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Patrick Peterson will flourish in new defensive scheme

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Football Outsiders thinks the All Pro cornerback will have no problem adjusting to his new role in the Arizona Cardinals defense.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Every year SB Nation is fortunate enough to do a question and answer session with the fine folks over at Football Outsiders.

They are the original analytics site, that takes a deeper look at the game of football from a number of angles.

Well, this year for the Cardinals much is changing, new head coach, new coaching staff, new quarterback, new offensive and defensive schemes.

That gave us plenty to talk about with FO.

Through this week we have looked at:

Mike McCoy and Sam Bradford?

David Johnson’s expectations?

Offensive line improvements?

Does the new defensive scheme help or hurt Chandler Jones?

Today, how will the new zone schemes work with the Cardinals?


What type of success can we expect from Steve Wilks/Al Holcomb’s zone scheme for Patrick Peterson and will it help him or hurt him?

Having spent his whole career in Arizona, Peterson has played in some very aggressive defensive systems featuring heavy doses of blitzes. Wilks fits right in with that tendency, as his Carolina unit blitzed five rushers more frequently than any other team in the league. As a result, Peterson is very used to having to hold up on his own on the outside waiting for the pressure to get home.

In a zone scheme, it can be easier for an offense to dial up plays to keep their top receivers away from the opposing team’s top cornerback. With how Arizona performed against No. 1 receivers this past season (23rd in DVOA overall, though not through anything Peterson did wrong), allowing offenses to scheme Peterson away from their top target could be a big problem. Peterson himself has been on record as being excited about the change to a simpler scheme, so it definitely sounds like he is personally expecting a big year. He won’t be in press coverage as frequently, and that could help him collect more pass breakups and interceptions. There may be a bit of an adjustment period compared to how he has lined up for most of his career, but a cornerback with Peterson’s talent can flourish in just about any role.


The new scheme for the Cardinals could be a game changer for Peterson and help extend his career, what do you think?