Patrick Peterson Shows Recovery Skills Matter Too

By Will Cinelli on Feb 18, 2021

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth,” goes the famous Mike Tyson quote. Well, when playing DB, the corollary is that everyone has a plan until they get beat.

The truth of playing the cornerback position is that everyone, at one time or another, is going to get beat, especially when you play Man coverage enough. So, if that’s going to happen, one of the best things a DB can learn to do is recover.

Let’s watch the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson, who has played at an elite level in the NFL for a long time, recover from getting beat at the line of scrimmage.

Let’s first take a look at what happens at the line of scrimmage, where Peterson is trying to press Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf. Metcalf uses a foot-fire release that gets Peterson leaning the wrong way. His feet get stuck in the ground, and he gives Metcalf an easy outside release. We know Metcalf is an absolute burner, so as he opens it up he pulls away from Peterson and creates a good amount of separation.

Now, to be clear, a well-thrown ball is a completion and Peterson can do nothing about it. But even NFL QB’s don’t throw a perfect deep ball with consistency. This one, in particular, is a little underthrown which causes Metcalf to have to slow up.

Peterson is in total sell-out mode to get back in phase. Since he’s working to recover, Peterson doesn’t have the ability to get his head around to track the incoming throw. Instead, he relies on his veteran savvy to read Metcalf’s eyes and body language as he prepares to make the catch.

As the receiver’s hands come up, Peterson reacts by attacking his hands. Knowing that the ball’s arrival is imminent, Peterson knows that he can be physical and is unlikely to get flagged for interference, so he finishes through the receiver. This way, even if Metcalf does catch the ball, there is a good chance he lands out of bounds.

Really impressive job by Peterson of being able to recover from his initial failure at the line and put himself to make a play on the ball.  

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