Dan Pompei, an outstanding NFL writer for The Athletic, published this article on Patrick Peterson today. I found the vast majority of it to be galling. Maybe you will too. But, it wasn’t surprising, was it?
Of course, as an avid subscriber to The Athletic, I could help myself from commenting on the article.
In case you had difficulty opening up the article —- Pompei argues that Pat P. was merely “tolerated” by the Cardinals, that most of his coaches didn’t allow Pat P. “to be himself” in the various defenses (other than James Bettcher —- what a hoot), that the Cardinals coaches often gave him “too much to think about” which is one of the reasons why he led the NFL with 14 penalties last year and that Steve Keim slapped him with the ultimate sign of disrespect when after saying repeatedly the Cardinals wanted to re-sign Peterson this off-season, Keim didn’t call or text him once during free agency, before Peterson reached out to Mike Zimmer to make a his pitch as the perfect “breath of fresh air” pfree agent for the Vikings to sign .
The coup de gras and icing on the cake was hearing from Peterson that he intends to return to State Farm Stadium twice ever again —- when the Vikings play the Cardinals in Week 2 this season and when, as Peterson fully expects, he will be inducted into the Cardinals’ Ring of Honor.
Again, if you had difficulty opening up the article, here was my comment:
Dan, you never once mentioned Peterson’s trade request while a team captain in 2018 and even worse you fail to include any mention of his 6 game PED and coverup suspension in 2019 --- which Peterson handled by calling the Cardinals’ FO “snakes in the grass” because they denied his request to pay him during his suspension --- so out of spite, he skipped OTAs with a new HC and DC on board and came back from his 6 week hiatus in golf shape. His CB play since the suspension has been consistently embarrassing for a player of his ilk.
Plus, the whole excuse of the Cardinals coaches giving Peterson “too much to think about” in what you ask him to do is laughable for a NFL CB of 10 years. The truth is, Peterson only plays on his terms. He thinks he’s entitled to play in a tuxedo while every one else does the tackling and the busting up of screens and the chasing down of big plays , whether they be to his man or to a teammates’. When have you ever seen a good, hard, fundamental tackle in run support from Peterson? This is why teams run and throw screens to his side on a regular basis.
When have you ever seen him with his 4.4 speed come from out of nowhere to chase down a chunk yard play? He only plays his man.
After his rookie season, when have you ever seen him aggressively return a punt? He was arguably the best punt returner on the planet. The Cardinals never once saw that from him after year one. Check his momentum crushing punt muff versus Carolina in the 2015 NFC Championship game. And if you want to more accurately assess James Bettcher as an NFL DC,, check out the Cardinals’ defensive performance in that 49-15 ass whooping.
Painting Patrick Peterson as a poor victim of the Cardinals “tolerating” him is beyond absurd. GM Steve Keim stuck by Peterson through thick and thin --- he said he would personally go and pick Peterson up on the midnight when his 6 game suspension was over --- and then Keim after Peterson’s suspension turned down a 1st round pick and WR Nelson Agholor from the Eagles in their effort to acquire Peterson at the trading deadline. Steve Keim put his money on Pat P. How did that act of faith turn out?
I usually revel in your work, Dan, but, man, this piece was a first-class cherry picking. It’s as if Patrick Peterson wrote this article himself.
- Credit a consummate pro like Dan Pompei for this response:
@Walter M. Thanks for the thoughtful critique Walter. What you wrote is fair. My intention was not to paint Peterson as a “poor victim,” however. I was trying to write the story from his perspective as a new player on a new team. I asked the Cardinals if they wanted to respond to some of what he said and I never heard back.
- To which I wrote:
@Dan Pompei Thank you for the context. I figured it had to be something along those lines. Therefore, you did a splendid job of doing what you intended, Dan. You captured the main themes and nuances of Peterson’s perspective. The fact that you called the Cardinals to give them a chance to respond is a tribute to your professionalism.
I have been reading your articles for years with great interest and eager anticipation. Thus, now I am especially looking forward to reading your own perspectives on Peterson once the games begin.
- Note —- I too wish that Steve Keim had made the tough phone call to Patrick Peterson. I don’t blame Peterson for feeling dissed by being ghosted after Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim told him the Cardinals had every intention of re-signing him. That’s not how professional front office people operate.
- But —- in terms of leadership and play on the field, signing J.J. Watt as the team’s top priority at this critical juncture of the Kliff and Kyler tenure is pretty dang exciting.