Patrick Peterson makes me ask 'Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who?'

Patrick Peterson (21) celebrates his interception return for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Patrick Peterson (21) celebrates his interception return for a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers during the first half of an NFL preseason football game Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who?

It took one play on Saturday night to make me, and most fans, ask that same question and it wasn't just because I have bad memory. That single snap just happened to be one of Patrick Peterson's first as a member of the Arizona Cardinals starting defensive unit -- thanks to a torn left ACL suffered by starter Greg Toler -- and he made the most of it.

After entering the game late in the first quarter, Peterson tracked Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers' eyes, stepped in front of tight end Antonio Gates, intercepted the pass and took the ball back 34-yards to the house. As visions of Deion and Aeneas danced down the sidelines in my head, it was abundantly clear why the Cardinals invested the No. 5 pick in the young man. It was also a moment Rivers didn't see coming at all.

"On one of the timeouts [Philip Rivers] was like ‘where the freak did you come from?'," Peterson told reporters Saturday night. "So, I don't think he saw me."

Where the freak did he come from indeed (and yes, Rivers actually said freak). But more importantly where exactly are you going in the future? Likely to more than the one Pro Bowl Rodgers-Cromartie made.

Rivers may not have seen him, but all of the Birdgang sure did. While Larry Fitzgerald jumped for joy as he followed Peterson down the field from the sidelines, so did fans at University of Phoenix Stadium, in sports bars and in their homes across the Valley. In a mere 10 seconds, the fact the team dealt DRC should have become all the more palatable to the naysayers.

The moment was a lot like ones fans of the Batman and James Bond movie franchises have experienced. For years Batman fans lamented how Michael Keaton was the best Dark Knight to ever put on the batsuit while Bond fans clamored for Sean Connery's well dressed 007. The second fans saw two relative unknowns like Peterson, Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader and Daniel Craig accept his license to kill, on the silver screen, they all but forgot about their previous favorites.

Peterson's pick-6 was that first moment we really had a chance to see what the first round pick could do and it looks like he just might be a leading man.

One interception in a preseason game doesn't make a career, but it sure made an impression. Peterson was sold to us all as the ‘most NFL ready' player in this year's draft. He showed that last Saturday and if he keeps it up, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will be nothing but a footnote -- with painted toenails -- in Cardinals history and just a distant memory in fans minds.

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    sundevil7901 wrote...
    Why the DRC hate?
    One play's all it took, huh? At least you are easy to please. I like Peterson's potential and I am looking forward to watching him play, but I don't get the DRC hate. Don't downplay the contributions that DRC made to this team. We had DRC and Peterson together so it is not like we had to move DRC to keep Peterson. I still appreciate what he did for this team even though some people have short memories.
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    BrewCrewAZ wrote...
    DRC was a great talent if his head was in the game. That was often a big "if". I think his teammates were getting tired of him trying to get by on physical talents alone. That doesn't work in the NFL for long periods of time.
  • Abuse
    Chuck H. wrote...
    1 Play? Then again it is Espo....
    No use reading this garbage again
  • Abuse
    Jarrod P. wrote...
    ESPO.. You Amaze Me
    OPP also missed two blocks, two assignments, and a tackle. I like him. I like him a lot. That play was GREAT. That play was in pre season. That play didn't matter. That play showed he knows to read a qb. GOOD. He better know how to do that. Before we anoint OPP as the next king of the secondary of the NFL, kets see how he natures. Forget DRC- You are not good Espo- I try to defend you, but them you take another step backward.. Kolb threw an 80 yard TD pass to Fitz- Did you forget about Kurt Warner too?
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    Espo wrote...
    There is a difference between Kurt and DRC. Kurt is a hall of Fanster and DRC was an average corner who was overrated by fans the second his name was brought up in trade rumors. Too many people point to DRC's trip to the Pro Bowl but forget just how inconsistent and distracted he was at times. Sure, maybe one great play now won't make most forget him, but Patrick Peterson will make everyone forget about him in the near future.
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    JPY19 wrote...
    Thumbs down on this article
    I have to give ESPO another thumbs down on this article. Really one pre season play makes DRC not being here okay. I am not going to defend that DRC was great, but I am not going to ever rush to judgement on a player either. I see the site replaced the old logo with a new one. Maybe they should take that approach with Espo.
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    Jarrod P. wrote...
    I do agree with you that DRC was blown waaaaayyyy out of proportion here. But remember, he cam eat a time when we hadn't really ever had a great player. So he filled that role. Then Fitz.. and Derek Anderson-- (kidding of course) I also want to reiterate that I agree with you.. OPP will be special. I really believe that. I just think we are expecting too much and too overly happy at this point about him. DRC would be a nice fit this season. But, the trade was good... I guess I am not a fan of optimism.. what does that say about me.. lol
  • Abuse
    Jarrod P. wrote...
    easy man.. Espo is not all that bad... I pick on him too, but at least he is giving his opinions, giving us something to argue and banter with... Thats what makes us fans-we think we know more than the guys who write... I am pretty hard on him at times, but he is ok.. :)
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