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Cardinals CB Robert Alford: ‘Time for me to step up’ with loss of Peterson

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Robert Alford speaks to the media after taking part in the team's offseason strength and conditioning program at the Cardinals NFL training center, Tuesday, April 9, 2019 in Tempe, Ariz. Alford, who previously played with the Atlanta Falcons, was signed by the Cardinals as a free agent. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

With Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson slated to be suspended for the first six games of the season, veteran cornerback Robert Alford has some big shoes to fill.

After being released by the Atlanta Falcons this offseason, the Arizona Cardinals signed Alford to a three-year deal reportedly worth up to $24 million.

Alford was brought in to play opposite of Peterson but will now be the one filling in for Peterson.

“Now that he’s gone down, it’s time for me to step up,” said Alford Wednesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta.

“I feel like it’s my time, that’s why they brought me in here.”

Alford has had a good relationship with Peterson and said he called him an hour after he had been released by the Falcons.

“I think he called the GM and then the GM called me two hours after that,” Alford said.

Alford said the Cardinals were the first team to contact him and he wanted to visit whichever team reached out first. When he did visit, he knew Arizona was the place he wanted to be.

“I fell in love with the atmosphere here,” he said. “I felt like I fit their scheme.”

Peterson joined the Cardinals during OTAs this week and Alford said it “feels good” to have him back.

“I’ve been eager to get on the practice field with him and even more eager to get in the games with him,” he said.

With all the new additions this offseason, Alford believes the “sky’s the limit” for this year’s team.

“This year is going to be different,” he said. “I feel like this group is going to be special.”

Alford has spent his entire career in Atlanta appearing in 88 games over his six seasons with the team. In that time, he recorded 303 tackles, 10 interceptions, 85 passes defended and two defensive touchdowns.

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