New coach, but same plan for Peterson on punts

Posted by Darren Urban on February 7, 2013 – 4:53 pm

The Cardinals may have a new coach, but Bruce Arians will be sticking with the old way of how the team was returning punts – Patrick Peterson will remain that guy.

“He can’t get his hands on the ball enough for me,” Arians said, chuckling. “As long as the other team is punting, he’s going to be back there. And hopefully they will be punting a lot.”

Peterson’s sophomore campaign as a punt returner didn’t come close to measuring up to his Pro Bowl-earning rookie season, even as his play as a cornerback elevated to Pro Bowl status. Teams were much more leery of kicking to Peterson in 2012, and it probably didn’t help that one of his key blockers — defensive back Richard Marshall — wasn’t around after leaving as a free agent to go to the Dolphins.

On 51 returns in 2012, Peterson averaged 8.4 yards. He didn’t score a touchdown and his longest return was 26 yards, which he did twice. Compare that to 2011, when he had four touchdowns and averaged 15.9 yards on 44 returns and he had seven returns of at least 29 yards. Inevitably, teams were going to shy away from him.

Not that it matters to Arians.

Peterson will return “until he waves me off and says, ‘Coach, can I take a blow?’ ” Arians said. “That’s a scoring opportunity every time.”


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31 Responses to “New coach, but same plan for Peterson on punts”

  1. By D on Feb 7, 2013 | Reply

    The big questions on defense are, do they try and resign Toler and R. Johnson (both probably will get deals in the free agent market within the first 30 days) and what to do with S. Bradley…does he get his chance to start along side DWash or will he be a cap casualty…..what to do with Adub when they don’t have his replacement on the roster…..

  2. By Campbells on Feb 7, 2013 | Reply

    PP is dangerous. Needs to focus on fielding the ball first, then on what he’s going to do afterwards. Too many muffed punts!

  3. By carlo milan italy on Feb 7, 2013 | Reply

    darren dont you think richard marshall was a very important key on peterson returns.??i saw some highlights of 2 season a go and he was so effective blocking first gunner

  4. By Scott H on Feb 7, 2013 | Reply

    Anyone catch the story on right now predicting that the Cardinals will make the playoffs in 2013??? Wow, I gotta say, it actually made me feel a lot better than I probably have since about mid-October or so!

    I truly hope that Bruce Arians will have the impact here that he had in Indy last year. Sure, having an Andrew Luck would help and we don’t seem to have one of those, but…

    I hate to say it, but after the depths that this team sunk to last year ( probably as bad during the last 11 games as ANY Cardinals team I’ve seen in the last 30-35 years, and just think about THAT says ), they could be one of the most improved teams in the league next year WITHOUT making the playoffs! Seriously! If this team were 8-8 next year but consistently competitive – especially against the teams in their division – and with a serious up-ward arrow going into 2014, I would probably be thrilled.

    Does anyone else agree with me that at the end of the 2013 season, the two best / toughest teams in the NFC definitely looked like San Fran and Seattle? Based on just those two teams, the NFC West is probably the best division in the NFC going into next season. THAT is not a pleasant thought for a team that ended last season heading in the exact opposite direction and as quite possibly the WORST team in the conference.

    Seattle and San Fran are stacked and are built to be damn good for the next several years. The Cardinals have a LOOOOOOONG way to go before they’re gonna be back in this race.

  5. By georgiebird on Feb 7, 2013 | Reply

    PP’s second year was what the NFL is all about. Of course PP was a better punt returner in 2012 than he was in 2011. The results might not be there but PP caused the opposition to make adjustments- PP became someone the other team had to game plan against. There were a lot of near misses in 2012 but, at least, PP made the punter adjust for him.
    In a similar way, when DWash can impose his will on an offense then he will have arrived. Right now, when they want to block DWash all they need is to send an RB at him. Someday, when the opposition has to game plan for DWash then he will be a part of winning football games.

  6. By georgiebird on Feb 7, 2013 | Reply

    Staying with the 3-4 means DD will be traded on draft day. The Cards should get something for DD because the 3-4 is a waste of his talent.
    Like fellow hard-nosed player Q, DD has a couple of very productive years left with the right team playing the 4-3- some team like the Giants, Pats or Bucs will do well to add DD. In another scheme, he is still our best defensive player because he can dominate and command a double team.

