Cardinals’ Peterson poised for sophomore campaign

Apr 17, 2012, 3:31 AM | Updated: 4:43 am

Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson mounted an impressive rookie campaign for the Arizona Cardinals in 2011. He was also explosive in the role of kick return specialist, after tying the single season record for punt return touchdowns with four.

As Peterson prepares for his sophomore season with the Cardinals, a noticeable maturity abounds from the 21-year-old aspiring star.

“I changed tremendously,” Peterson told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Monday. “Just sitting back and watching some of what these [veterans] does. I kind of want to mold myself into that type of athlete, the way Larry [Fitzgerald] is. He’s a great guy in the community. He’s a great captain on the team.”

Peterson marvels at the veteran leadership in the Cardinals’ locker room and looks up to his elders as role models and inspiration.

“When I came in that’s what I surrounded myself around, veterans and guys that have been there, done that and that had the opportunity to be in that spotlight and kind of follow in those guys footsteps into that situation, as well,” Peterson said.

Peterson knows his exceptional punt return skills brings significant value to the Cardinals’ special teams, however he still believes he can handle the responsibility of playing two positions on a full-time basis.

“I believe I am still young and I can still be back there, play in and play out,” Peterson stated. “I think I have the versatility to go out there and play corner every down and play the punt return position every down, as well.”

Peterson’s youthful exuberance is indeed refreshing, but don’t expect him to rest on his laurels next season as his list of goals for the 2012 season is lofty.

“I am going to be more aggressive, had an opportunity to go back and watch the film and watching the mistakes that I did make as a young corner, that’s definitely not going to show up,” Peterson explained. “Definitely more interceptions, that’s definitely on my goal list. I believe I’ll have plenty of shots of getting that.”

The excitement in Peterson’s voice is palpable and if his prediction holds weight, the Cardinals could be in for quite a wild ride this season.

“I have a feeling this year is going to be special,” Peterson said. “Stay tuned.”

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Cam Akers #23 of the Los Angeles Rams runs with the ball as Zaven Collins #25 and Marco Wilson #20 ...
Kellan Olson

ESPN spotlights Arizona Cardinals’ LBs, CBs as two key positions to watch

In the months of talk leading up to the start of the Cardinals' season, the two X-factors are undoubtedly at linebacker and cornerback.
20 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals star backer Isaiah Simmons runs through drills during training camp on Wednesday,...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals notebook: A competitive training camp comes to a close

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury came out of training camp pleased with both the work his players and staff were able to get in.
20 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Ward catches a pass during training camp on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, ...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals not oblivious to Ravens’ 21-game preseason win streak

Preseason football does not count in the win-loss column. But don't tell the Baltimore Ravens, who face the Cardinals on Sunday.
20 hours ago
DK Metcalf #14 of the Seattle Seahawks runs the ball after making a catch in front of Antonio Hamil...
Jake Anderson

Kingsbury: Antonio Hamilton is Cardinals’ No. 2 cornerback ‘as of now’

Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton is no stranger to being doubted, and he looks to make the most of his opportunity in Arizona for his family.
20 hours ago
Offensive lineman Greg Long #65 of the Arizona Cardinals participants in a team training camp at St...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals re-sign OL Greg Long, release TE Deon Yelder

The Arizona Cardinals re-signed offensive lineman Greg Long and release tight end Deon Yelder, the team announced Friday.
20 hours ago
Owner Bill Bidwill of the Arizona Cardinals holds up the George S. Halas trophy after winning the N...
Arizona Sports

Late owner Bill Bidwill to enter Arizona Cardinals Ring of Honor

Bill Bidwill, the late Cardinals owner and father of current owner Michael Bidwill, will enter the team's Ring of Honor as its 19th member.
20 hours ago
Cardinals’ Peterson poised for sophomore campaign