Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt is not the type who likes to have rookies start right away. Since taking over the Cardinals, the only rookie to start from day one was Levi Brown. That's why the comment he made about first round pick Patrick Peterson is surprising. He said this:
Starting a rookie "is tough for me," Whisenhunt said. "I think this is a year that's a little bit different all together. You have to be open-minded about how he plays and where we are with that position."
Obviously, this is a little bit of coach-speak, that of being open minded. However, it is a possibility. With Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie gone, the starting spot opposite Greg Toler essentially belongs to Peterson or new free agent signee Richard Marshall. Peterson has a couple of days more practice than Marshall, who has yet to participate in a play because of the CBA rules prohibiting veteran players with new or restructured deals from practicing until Thursday at the earliest.
Peterson has impressed thus far. Here is what Adrian Wilson had to say about he rookie after Wednesday morning practice:
"I love the kid, honestly. His confidence level makes me confident. He knows the playbook. He knows the things we want him to do. He doesn't talk back, which is great. You can tell he's very well-rounded and he wants to be great."
Peterson wants to start. "It's the head man's call,:" said Peterson. "Hopefully, I can be starting week one."
Now, the talk has typically been how it will be Toler and Marshall to start off as the starters, and how it would be Peterson and Marshall some point later in the year.
I know that Marshall is more experienced and has been solid in the past, but let us not sleep on Toler. He was statistically the better cornerback last season when paired up with DRC.
Do I expect Peterson to start right away? I do not. I would also not be surprised if he did not start at all this year, depending on the play of Toler and Marshall.
But in an offseason like this, if any rookie has a chance to start right away, then Peterson has the best one that there ever will be.