The Arizona Cardinals defense is preparing for another tough test this weekend against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field Sunday. Another tough test on defense also means another key matchup for second-year cornerback Patrick Peterson.
Last week, Peterson struggled against the San Francisco 49ers, but head coach Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t doubt Peterson’s abilities or his progress.
“We put him in some tough spots,” Whisenhunt said. “We’ve put him on their best player a lot of times this year. Having to flip sides and match up, it’s put him in some tough spots.”
Whisenhunt brings up a good point. Each week, Peterson is covering the No. 1 receiver for the opposing team. Braylon Edwards, Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Percy Harvin and Michael Crabree, just to name a few.
Monday night in front of a national audience, Peterson allowed two touchdowns to Michael Crabtree and recorded only three tackles in the 24-3 loss. Despite the sub-par performance, Whisenhunt reiterated that Peterson won’t back down.
“He’s a competitor,” said Whisenhunt. “He wants to be the bell cow for that position. He wants to be one of the best in the league, and he’s working hard at it.”
Speaking of working hard at it, Whisenhunt said Peterson knows what it takes on-and-off the field to become one of the best in this league.
“He’s got all of that, good leadership ability,” said Whisenhunt. “He’s in here at 6 a.m. in the morning meeting with coach Cioffi, and they’re working at it. He wants to be good, and he’s driven.”
Coming into the 2012 season, Peterson was expected by many to improve upon his stellar rookie year, when he recorded 64 tackles and two interceptions in 16 games. The 22-year-old may not be a shut-down corner yet, but he has the physical tools and the mental makeup to get there pretty quick.