Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson retreats for the ball for a drill during Tuesday's OTA practice.
With only a couple of workouts left in the 2016 offseason, Patrick Peterson wanted to get back on the field.
The all-pro cornerback had spent all of OTAs as a coach instead of player after ankle surgery. But Tuesday, as the Cardinals opened their mandatory minicamp, Peterson became a player again. It was just individual drills – team work will
have to wait until training camp – but it was important.
"It was a goal so I could be at peace," Peterson said. "When you have ankle surgery, and my job as a corner is based on cutting and explosiveness, you want to make sure you are comfortable."
"I definitely wanted to get out to do some individual (drills) in minicamp. Goal accomplished."
Peterson said being ready to go full speed in training camp July 29 will not be an issue. If the Cardinals had offseason work beyond this week, Peterson probably could've done that, coach Bruce Arians said.
"He'll be fine," Arians said.
It's a start for the banged-up secondary. Fellow cornerback Justin Bethel remains sidelined with a foot injury, although he is expected to also be ready at the outset of camp. Safety Tyrann Mathieu's status to begin camp remains uncertain after ACL surgery, but he said he began doing some drills last week and has made nice progress.
Peterson will be waiting for them.
"Once training camp comes around, I'll be 100 percent," he said. "I just wanted to get out there and not be self-conscious about doing the things I've done before, before we get out there to Glendale. The ankle feels great."
MINICAMP MEANS ONE FIELD
The Cardinals had minicamp practice Tuesday morning and a walkthrough in the afternoon. That's the schedule for the next two days, before the team breaks for the summer.
Arians said the Cardinals finished their practice 30 minutes early, despite adding 30 reps to a normal OTA script. Between on-field and off-field work, the rules of practice don't really change in minicamp, other than teams can keep players for a 10-hour day instead of six.
The increase in on-field time in addition to the soaring temperatures meant a change. After using two fields most of OTAs, Arians has pulled back to just one and splitting up the reps, not wanting to overwork players and potentially have soft tissue injuries that could linger into camp.
"The young guys have had their share of reps (already)," Arians said.
HOPING FOR A SMOKEY FINISH
Arians was blunt when he was asked what third-year receiver John "Smokey" Brown needed to do to improve.
"Finish the season," Arians said.
"He probably had a 1,400-yard season and he didn't have as good of a December/January as he should have had," Arians added.
Brown ended up with 1,003 yards on 65 receptions, although he had just 108 yards in the final three games of the year.
"I think he was pressing to get that 1,000 yards and he should have had 1,400 easy," Arians said.
ROSTER MOVE AS RECEIVERS CHANGE
The Cardinals made a roster move Tuesday, waiving undrafted rookie wide receiver Jeff Beathard and signing wide receiver Rico Richardson. Richardson played in six games with the Tennessee Titans over the last two seasons.