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.

"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.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Guthrie 7:07 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
San Diego 21 FINAL
Denver 35
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Dallas 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:30 PM
Toronto
San Antonio 7:00 PM
Houston
Miami 7:00 PM
Memphis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Chicago
Phoenix 8:00 PM
Utah
Sacramento 9:00 PM
LA Lakers
Denver 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Dallas 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Vancouver 8:00 PM
Colorado
Carolina 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Columbus 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Houston 7:00 PM
Chicago
Montreal 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close