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Patrick Peterson is pressing in return game, says special teams coach

Arizona Cardinals' cornerback and punt returner Patrick Peterson is trying too hard to make a play says special teams coach Kevin Spencer.

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Cardinals' special teams coach Kevin Spencer thinks cornerback Patrick Peterson is trying to do too much with it when acting as the team's punt returner.

In an interview with Daria Del Colliano of ArizonaSports.com, Spencer says that Peterson is pressing right now to make something happen on special teams, and that is leading to Peterson mishandling the ball and putting it on the ground:

"I think it's just we've got to move forward and again I think [Peterson] is just trying too hard. When have you ever seen a game where he put two balls on the ground? I think he's just trying so desperately to make a play that even he is playing outside of himself."

After a spectacular rookie campaign that saw him average 15.9 yards per return and score four touchdowns, Peterson's numbers have dropped dramatically, averaging just 7.7 yards per return this year.

One big reason is that opposing teams know Peterson's tendencies and can adjust their coverage accordingly to keep him from breaking loose for a big gain. Spencer knows this and is trying to find a way to counter their adjustments to give Peterson the space he needs:

"I know what people are trying to do so what can we do a little bit more effectively, whether it be technique or scheme to try to get a crack to get him going."

The Cardinals are currently on their bye week and will next take on the undefeated Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 18 in Atlanta.