In his first two NFL seasons, cornerback Patrick Peterson has showcased good ball skills, particularly great for a defensive player.
Although some might be hesitant in giving Peterson an opportunity to play substantial snaps on offense, he offers a legitimate threat that should be used by head coach Bruce Arians in anyway they can.
Peterson is Arizona’s top kickoff return and punt return man, but he has been used very rarely on offense so far in his career. In practice on Friday, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer explained the team has a “pretty big package” of plays featuring Peterson on offense.
In Friday’s practice, the Arizona Cardinals' website reports Peterson caught a deep pass from Palmer on a vertical route and on another play, threw a pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Palmer gave reporters every indication that he believes that the cornerback will see his dosage of offensive action this season.
Some Cardinals fans might be hesitant to be excited about Peterson playing offense because of another cornerback/return man who turned wide receiver that did not end up playing very well on offense.
Devin Hester from the Chicago Bears played a little wide receiver a few years ago. Hester was such a dynamic return man, like Peterson, head coach Lovie Smith wanted Hester to touch the ball as much as possible, but Hester did not have the hands to play receiver.
The old saying, there’s a reason cornerbacks play defense (they are fast and great route runners, but can’t catch) still applies.
Plus, in the NFL, it’s got to be very difficult to play both sides of the ball as one would never get his full repetitions with either squad.
But there is no reason to believe Peterson will not have more success than Hester did on offense. Peterson has better hands than Hester, which automatically makes the transition much easier. Secondly, if Friday’s practice is a good indication, then Peterson can also throw the ball; something Hester never did.
Finally, Arians can use Peterson in his gadget plays that he brought over from his time as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.
Even though the Cardinals' offense finished 28th in passing and 32nd in rushing last season, with the hiring of offensive mind Bruce Arians, new quarterback Carson Palmer, Michael Floyd’s second season, Patrick Peterson mixed in on gadgets plays and oh, that guy named Larry, Arizona should be excited to see their offense this season.