Patrick Peterson is already one of the best punt returners
in the NFL, and that’s great.
However, the Cardinals selected him No. 5 overall because
he was a standout cornerback at LSU, and they’re hoping he
can be a shutdown kind of player at the pro level.
Peterson has shown flashes, but has been held back by
inexperience — and penalties.
The corner has been flagged four times for pass
interference and twice for holding Mike
Sando’s ESPN NFC West Blog, and even though passes
aren’t being caught yardage is still being gained. That
has to stop.
“Hopefully the league will look and go, you know, he gets
the same amount of respect, eventually, as the guy in New
York, as the guy in Philadelphia, and they just don’t call
those type of things,” defensive coordinator Ray Horton
said. “Because if you do they catch every ball,” he said.
Horton was talking about Darrelle Revis and Nnamdi
Asomugha, respectively, as corners who are allowed to play
a physical style without being penalized.
So, Horton said he will not ask Peterson to tone down the
aggression. Instead he thinks Peterson will gain the
respect of officials, who will give him the benefit of the
doubt on close calls.
“Hopefully they understand this guy can cover and he’s
going to be on the guy tight,” Horton said. “I think it’s
kind of like ‘Jordan Rules’, you know, you start to
understand that this guy is good and he’s going to be on
the guy because he’s so good and he’s getting tight
coverage and he’s just there all the time.
“They’re probably not used to a young guy like that, he’s
got to be doing something different.”
So in a way, Peterson is not the only one learning out
there. The rookie’s style may
be working against him, and it appears he’s not going to
change the way he plays.
Will the refs change the way they officiate him? They’re
going to have to if he’s to become a true shutdown corner.
Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this