It wasn’t the smoothest of departures, but the impact Patrick Peterson had on the Cardinals franchise and the community can’t be overstated.
Now, Peterson comes to town with the Minnesota Vikings for the Cardinals home opener, and he will surely be challenged by whatever receiver comes his way.
When reporters wondered whether it will be hard to treat Sunday like any other game day, he said, “No, not at all, because in naturality it is another game. I have to go out there and be at my best for the team.”
Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph echoed those sentiments, saying, “Obviously, Pat was a great player here for a long time and his teammates here love him. Hopefully for both sides it’s the next game. That’s what it should be about. That’s the way I see it. We wish Pat luck outside of this week and we move on.”
Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. is in his third season and said, “It's a difference for me because coming here rookie year, he was someone I looked up to who was a vet of our room and also a brother to me. So just to see I'm on the opposite sideline kind of going to be a little different. But it's all love; he’s still my brother.”
Quarterback Kyler Murray sounded like Murphy when he said, “The first few years with him he was like a big brother, basically. He was one of the guys I was around his hip a majority of the time asking questions, seeing how he did things, because he’s been great pretty much his whole career. I just tried to stick next to him and pick from his brain.”
On the Cardinals current 53-man roster, there are a staggering 42 players that came to the team in 2019, 2020 or this year. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury also arrived in 2019.
Said head coach Kliff Kingsbury, “When you look at the draft classes we’ve had since we’ve been here, you see those guys growing up and playing at a high level. A lot of those guys we drafted here in Year 1 are major contributors and are performing at a high level.”
One of those is defensive end Michael Dogbe, who was a seventh-round pick in 2019. After bouncing on and off the practice squad, Dogbe was part of the 53-man roster to open the season and had a sack Sunday against Tennessee.
"This is (his) third season and he made his first team this year," Joseph said. "It took him three years to make a team and his (training) camp a year ago was pretty good, but with no (preseason) games, he couldn't prove it. But this kid has come a long way. As a rookie he could not play for us. Now he's part of our rotation."
A Lot of Ks
No, we’re not talking about baseball strikeouts. The subject is the offensive play-callers for both teams: Kliff Kingsbury and Vikings offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak.
It turns out both were on the Texas A&M coaching staff in 2012 and both were born in Texas; Kingsbury in San Antonio and Kubiak in Houston.
Kingsbury said, “He's one of those guys that you come along in coaching, you run into certain guys. He worked with us a year at Texas A&M and you knew, he's gonna be a star in the profession. He has the work ethic, the football mind, all these things going for him. So it'll be great to see him, really proud of where he's at and he does a good job.”
J.J. and Chandler
During the game against the Titans, the Cardinals video crew happened upon on a conversation between J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones and posted it on Twitter:
It went like this:
Watt: "Excuse me, are you serious?"
Jones: "I'm trying to be legendary."
Watt: "Are you serious?"
Jones: "We gotta be legendary."
Watt: "Are you serious?"
Jones: "Listen, we've got the opportunity to do something great."
Watt: "Oh, I think I know that."
Jones: "We have the opportunity."
Watt: "I know that. We doing it. You doing it."