When the Arizona Cardinals drafted Patrick Peterson with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft, they had high hopes for the younger cornerback.
Now nearing the end of his second season in the NFL, Peterson intends to live up to the hype and be one of the league’s elite.
“I am trying to get to that point where I can be recognized in the league as one of the best corners in the game,” Peterson said.
The former LSU Tiger was named to the NFC Pro Bowl team as a kick returner last season, but Peterson said he would really like to receive the honor as a “shutdown cornerback.”
“Hopefully I can get that this year. I’ve got three more games to continue to prove myself,” Peterson said. “Hopefully I can get this interception number up even higher so it won’t be a second guess or anything else holding me back from getting into the Pro Bowl.”
Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton likes what he hears out of the young cornerback.
“I’m encouraging him to be bold and to be assertive,” Horton said. “If he believes that and he wants to say it, I’m sure everybody else will try to cosign that check for him.”
On Wednesday, Peterson said during a conference call he thinks he is “the best cornerback in the league right now.”
Horton also said it is important for Peterson “to prove his elite status.”
That chance will come on Sunday when Peterson will be asked to defend Detroit Lions star receiver Calvin Johnson, who has caught a touchdown pass in four of his last five games.
With 1,546 yards receiving, Johnson is only 303 yards short of Jerry Rice’s single-season record.
“I believe it is definitely going to be a huge measuring stick for me,” Peterson said. “Like I said yesterday (Thursday), statistically he is the number one receiver right now in the NFL.”
Standing 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 236 pounds, Johnson is tough matchup for any cornerback, but Peterson doesn’t seem fazed by his size.
“As far as Calvin, he likes the physicality of a cornerback coming up to the line of scrimmage and pressing him,” Peterson said. “That is what I am going to do all game. Like I said, I am going to bring the fight to him.”