  7. By georgiebird on Feb 7, 2013 | Reply

    @Scott H.
    Everyone wants the Cards to go 16-0 in 2013 BUT when reality sets in I would be happy if the Cards were :
    2013- 7 wins -9 losses
    2014- 8 wins -8 losses
    2015 – 10 wins -6 losses
    2016 – playoffs
    Through steady progress especially at QB, Cards may have a wildcard shot in 2015 then it should be the playoffs in 2016. Agree that the division was vicious at the end of 2012. Recent news about the 3-4 has me a little more pessimistic. At this time, the above next four years is a best case scenario.

  8. By ored on Feb 7, 2013 | Reply

    i hope that it’s not so long,49rs wandered around for a few years til they got it,seemed like seattle came out of nowhere,and the rams were greatly improved in a short period,our defense is good,all we need is get everybody on the same level and then it’s a divisional dogfight.

  9. By joe67 on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    @ scott H.
    I agree with what you are saying. Cards could be a MUCH better team and still be maybe .500. One thing, don’t overlook the fact the Niners and Seahawks should have tougher schedules than Cards and Rams. That might help some.

    How about the Chargers sign Alex Smith and trade Phillip Rivers to us. Rivers needs a change of scenery, Smith would still be on West Coast and in different conference. BA would have a qb to work with that is in a slump the last couple years and would have chance at new light.
    Also, Darren, has BA said anythig about Skelton. Seems like the type of qb he might like to try and reserrect

  10. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    joe67 —

    RE: Recent Arians QB talk

  11. By Dynosoar on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    If it wasn’t for some big time mistakes by the refs (intentional or human error, decide for yourselves) Seattle’s not in the playoffs. Their record wouldn’t have allowed for it.

    San Francisco, they’ve got two QB’s who had above 60% completion and all my research shows that’s the magic number for making the playoffs. What to do with Alex Smith, quite a different dilemma than we faced the last two seasons.

    Playoffs in 2016 at the earliest, pshaw! All we need is a couple of players and a healthy team and we’re playoff bound in the 2013 season. If we’d have remained healthy last season we would’ve been playoff bound. But it is what it is and we now have Bruce Arians leading the team and I have to say, from the articles darren and Josh keep delivering, it’s hard to not be excited.

    Can’t wait to see how Arians changes the culture back to a winning one. I’m also really excited to see the Browns and Steelers play two games, the Master and the Pupil.

    Home field advantage in SB LXXI (is my roman numeral correct? 49.) Oh no, I can here San Francisco chanting 49ers in 49. I say that’s fine, as long as its 2049 and not SB 49.

  12. By D on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Georgiebird…if you don’t think they will make the playoffs until 2016 then your thinking if followed by the Cards would be to trade Larry F now…

  13. By D on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    If BA and his staff think they can help Kolb by improving the people around him, then all of these people wanting AZ to go after free agent QB’s or trade for QB’s are wrong….sticking with Kolb gives the staff more time to develope a 2nd round QB draft pick….
    (but be careful AZ, I think there will be a run on QB’s by at least 3 teams in front of AZ in the draft in the second round)

  14. By ray on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    bring back DRC

  15. By georgiebird on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    I have been on the record- for some time now- to trade Larry.
    In a strictly on the field type decision, it is a no-brainer to get rid of LF especially since our #1 draft choice in 2012 (Floyd) is somewhat a clone. And it will be a couple of rebuilding years ahead.
    The thing that makes trading LF difficult is the off-field stuff. Larry is a credit to the game, a wholesome role model and the best pr the Cards have right now as the face of the franchise..

  16. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Georgie, D —

    RE: Trading Fitz

    Agree the off-field stuff is a factor. But the biggest reason not to trade Fitz? What do you get for him and his worth? No one is giving two No. 1 picks, and Fitz’s overall worth to this franchise is at least that.

  17. By BigTom on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Darren –

    Why do they not allow Peterson to return kick-offs?

  18. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    BigTom —

    RE: PP KOR

    You don’t want to wear him out, and Hyphen has been a pretty good kickoff return man.

  19. By AzDesertRat1953 on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Dynosoar; XLIX = 49 – LXXI = 71 [Good year for the 49ers]

    I agree with the thought though of the AZ Cardinals at Home in SB XLIX 2015

    GO CARDS!!!

  20. By georgiebird on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    For the most part agree on not getting two #1s although there is a possibility a real good team like the Pats might give up a 30th pick twice to get Larry. Other teams might be the Giants or Packers or Denver. Those teams with Larry might draft about 30th but what a difference he would make. A 30th choice is like an early 2nd rounder. Question -“does one of the #1s have to be the current year”? So in trading Larry to an elite team, there are two problems:
    1) we are getting back the equivalent of early 2nd rounders
    2) we have to watch Larry excel in the playoffs
    The question remains are the Cardinals better off trading Larry? I think there would be suitors.
    It’s interesting that in baseball the Mets just had a similar decision. They traded their best player RA Dickey (yes, he’s better than Wright). to the Jays for young prospects. Granted, baseball is a different case but the mental gyrations are somewhat similar in that a team with little chance to win now tries to position itself for the future.

