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Sneak peek at Cardinals' Patrick Peterson

Three quick thoughts after watching the Arizona Cardinals' in-house video offering an inside look at LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson's selection in the 2011 NFL draft:

  • Coach Ken Whisenhunt repeatedly emphasized in his draft-day phone conversation with Peterson the high expectations Arizona would have for him. Whisenhunt specifically said those expectations would be particularly high in the return game. The special-teams element should not be overlooked. Peterson was not only defensive player of the year in the SEC. He was also special-teams player of the year after averaging 29.1 yards per kickoff return and 16.1 yards per punt return. The Cardinals ranked fifth in kick-return average last season thanks to LaRod Stephens-Howling, but they were 27th on punt returns, with none longer than 25 yards.

  • Team president Michael Bidwill was the one to call the NFL with word that the Cardinals would select Peterson. That doesn't seem significant, but I found it interesting. Only 32 people in the league get to make that call in the first round. Must be a cool feeling.

  • General manager Rod Graves affirmed perceptions that the Cardinals put greater emphasis on getting the best player available, regardless of need. Peterson's availability made that easier. Graves: "If the quarterback had been there that we felt was the best player on the board at that time, we would have selected him."

These types of videos show what teams want people to see. They do not provide an unfiltered look behind the scenes. In this case, though, there wasn't much spin required. Peterson was considered arguably the best player in the draft, and the Cardinals got him.