practice after the Aug. 9 preseason opener at Green Bay, if not sooner. ... DT Darnell Dockett missed Friday and Saturday practices for personal reasons. ... The players have Sunday off.

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