Patrick Peterson embraces role of team leader

Mar 14, 2013, 11:31 PM | Updated: 11:33 pm
LISTEN: Patrick Peterson, Cardinals cornerback

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson may enter the 2013 season as one of the team’s most tenured defensive back.

It will be his third year.

The Cardinals’ secondary has undergone a considerable makeover in recent days, as the team released safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes while cornerback Greg Toler left via free agency.

Only safety Rashad Johnson, was just re-signed, has been with the team longer than Peterson.

“It’s definitely going to be exciting to see the new faces,” Peterson told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Thursday.

The Cardinals have added cornerback Jerraud Powers and safety Yeremiah Bell, and may not be done acquiring talent. But there will be a lot of new faces.

“That’s just the nature of the business, that’s how the game goes,” he said. “I’m definitely excited for those guys finding other teams, especially for Greg and Adrian and Kerry, I’m sure will find another team to be a part of.

“But that’s just how the business is; I’m excited to see what new chemistry I’m able to build with the new guys.”

Really he has no choice, and the responsibility of being a leader is one the 22-year-old, two-time Pro Bowler is not planning on shying away from.

“That’s a huge accomplishment to show what I have been doing and what I wanted it to be since day one,” Peterson said. “I knew we had a lot of great guys, but at the end of the day I know the Cardinals drafted me to be the icon and the focal point of the secondary.”

That means helping the newcomers, both veteran and youthful, get up to speed. Of course, Peterson is like most players on the defense in that he will be learning a new defensive system and playing for a new defensive coordinator, but he said Todd Bowles is inclined to have the corners play man-to-man and press receivers.

That’s a style Peterson said he’s a fan of, and there’s another wrinkle he wouldn’t mind being added: covering the opposing team’s best receiver, regardless of where they line up on the field.

“If I want to be the best cornerback to play the game I want to guard the opposing team’s number one weapon or receiver each and every down,” he said. “I feel like I definitely have the abilities to do that, I showed that throughout last year.

“I just want to continue to get better at my craft, and that would be great if the coaches — definitely something that I’ll be looking forward to if the coaches want me to do that. I’ll be licking my chops when that does happen because I know that it’s something Coach Arians is definitely wanting me to do.”

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