As rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson hauled in his first NFL interception at his own 7-yard line on the final play of the first half, he immediately went down to protect the ball. Moments later, coach Ken Whisenhunt came out to Peterson to let him know Peterson, as a playmaker, needed to try and make something happen.
“You want to try and keep that play alive because you have a much better chance of running around and having something positive happen for us against an offense (trying to tackle) as opposed to a coverage team,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s something you learn from going forward.”
Whisenhunt compared it to putting a return man back on a long field-goal attempt (because those too can be returned if missed). To be fair to Peterson, he was told almost immediately by safety Adrian Wilson to get down after the interception, in order to avoid a fumble.
Peterson wasn’t going to offer up that it was Wilson, but when asked directly he admitted it was the safety. “He’s the captain of the defense,” Peterson said, smiling. “I have to obey my elders.”
But Peterson added he did think about the return. “As soon as I caught it I looked out and scanned the field to see what was going on,” he said. “I didn’t see anything in front of me except five O-linemen and five defensive linemen and the quarterback, so I thought I had a chance. But you do what you need to do.”
Peterson has already shown his open-field return skills with his first-week punt return. Letting him loose on the length of a field when the other team is spread out so much seemed like an automatic invite. Nevertheless, Peterson was thrilled to get his first pick.
“I am happy it is out of the way,” Peterson said. “I am happy it came early rather than late. I’m looking forward to getting more.”
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Ken Whisenhunt, Patrick Peterson
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