Long regarded as one of this era’s best cornerbacks, Patrick Peterson has not been challenged to the degree of some of his peers in recent years. The Cardinals‘ top defender has just six interceptions over the past three seasons, and this has likely had some impact on his All-Pro status. Despite being viewed as a top-tier corner and having never missed a game, Peterson has made just one of the past three All-Pro first teams. The soon-to-be 28-year-old defender, though, sounds encouraged to be in the defensive system Steve Wilks and Al Holcomb have installed.
“Very excited, ’cause I’m gonna be doing a lot of new things that I haven’t done in my career – in my NFL career,” Peterson said, via Katherine Fitzgerald of the Arizona Republic. “I’m just looking forward to getting back to my play-making ways because I believe over the last two and a half, three years, I’ve been kind of handcuffed in doing that, because obviously teams try to stay away from me. But now, coach Holcomb and coach Wilks are going do a great job of finding ways to install me into the game.”
Peterson still expects to follow receivers in the new scheme, but the Cardinals continue to feature a sizable talent gap between their No. 1 corner and his sidekicks. They traded for Jamar Taylor, who is now the favorite to start opposite Peterson, and employ third-year man Brandon Williams and former Panthers cog Bene Benwikere. But this cast might not be enough to deter quarterbacks from continuing to largely avoid Peterson.
Here’s the latest from the NFC:
- Apparently, Earl Thomas‘ Cowboys fandom did not stop once he joined the Seahawks. The east Texas native has been connected to the Cowboys via trade throughout the offseason, and he seemed to light that fuse after the Seahawks’ Week 16 win in Dallas last season. Cliff Avril observed Thomas discuss watching Cowboys games as a fan while with the Seahawks, but it’s not like the since-released defensive end saw that affect the three-time All-Pro’s game. “Everyone in (the Seahawks’) locker room knows Earl loves the Cowboys,” Avril said during a Sirius XM Radio interview (Twitter link). “He’d leave immediately after work just to catch them play Monday Night Football. We didn’t take it too serious. Whatever team he dresses up for he’s gonna do his thing.” Thomas and the Seahawks remain at an impasse as the last remaining Legion of Boom bastion continues his holdout.
- The Eagles will almost certainly waive seventh-round pick/rugby convert Jordan Mailata, Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com notes, before attempting to develop him on their practice squad. This figures to be a lengthy process attempting to convert the mammoth prospect into someone worthy of seeing time on Sundays.
- Two of Mailata’s rookie peers have less certainty. Although Josh Sweat has looked the part of a future contributor, Shorr-Parks wonders if the Eagles’ depth at defensive end will induce a wink-wink IR stay that will allow the fourth-round pick to develop while off the 53-man roster. UDFA running back Josh Adams received one of the largest signing bonuses of any undrafted player this year at $25K, but he missed all of OTAs and minicamp with a foot injury and looks like a long shot to make the roster. Shorr-Parks expects an IR stay for Adams.
- The additions of LeGarrette Blount and Kerryon Johnson will force either Zach Zenner or Dwayne Washington off the Lions‘ roster, barring an injury to a higher-regarded back, but Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com expects neither to be on the team come Week 1. Rothstein, though, views Ameer Abdullah as possible trade bait that would give either Zenner or Washington a way back onto the roster.