Peterson, punt returns and patience

Posted by Darren Urban on October 25, 2013 – 10:57 am

Four touchdowns as a rookie returning punts, and it was impossible for many not to get spoiled by Patrick Peterson’s feats in that realm of the game.

Maybe even Peterson himself, although he realized early it would come to an end.

“Honestly, in a sense, I knew at some point and time teams would start game-planning against me,” Peterson said. “Punting the ball away from me, punting the ball out of bounds, pinning me on the sideline. If you go back and watch all four of my (touchdown) punt returns, they punted the ball in the middle of the field where I had two-way gos. On the sideline, they are wrapping the whole team around me and forcing me down the sideline.

“At the end of the day I have to stay patient. They can’t put the ball on the sideline all the time. There will be one they shank, one they slip up, and that one, we have to make count.”

Peterson figures there have been “three or four” that were returnable this season. There were a couple I remember seeing early on that Peterson wasn’t staying patient, trying to cut up field too early instead of stringing it out wide a little first and then bursting upfield. There have been others that needed better blocking. But Peterson has been in a punt-return production slump for a while now.

It never quite came around last season. This year, Peterson is averaging 5.8 yards a return on 12 returns with a long of 18 yards (as a rookie, Peterson averaged 15.9 yards a return. Last year it was 8.4.) Tyrann Mathieu has been used for a handful of punt returns this season, but he has fielded just one, and that was a fair catch.

“It’s obviously much tougher than it was a couple years ago,” Peterson said.

Regardless, Peterson remains confident in his abilities to return punts and believes he will break out at some point. Certainly, he’s proven that’s possible.

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Posted in Blog | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Peterson, punt returns and patience”

  1. By Todd on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    They “gameplan” and “punt away” from Devin Hester too and he continues to run them back for touchdowns. 13 total I believe to your 4. Just sayin Patrick.

  2. By JAKE on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    Devon Hester cant play corner…. Just sayin Todd

  3. By Hammy on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    Peterson still is one of the most dangerous and dynamic players in the league. Teams recognize that he can break one open in a blink of an eye. I know its been awhile since he last ran one back but boy I look forward to 3 and outs just in case he can take one to the house again!

  4. By clssylssy on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    Darren…Why is Patrick Peterson nominated for several position in the ProBowl voting when other players also play those positions (how many times has he returned the punt this year?) I kinda thought Tyrann Mathieu would show up somewhere on the ballot. Seems like they could have spread it around more?

  5. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Pro Bowl

    Not sure how they determine the ballot.

  6. By Todd on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    Jake I love Patrick Peterson and am a long loyal Cardinal fan. I even wear his jersey at games. I just think some of the reason Peterson is not getting TD punt returns or even big returns not for TD’s is Patrick Peterson. I see a lot of catches and runs out of bounds with no contact. I would also put some of the blame on the blocking of the coverage team. It just frustrates me because the guy is so friggen talented that he should be doing much better than he has the past 1 1/2 years. You are correct, the guy plays a mean CB but we are talking about punt returns here. The staff, return team and Patrick himself need to step up so Patrick can do what Patriick does on punt returns,

  7. By Big Angel G on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    Lets take a look at Petersons total Punt returns for TD’s after he has had 8 years in the league like Hester.

    Just sayin.

  8. By D on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    I hear PP is thinking SHOW ME THE MONEY in March…

  9. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    Are stats kept on net yards per punt by the opponent with a particular guy returning (in other words, stats that would factor in the ones they fair catch and the ones that go out of bounds?) For example, I’d rather have a guy that returns 80% of the punts that come his way for an average of 8 yards each, then a guy with a return average of 10 yards each but who only actually returns 40% of the punts that come his way.

    Peterson can’t get frustrated about not breaking one. What he did in 2011 is not normal. Hester had 7 TD’s on punt returns in his first two years and then none for the next two — his longest during those two years was 33 yards, with a rather pedestrian average of 6.9.

  10. By Eric G on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    With White and Jones out for ATL, PP needs to be the one to cover Gonzalez, not Yeremiah Bell.

  11. By JAKE on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    PP is a pro bowl CB who returns punts…. Hester is a returner who does nothing else…. It is not really comparable Todd.

  12. By infitzwetrust on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    I think the position a player plays is irrelevant to their punt/kick return abilities.

    just saying….

  13. By ored on Oct 25, 2013 | Reply

    if you’re expending the energy to cover recievers half way down the field,i’d say that is completely relevant,these guys are fit,but there is a limit,he has to turn right around and go full bore against a rested special teams squad,at some point you lose a step.and he also has to be ready for offensive plays.sometime during a game you need to decide where he is needed most for maximum impact.
    it may be that they should drop his offensive snaps and plan more for a big return.
    there are limits,it’s not like he’s playing against school kids,everybody out there is a highly paid proffessional,we just need that burner for a reciever and a TE to step their game up.

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