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Tale of the tape: Patrick Peterson returns to Cardinals bearing notes

Defensive back Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson had to sit and watch from his couch as his team took the field for the first six weeks of the season.

Frustrated he couldn’t be on the gridiron with his teammates, Peterson took it upon himself to be game ready for his Week 7 return, in more ways than one.

While the cornerback went up north to Flagstaff to take advantage of the cooler weather and higher altitude for workouts, Peterson was diligently observing his team on game days, making notes on what he’s seen from the defense.

And we’re not talking about a few notes you scribble down on the corner of a page to help jog your memory either.

“I’ve been very impressed with football IQ, helping young guys in meetings,” defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said Thursday. “The film he watched, he walked in Tuesday into my office and he had a notebook full of notes from the previous games. He’s definitely a veteran that does it right.

“He caught some signals, he caught some scheme things, he gave me some ideas as far as game planning. That’s what you want from your veteran players. They’ve played a lot of football, they’ve played for a lot of good coaches so you want their input on game plans.”

The extracurricular work Peterson put in during his time away is more than just helping get himself back into the mix.

With time to analyze coverages and some of the younger guys in the secondary, the CB provided another set of eyes for Joseph and the defense.

“He’s so good for [Byron] Murphy and that entire room,” Joseph said. “We’re playing three or four rookies in that room, so to watch him prepare and how he practices, his attitude every day; it’s been great.”

It’s a welcome sight for a defense who has been gashed by opposing signal-callers this season. All told, the Cardinals have given up 16 scores through the air, while allowing an average of 28.5 points per game. The team is also searching for its first interception, marking the last team in the league without a pick.

“Obvious having your No. 1 cornerback it helps the overall gameplan, it helps [Byron] Murphy, it helps [Tramaine] Brock,” Joseph said.

“It helps us to have a better idea in the coverage plan and what should happen. He’s excited, he’s in great shape and I’m looking forward to watching him play his first game [this season].”

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