When a player ties NFL records, even as a rookie, people notice.
Cardinals cornerback and punt return star Patrick Peterson already earned a spot in Hawaii on the NFC team for the upcoming Pro Bowl thanks to his four punt-return touchdowns in 2011. Friday, he got an even more prestigious honor – he was named as the return man for the Associated Press’s NFL All-Pro team.
“It’s quite an honor, not just for me but for the other 10 guys on the return unit and our (special teams) coach Kevin Spencer,” Peterson said. “The guy with the ball in his hands gets all the credit but I want those guys to know I appreciate them and what they do.
“It’s special to be the only rookie on the list and a nice way to end my first NFL season. But that season’s over. Right now I’m really looking forward to doing what I need to do to get better in year two and to get the Cardinals back to the playoffs so we’re one of the teams playing this time of year.”
Peterson finished the year averaging 15.9 yards a punt return, second in the NFL to the 16.2 from Chicago’s Devin Hester. Peterson set an NFL rookie record with 699 punt return yards (on 44 returns). His four touchdowns tied the NFL mark previously set by Hester (2007), Denver’s Rick Upchurch (1978) and the Rams’ Jack Christiansen (1951).
Peterson has also been nominated for the Pepsi Rookie Of The Year award, along with 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith, Broncos linebacker Von Miller, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
Fans determine the Pepsi winner, and the vote can be made right here on NFL.com.