Arizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson & the Art of Being a Shutdown Cornerback


Aug 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) looks on prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, there was an ESPN Magazine article by David Fleming, Patrick Peterson’s Defensive Secrets, where Arizona Cardinals’ cornerback, Patrick Peterson was interviewed. In this article, Peterson talks about how he approaches each play when he is in the game.

As an average NFL fan, we just think about the cornerback knowing what play is called and the attention he has on getting that one job done. What Peterson talks about is all of the smaller details which he analyzes before each play. This is what makes Peterson, arguably, the best cornerback in the league.

Here are some quotes from Peterson that would be fascinating for any sport fan to hear because of the amount of football IQ that is required on each and every play.

"“If I’m on the left side and the ball is to my hash, nine times out of 10 the ball is coming to my side, because that’s a much shorter throw for the quarterback.”“After the snap too, you read the first few steps the receiver takes. Is he moving inside, leaning outside or using a speed release for a downfield route? Like a QB, you read it all, process it and react very, very fast.”“I jam the receiver hard at the pec; I want to strike as hard and be as disruptive as possible.”“I’m actually reading his shoulders. A quarterback’s shoulders tell you everything. If they’re parallel to the sidelines, pointed to the middle of the field, most of the time it’s gonna be a 10- to 15-yard pass in the middle. If they’re titled up, it’s going downfield. If his shoulders are down but open, it’s going to the sideline or the flat.”“My background, growing up as an offensive guy in high school, when the ball is in the air I’m thinking one thing: It’s mine. No matter where it is. It’s mine.”"

Very interesting stuff from Patrick Peterson. For the entire article, pick up the latest ESPN Magazine.