The Arizona Cardinals have been giving cornerback Patrick Peterson several reps at wide receiver during practice this offseason. Either head coach Bruce Arians is planning to use the former fifth overall pick on both sides of the ball, or he’s wasting everyone’s time. Based on what he says, it sounds like the former is true.
Not only has Arians put together a package of about 15 plays for Peterson on offense every practice, but he also thinks Peterson could be one of the best receivers in the NFL.
“I had hopes that he could be something special in a package a week, but after you see the athlete he is, it’s like the guy could be one of the top five receivers in the league,” Arians told Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “So, you say, ‘Hmmm, that’s a lot of weapons sitting over here next to me.”
Arians said that Peterson likely will not play on offense if the defense has been on the field for a long time during the series prior, but he is clearly trying to get the football in his hands as much as possible. He said he will give punt returns to someone else if Peterson needs rest, but that he doesn’t want to “take too many touches away from him.” And Peterson is welcoming the extra work.
“I put myself through some tough training in the off-season,” he said. “My body can definitely take the wear and tear. I feel I’m the best-conditioned guy on the team.
“(Arians) kind of put a bug in my ear when he did get hired. I didn’t know he was going to take it this far.”
There is no question Peterson is a versatile athlete, but he has caught only four passes in his NFL career. A top-five receiver in the NFL? Come on now. I seem to remember a certain New York Jets corner thinking he was one of the best receivers on the team, and nothing ever came of that. I’m sure Peterson could be effective, but I doubt he’s going to be AJ Green.