Patrick Peterson hasn't been shy of his optimism for the Cardinals this season, somewhat surprisingly calling this team the best he's been a part of -- at least on paper -- in his decade with the franchise.
"The sky is the limit," Peterson said. "If you can't tell, I'm excited to come back."
Big public optimism from players can sometimes be cringe-worthy to a head coach. Many would rather not see that target painted on their team's collective back. But for Kliff Kingsbury, the big words and big hopes of his star cornerback delivers a good message that Kingsbury interprets not about his team but about the player himself.
"I like having a happy Pat P, I'll tell you that much," Kingsbury said.
Kingsbury came in during an interesting time in Peterson's career. Peterson was coming off the frustrating year in 2018, when the Al Holcomb-Steve Wilks defense put him in positions he didn't think made him his best. Upset with that and the losing, Peterson made a trade request that season. Then Peterson was suspended for the first six games of 2019, all but derailing that season -- although Peterson did play well the final month after poor play when he returned.
"He has a ton of confidence, a ton of swagger, and guys feed off that," Kingsbury said. "Hearing the things Pat said, we understand we haven't accomplished anything, he understands that. But I also like knowing Pat wants to be here, he wants to be a part of this."
Peterson has said his contract status -- he'll be a free agent after the year -- isn't going to bother him, and his comments about his team certainly sound like the upbeat Peterson that has been his default attitude most of his career.
"(The Cardinals) are in the mindset of winning now," Peterson said. "In the NFL you only have so many windows. You have to take advantage of those windows. I was a part of one of those windows a couple years ago and ... that window for us right now is wide open.
"Once you find what window, once you find that opportunity that the time is right, putting together the right team, spending money at certain positions, you have to take advantage of that. The front office has done that this offseason."
Of course, Kingsbury is going to pump the brakes on such talk in terms of his team. The Cardinals -- like the rest of the NFL -- haven't even been on the field. Having Peterson on board, however, only will increase the Cards' chance to reach a lofty goal or two.
"We're not going to make any predictions about winning Super Bowls or doing anything like that," Kingsbury said. "We know where we are, where we have to go, and the hard work that has to go into this. But I like that Pat is excited."