Arizona Cardinals‘ general manager Steve Keim made headlines recently when he said that Patrick Peterson is the closest thing to Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders in the NFL today. While Peterson is not a two-sport athlete like Jackson and Sanders were, he will be playing both ways for the Cardinals in 2013.
New head coach Bruce Arians has made no bones about the fact that he’s going to get the ball to Peterson anyway he can. This will include him spending time at wide receiver and continuing to return punts. He’s said to have been very impressive thus far in training camp and his role might continue to expand as the year goes on. I believe the Cardinals must be cautious with Peterson, but that they’d also be foolish to not get the ball in his hands on a frequent basis.
So with all of this new exposure for Peterson, and given that the Cardinals should be a lot more relevant this year – is the CB/WR headed for stardom?
Clearly, he’s already an elite player. He’s made the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons, but he’s not yet a superstar. He’s not in the tier of the game’s top players, mainly because most of them play offense. I’m not just talking about skills, I’m talking about being a star. It’s hard for defenders to get to that top level of stardom. Not that it doesn’t happen, it’s just a more difficult path. But with this move to offense, Peterson’s chances of becoming a nationwide star have gone up dramatically.
If he’s as good as Keim says he is, people will take notice – especially if the Cardinals turn things around this year. If I had to compare him to anyone, he definitely sounds more like a Deion-type. Prime Time used to get snaps on offense on occasion, but from the sounds of it, Peterson will be involved on a much more frequent basis.