PFF’s Praise for Patrick Peterson

You’d be forgiven if you thought that PFF has been fairly lukewarm on Patrick Peterson recently. Heck, he didn’t even make their top-32 corners list.

On Thursday, though, PFF published an article where they indicate that Peterson is in a nice position for a bounce back season. Because he “doesn’t have the wheels to go against the best receivers in the game every snap without help anymore,” PFF argues, Peterson would be better in a zone-heavy system. It’s hard to disagree. The one-on-one match ups in man coverage often require physicality and athleticism. The physicality may still be there, but Peterson isn’t as athletic as he once was.

One of the really fascinating components of the article rests in the breakdown of coverage shells Minnesota runs. If you hop over, you’ll see a handy chart that explains the percentages for how often different coverages were used. They’re right to suggest that Minnesota used a fair amount of Cover 2 (much to Zim’s chagrin), but that’s mostly because of the secondary’s youth last season. I’d expect a lot more emphasis on Cover 3 and 4.

They rightly suggest that Peterson has the requisite intelligence and experience to play in different coverages: “Peterson has been in the league for years and has played within multiple defensive schemes. He has a built-in data bank of knowledge of how to play in all of the coverages he will be tasked with that can only come with a decade of experience at this level.”

Toward the end, PFF suggests that Cameron Dantzler will hopefully take a step forward and that Patrick Peterson “might prove to be a valuable starter on the other side who will likely look a lot better in Minnesota’s defense than he did in Arizona.” Indeed, the Dantzler/Peterson duo is one to be enthusiastic about, especially since Mackensie Alexander is back to help in the slot.

As Blizology Brian explains, the pass rush is a vital part of coverage, so let’s just hope that the fellas up front can make life easier for Zim’s secondary.