Cardinals’ Kingsbury likes a happy Patrick Peterson, sees Kyler’s comfort

Jun 8, 2020, 7:25 PM
Defensive back Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates on the sideline during the ...
Defensive back Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates on the sideline during the second half of game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 22, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. The Cardinals won 27-13. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

Patrick Peterson does not put effort into suppressing his expectations.

He always believes he is the best cornerback in the NFL. This offseason, the confidence or cockiness — whatever you might call it — extended to his team. Peterson believes the Arizona Cardinals have a “championship-caliber” roster and that it’s the best team he’s seen on paper since he joined the team in 2011.

On the other hand, the cornerback’s head coach, Kliff Kingsbury, is not a guy to throw around such lofty expectations. The second-year coach does know that Peterson’s insistence that Arizona can compete for a Super Bowl holds significance.

“I like having a happy Pat P, I’ll tell you that much,” Kingsbury said on a Zoom call Monday. “He’s a guy who has a ton of confidence, a ton of swagger and guys feed off that. To hear the things that Pat said, we understand we haven’t accomplished anything, he understands that.

“But I also like knowing Pat wants to be here, he wants to be a part of this, he wants to build this. He wants to show other guys that he’s in it and he’s excited about what we have. That’s important.”

Peterson will enter 2020 as a 30-year-old heading into the final year of his contract. He promised this offseason that he won’t be a midseason distraction if the Cardinals and his representation do not come to a contract extension agreement.

The eight-time Pro Bowler has professed confidence that he’s in for a big season coming off two straight years of turbulence — both on the field and off.

QB Kyler Murray about to get throwing

As the NFL offseason structure remains in flux due to the coronavirus, Kingsbury and his staff have been challenged with helping second-year quarterback Kyler Murray make the sophomore leap from afar.

The head coach and offfensive play-caller is not worried that the offseason will set Murray back.

“I can definitely sense a comfort level with Kyler,” Kingsbury said. “We would all love to have been on the grass some getting the hundreds of reps he would have gotten, but just talking through film with him, listening to the way he’s seeing the game now, his understanding of concepts, he’s definitely taken a step in that area. That’s all we can hope for right now.”

Kingsbury added that he expects Murray to start planning throwing sessions with his teammates this week.

Those will “roll into whenever training camp may be,” the head coach said. “(Larry Fitzgerald) usually gets those guys up there in Minnesota (for workouts), so I’m sure they’re planning that all out the next couple weeks. Training camp, I’m waiting to hear how that’s going to happen.”

Not much more to Zoom through

Though the NFL has opened team facilities to coaching staffs, as has Arizona law, the Cardinals have remained away from their practice facility in Tempe.

Kingsbury has dropped in, but the rest of the team has resumed working remotely through Monday.

“We liked how things were flowing … We feel like our process has been smooth,” Kingsbury said of the team conducting meetings over video calls. “We feel like we’ve accomplished what we wanted to accomplish. The other coaches are not back as of today.”

As for what more can be accomplished with players, Kingsbury admitted the idea well is running dry.

“I think we’re running out of ideas without taking it to the field and actually executing it,” the head coach said. “You can only cover so many things without actually practicing it and I think we’ve about reached that point.”

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