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NFL training camp 2013: Arizona Cardinals to use double punt returners

We will see Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu sometimes both back on punts


At their first public practice on Friday, the Arizona Cardinals had several players back receiving punts. Patrick Peterson, Javier Arenas, Jerraud Powers, Antoine Cason, Michael Floyd and even Larry Fitzgerald took a few. One player that did not do so was rookie Tyrann Mathieu, who is a dynamic returner.

However, his absence does not mean that he will not see time returning punts. In fact, the Cardinals will sometimes show off two returners for punts sometimes this season, featuring both Mathieu and Peterson (who is already one of the most dangerous return men in the game).

When asked if the team could use two players back at the same time, head coach Bruce Arians said they would. "We have the potential to have to really have three back there if we want, with Javier (Arenas), too," he joked. "But we will have, in especially bad weather days, you always want to have twin safeties, where that ball isn't hitting the ground and getting 20 yards of roll on a crappy kick. But the ability we have with Patrick (Peterson) and Tyrann (Mathieu) as special punter returners, it's hard to kick away from two of them."

Clearly, that likely won't happen all of the time. Having two guys back affects the guys in front. It is something to show sometimes, but there is a reason why more teams don't put two guys back there -- there is value in having guys who can block up front.

However, there is no denying the excitement there will be the first time both players are back there for a return.

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