  21. By Darren Urban on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Fitz

    Of course there will be suitors. But again, what is “better off?” Just because Floyd is similar doesn’t mean he will be anywhere as good. And in this league, rebuilding isn’t a four- or five-year deal. I saw your timeline. I’m not sure a staff lasts that long with no playoffs.

  22. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    @Scott H,

    In today’s NFL turnarounds, good and bad, happen quickly. A few years ago the 49’ers were 6-10 and the Seahawks were division champs at 7-9. It’s been proven, by them and us, how quickly fortunes can turn with a coaching and QB change. If history is any kind of indicator, Arians has about three years to get us to their level or we’ll be searching for someone who can. I don’t necessarily agree with it, as I think the Steeler’s model has been the most effective over the past 4-5 decades, but with FA and our microwave society of wanting everything now it’s reality.

  23. By Ethan on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Someone commented about this NFL article earlier so I went and read it, it is really exciting! I can’t wait to see what BA does! I believe in this new staff! Darren thanks for the great posts, it makes the off season easier to handle when we can read about our team. I am looking forward to a great year! Never stop believing in our cards!

  24. By AzDesertRat1953 on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    Would just love to see this HC and his Teachers, turn our ST unit, with P.Peterson, into a force of its own.

    Just give him five yards, that’s All.

    3rd year for P. Peterson and Two Pro Bowls, lets see what #21 and All the rest of these Young Players can do for each other and how much More they can learn from these Coaches and the Older Vets this year. I see the Offense, Defense and Special Teams get much better this year.

    I also get the feeling that, if HC Bruce Arians can help turn a Rookie into a play maker at QB, what can he do with the Four QB’s he is looking at now. I mean if he and his coaching picks are as good as I have heard and read, we could see more than sixteen games in 2013.

    Anyone on where the Colts will be next year with out Arians?

    GO CARDS!!!

  25. By georgiebird on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    You were the one saying “no one is giving two #1 picks”.
    No doubt, trading Larry is a tough call. If the opportunity arose I would do it. If this were 1984-85 and we were talking about the great Roy Green, I would probably have a different point of view.
    And I agree that Floyd will never match Larry’s achievements, but Floyd still presents the same type player and our offensive WR group needs much more speed. IMO, Larry and Floyd together are not the best tandem to stretch the field. The inability to stretch the field has contributed to some of the problems encountered by the OL and the RBs as the defense keeps that extra player at the line.

  26. By Colts Fan on Feb 8, 2013 | Reply

    @ AzDRat

    As a Colts fan… It’s hard to judge where we will be next year without Arians. Heading into the 2012 season… I would have been thrilled at a 6-10 result – I expected a 4-12. (There was no where to go but up… but I figured it would take a few years to see the playoffs.) We lived on emotion and perhaps, exceeded what we should have been able to do… Will Arians be able to reproduce that emotion in AZ without the other factors in play in Indy? I’ve been reading about his team of teachers… and I’m optimistic. I will be rooting for the Cards next year… hope you make the payoffs.

    eh, I’ve been reading the thoughts about trading Larry Fitz… and I must say… you are all crazy… Larry is the Cards… fix the team and win! He does deserve to win a SB… but let Arians and his team of Teachers give it a shot before you blow the entire world up…

    Would love to see Cards vs Colts in the Superbowl… as long as the Colts win 🙂

    Reality… I think the Colts are an 8-8 team next year… I suspect the Superbowl will be Denver vs someone from the NFC west.

    Good luck Cards

  27. By Kevin S on Feb 10, 2013 | Reply

    Scott H —

    I liked that article as well. Have to say, all the naysayers (not sure if you were one of them) talking about how inept the “same old Cardinals” were in not getting a coach locked up earlier are, in my opinion, all dead wrong. We hired last and got the best coach, and Tom Moore to go with him.

  1. 4 Trackback(s)

  2. Feb 8, 2013: Patrick Peterson will remain as Cardinals punt returner - News One Network
  3. Feb 8, 2013: Sports Center Live » Patrick Peterson will remain as Cardinals punt returner
  4. Feb 23, 2013: Word From the Birds Blog | Coverage, returns, catches — and maybe Peterson will throw
  5. Jul 15, 2013: Word From the Birds Blog | Returning to Peterson

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