The Arizona Cardinals enter training camp with a revamped look in several positions this season.
Instead of retooling the positions that were lacking a season ago, new head coach Bruce Arians and his staff revamped the defense, and more specifically, the secondary this offseason.
There are a lot of new faces on the roster and most of them are veterans with years under their belt.
Third-year player Patrick Peterson was asked by reporters Tuesday how the group is meshing thus far.
“It’s not different at all,” Peterson said. “That’s why we’re in training camps, to get to kind of know each other much better. I think we’re on the right path and I believe we’re getting our hands on a lot of balls.”
Arizona has 12 new faces on the roster that play in the secondary and seven of them are considered veterans by football standards. Those include Jonathan Amaya, Yeremiah Bell, Jerraud Powers, Javier Arenas, Bryan McCann, Curtis Taylor and Antoine Cason with a combined 36 years of service in the National Football League.
“I think the chemistry is slowly getting there, but we can definitely be better in some parts while we’re out there,” Peterson explained. “But I think we’re slowly getting our chemistry down pat and slowly making plays each and every day and getting comfortable with one another.”
Peterson, who’s learning his second defensive scheme in three seasons, feels the variety of players is a positive.
“It feels good having guys, different types of athletes on the back end,” Peterson said. “Like Jerraud (Powers), a smart, intelligent player, Yeremiah (Bell) is a kind of Adrian Wilson-type of guy, he loves the contact aspect of the game and he’s a guy that definitely he needs to be accounted for in the box and Rashad (Johnson) is just a ball-hawk guy protecting us over top.
“He’s a guy that can run the field really well. He has great speed and he has a great football IQ as well.”
The rookies trying to make their way through their first training camp are Tyrann Mathieu, Josh Hill, Javon Harris, Tony Jefferson and Ronnie Yell.
Despite the changes and the loss of players like Adrian Wilson, Kerry Rhodes and Michael Adams, Peterson sounds optimistic heading into the upcoming season.
“It’s fun to be working with this group of guys and we just want to continue taking it a day at a time and continue to grow our chemistry so when Week 1 comes around and we have St. Louis we want to go out there and pick our balls and make plays for this defense,” Peterson stated.