Cardinals’ Peterson explains fine form

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson says he is playing the best football of his career, but has dismissed suggestions that weight loss alone is responsible.

The 25-year-old, who battles with Type 2 diabetes, reported to training camp weighing just 203lbs compared to 219lbs last season following a summer of strict diet and exercise.

That has seen a change in attitude from opposing coaches this season, says Peterson.

 
“They always say: ‘Oh man, you look lighter. I think we need to stay away from you. You look a little lighter on your feet,’”

Peterson has been thrown at just 12 times through the first four games, allowing just 85 passing yards – the fifth best in the NFL this season for cornerbacks who played at least 60 percent of their team’s defensive snaps.

“I feel now that I’m in a position that I wasn’t in last year to make those plays because I felt that I was just a little bit too heavy,” Peterson added.

“As a cornerback, you have to be as light as possible on your feet. You have to make sure you have fluent hips and a great change of direction.

“When I put that weight on last year, I wasn’t able to do some of the things that I wanted to do in the year prior. So now that I am down to my lowest weight since I’ve been in the NFL, I feel unbelievable.”

However, Peterson is keen to assert that increased athleticism alone cannot explain his outstanding early-season form.

“I think now that I am in year five [with the team], I feel like I really, really turned the corner this year.

“I believe that I had an eye-opening year last year relying on athletic ability seven out of 10 times on the field. Now, it’s all mental.

“I definitely take my preparation more serious than I did over the past first four years. I think that’s the biggest difference.”

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