Dealing Cards: Is Patrick Peterson having his best camp ever?

Aug 10, 2017, 5:36 PM | Updated: Aug 11, 2017, 11:38 am
Cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Justin Bethel laugh during a training camp practice Aug. 1. (Photo...
Cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Justin Bethel laugh during a training camp practice Aug. 1. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)
(Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)
LISTEN: Patrick Peterson

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Cardinals held their final practice of the week before preseason game No. 2, which will be Saturday at home against the Oakland Raiders.

The players were in shells, so the session was not necessarily as spirited as other practices and certainly involved less contact. Still, the Cardinals got some good work in, albeit with a handful of key players not taking part.


– With Carson Palmer getting another day off, Drew Stanton once again worked as the first-team QB.

– Karlos Dansby joined Deone Bucannon in not practicing, which meant the starting linebackers were Haason Reddick and Scooby Wright.

– J.J. Nelson came down with a diving catch of a deep Stanton pass early on in 11-on-11.

– Stanton had his share of connections with Larry Fitzgerald — who is still good, by the way — while also finding Jaron Brown for a touchdown in red zone work.

– Blaine Gabbert connected with Krishawn Hogan for some nice plays, while also finding Chris Johnson for a touchdown in red zone. Overall, the quarterback was once again fairly sharp on the day.

– It was clear how receiver Carlton Agudosi’s 6-foot-6 frame could come in handy, with him having a chance to catch multiple contested passes.

Injury update

Couldn’t really tell what happened, but both Agudosi and lineman Daniel Munyer left before practice ended (at separate times). The receiver was taken off on a cart, whereas Munyer walked off with trainer.

Otherwise, Palmer had the day off following what was a scheduled and announced day off Wednesday, while WR Chad Williams (shin splints), CB Rudy Ford (hamstring), WR Aaron Dobson (hamstring), LB Jarvis Jones (back), OL D.J. Humphries (hamstring), $ LB Deone Bucannon (ankle) and LB Philip Wheeler were all held out of action.

Peterson’s best camp ever?

On Wednesday, Palmer said he felt Patrick Peterson was having his best training camp since the QB arrived in 2013.

Thursday, head coach Bruce Arians agreed with Palmer’s assessment.

“He’s in fantastic condition,” Arians said. “When John Brown is out there and J.J. (Nelson), that’s a lot of speed to work against and he also got some big guys to work against. He’s more than holding his own.”

The coach surmised a big part of Peterson’s motivation comes from wanting to be the best corner to ever play the game, which Arians said he has a chance to be.

Peterson said he feels pretty good, but added any sense of him being at the top of his game comes from his growth as a player.

“I think everything’s just clicking now,” he said. “Going into year seven, pretty much seen it all — been there, done that. I’m just all about continue perfecting my skill and getting better as I get older.”

The 27-year-old has established himself as one of the premier cornerbacks in the game, and with 20 career interceptions and six Pro Bowl appearances already under his belt, few would doubt his place among the game’s elite.

Or his standing on the Cardinals’ roster.

“Pat’s done such a great job with the leadership,” defensive coordinator James Bettcher said. “In the locker room, in the meeting room.

“But when you see him practice on the field, his leadership on the field is just his actions; the way he’s practiced, the energy and effort he’s practiced with. But he’s having an outstanding camp, there’s no question.”

Bettcher feels Peterson is the best cornerback in the game, a rare player who can cover the opponent’s best receiver all over the field every week while being successful in doing so.

Peterson has never been shy about expressing confidence in himself, but said he will not allow himself to get complacent because when that happens, bad things follow.

He understands much of the team’s chances of success rest on his ability to consistently play at a high level, and the pressure that comes with that is something he relishes.

“If you want to be remembered and if you want to be somewhere that you can be forever, which is Canton, those are things that I can control and I want to make sure I continue to do that to continue building up that resume.”

Nkemdiche’s progress is real

There had been talk about Robert Nkemdiche’s improvement, but it was only words until he could prove it on the field.

Then, last week against the Dallas Cowboys, the second-year defensive lineman showed glimpses of what he could do when playing at a high level.

These days, Nkemdiche — whose rookie year was a wash, at best — finds himself receiving reps with the first-team defense. That does not make him a starter (and really, it doesn’t matter who starts games), but it does show the team is starting to believe that he has turned a corner.

“I think, number one, you see a 180 in terms of preparation like a pro,” Bettcher said of the defensive lineman. “Whether that’s taking care of his body, whether that’s in the meeting room, whether that’s probably outside the building, taking care of what he needs to take care of; because he is very physically gifted and talented, there’s no denying that. We see flashes of it.

“Right now, we’re looking just for a level of consistency — a day in, day out approach, a day-in, day-out execution level.”

Bettcher credits defensive line coach Brentson Buckner and pass rush specialist Tom Pratt for much of the young player’s growth.

Follow Adam Green on Twitter


Arizona Cardinals

Head coach Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins looks on from the sideline during the second quarter ...
Arizona Sports

Report: Cardinals head coach candidate Brian Flores takes Vikings’ DC job

Arizona Cardinals head coaching candidate Brian Flores has reportedly accepted the Minnesota Vikings' vacant defensive coordinator position.
19 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals WR A.J. Green (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals wide receiver A.J. Green announces retirement on Instagram

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver A.J. Green has announced on his Instagram account that he has retired from the game of football.
19 hours ago
Budda Baker #3 of the Arizona Cardinals gestures during warmups prior to the game against the Los A...
Tom Kuebel

Budda Baker: Cardinals were unprepared for 2022 due to poor training camp participation

Cardinals pro bowl safety Budda Baker told that he could tell his team was ill-prepared after a Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
19 hours ago
Acting head coach defensive coordinator Vance Joseph of the Arizona Cardinals looks on during the t...
Wills Rice

Report: Cardinals narrow head coach search to 3 candidates after eliminating 3 more

The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly narrowed their head coaching search down to three names after eliminating three more on Sunday.
2 days ago
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 12: Bottles litter the 16th hole after a hole-in-one by Sam Ryder of...
Dan Bickley

City of Phoenix better at hosting championships than winning them

This week might also be the busiest, buzziest and most profitable week ever in our history as big-event hosts.
19 hours ago
AFC wide receiver Davante Adams (17) of the Las Vegas Raiders runs with the ball as NFC strong safe...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ Budda Baker snags INT in NFC’s Pro Bowl win over AFC

The Cardinals had one participant in the Pro Bowl Games on Sunday, and safety Budda Baker made sure to put on a show.
2 days ago
Dealing Cards: Is Patrick Peterson having his best camp ever?