ARIZONA CARDINALS

Patrick Peterson is a problem (but not the Cardinals’)

Oct 8, 2013, 8:08 PM | Updated: 8:08 pm

By the time he reaches retirement, P-Twice will become known as P-Thrice. Not just for playing offense, defense and special teams, but that third initial will stand for Pro Bowler. The letters will soon become interchangeable.

Here’s the thing, could that third initial also stand for — Problem? Well, on last week’s edition of the Paulie Pigskin Report, I asked Karlos Dansby about the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Week and he immediately shook his head and smiled.

“Pat puts a lot of pressure on a lot of people, man. You just don’t understand the kind of pressure he applies when he’s out on the field making plays like that,” Dansby mused. “He makes you have to try and play up to his level. And I love being on the field with him.”

No doubt, there’s a lot to like about Patrick Peterson. So far this season, what I like best is when P2 says he’s the best. Maybe it’s the way he says it — without a trace of arrogance or ego. Somehow, he labels himself the best and that third P never stands for pretentious.

“His ability to shut down the whole side of the field, man, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never played with anything like it,” Dansby said.

What’s more, when Peterson says he’s the best, he’s not saying “look at me” or even “pay me,” which has become the default setting in pro sports. That extra P does not stand for Promotion. Instead of marketing himself, he’s mentally preparing himself for his next assignment single covering a team’s No. 1 receiver.

Build your reputation as the best shutdown corner in the game and that will build up your portfolio and personal brand. That’s the part of the P2 gameplan that’s refreshing.

No doubt, playing cornerback means you’re playing the most physically demanding position in all of sports. Not only are you tasked with shadowing elite athletes while backpedaling, but you have to make sure you don’t trip over a rule book that’s always getting in your way.

As Larry Fitzgerald pointed out earlier this season, Patrick Peterson has become more of an elite cornerback than ever before with his experience as a dual-threat. If you want to cover receivers, it certainly helps to think like a receiver.

That’s why I have no problem with Patrick Peterson thinking he’s the best corner in the game. Because that doesn’t trigger a stop sign. He doesn’t relax or relent. Instead, the best is still getting better.

That’s why P-Thrice — Patrick Peterson the Problem — is a good one to have.

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Patrick Peterson is a problem (but not the Cardinals’)