The Arizona Cardinals knew that they were getting a special player in Patrick Peterson when they drafted him with the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He had an instant impact on the team and arguably was the player most responsible for wins this season. With four punt returns for touchdowns, he earned himself a trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl.
But he isn't satisfied with being known as a returner first, then a cornerback, according to what he said on the Dan Patrick Show.
"I definitely like cornerback/punt returner," Peterson said, when giving the choice between that and returner/cornerback. Many writers and analysts believe that Peterson is on the verge of becoming a star -- some even have said he will be the second best corner in the league, even this season.
Now, as he develops in to a shutdown corner, he becomes more valuable to the team, so much so that he might not get to return punts as much.
Peterson said none of the coaches have talked to him about reducing his punt-returning duties. "I know that time is coming soon," Peterson said.
Many look at the model of Deion Sanders, whose number Peterson wears. Sanders was a dynamic returner and the league's best cover guy. But at towards the end of his career, he was use sparingly in the turn game, put on the field then when the team needed a big return.
As it is, team will avoid punting to him. Bit give him an inch of space, and he will go. He hates calling for a fair catch. "I hate that to my gut," Peterson said. "It kills me a times."
Already in training camp, he has shown he is making more plays, as he has had at least two interceptions.
Will we see more of the "Deion" Patrick Peterson? It could be coming, but the reduction in punt returns probably isn't coming for at least another season.
Get more Cardinals coverage at Revenge of the Birds.