After spending most of his first seven years shadowing the opponent’s top wideout, Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson‘s job is changing in new coach Steve Wilks’ defense. Peterson still will play some press coverage against the league’s top receivers, but he also will play off the ball and blitz, too.
“Over the last seven years, everyone who played against me knew exactly what I was going to be in,” Peterson said, via Kyle Odegard of the team website. “When they come here and play in Arizona, nine times out of ten we didn’t see what they ran in the previous game plan. “It was always a lot of motions and a lot of stacks to get my hands off [the No. 1 wideout]. Now they have to play a little bit more honest to where I’m still going to be in a little bit of press, but now my game has evolved into playing off the ball as well.”
Peterson made only one interception last season and has only six over the past three seasons. He had seven in 2012. Peterson also has not had more than eight pass breakups in any of the past four seasons.
Teams no longer have a desire to test the seven-time Pro Bowler.
“I was an artist at taking No. 1 receivers out of the game, and I was pretty damn good at it,” Peterson said.
The Cardinals are trying to find a way to allow Peterson to make more plays.
“I’m looking to make a ton of plays this year,” he said. “I’m looking to start jumping routes now. I’m looking to be a little bit more aggressive off the ball, and be the same as I am when I’m in the receiver’s face.”