Arizona Cardinals coach: Team likely to ease up on Patrick Peterson returning punts

May 10, 2014, 4:57 AM | Updated: 5:31 am
Follow @theAdamGreen...

TEMPE, Ariz. — As a rookie, Patrick Peterson made his first Pro Bowl due to his prowess as a punt returner.

The cornerback out of LSU returned 44 punts for 699 yards and four touchdowns, which tied an NFL single-season record.

His numbers as a returner have declined each of the last two seasons, though, and as Peterson’s worth as a cornerback has grown, the team’s desire to have him return kicks has decreased.

And now, following what was a season-ending injury to Tyrann Mathieu while returning a kick last year along with the offseason additions of Ted Ginn, Jr. and rookie John Brown, it appears his time playing anywhere but on defense may be coming to an end.

“We’d like to ease that up a little bit anyway, just because of what happened to Tyrann and let him just focus on taking out receivers and doing his job there,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said Friday. “But, also, he’s still dynamic enough to do it.

“His wide receiver days might be over.”

Peterson was targeted eight times in the passing game last season, producing six catches for 54 yards.

When he was drafted, the Cardinals needed the speed as a returner. Last season, they needed it in the passing game. Peterson provided both.

But with the additions of Ginn, who has amassed 7,767 yards and six touchdowns as a returner in the NFL and now Brown, who averaged 11.5 yards per punt return and 32.4 yards per kick return last season at Pittsburg State, it appears the Cardinals can get by without using their top cornerback anywhere but on the opponent’s best receiver.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals WR Marquise Brown looks on during minicamp on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Tempe....
Sam Graveline

Shook: Marquise Brown best Cards’ candidate to be 1st-time Pro Bowler

Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown has yet to make the Pro Bowl in his career, but NFL.com's Nick Shook thinks that could change in 2022.
1 day ago
Head coach Sean McVay of the Los Angeles Rams talks with players before mini camp on June 8, 2022 a...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The Los Angeles Rams

After diving into the 49ers' current state of affairs, it's time to take a look at the 2021 Super Bowl champion Rams.
1 day ago
Detroit Lions fullback Jason Cabinda (45) pulls away from Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Isaia...
Wills Rice

PFF’s Linsey: Arizona Cardinals have NFL’s No. 23 ranked roster for 2022

Pro Football Focus' Ben Linsey has the Arizona Cardinals as the No. 23 ranked roster heading into the 2022 season.
1 day ago
Kyler Murray #1 and Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals react after a penalty during the secon...
Arizona Sports

ESPN: OL Justin Pugh is Arizona Cardinals’ most underrated player

ESPN posted a list made by Football Outsiders of every team's most underrated player, and Justin Pugh was selected to represent the Cardinals.
2 days ago
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball during the game against the Los Ange...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The San Francisco 49ers

The offseason has twisted and turned not only for the Cardinals but for the rest of the NFC West. A look at the current state of the 49ers:
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) walks out before an NFL game between the Arizo...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Doug Kyed advises Arizona Cardinals to bring back DL Corey Peters

With the Cardinals' current roster construction, PFF's Doug Kyed believes Arizona should bring DL Corey Peters back once more in 2022.
4 days ago
Arizona Cardinals coach: Team likely to ease up on Patrick Peterson returning punts