Cornerback Patrick Peterson said he knows he can improve his play.
Patrick Peterson said there is only one play he'd like to have back when he was going against Washington last weekend, and that was the obvious: The slant to DeSean Jackson that ultimately went for 64 yards and a touchdown, when Peterson said he didn't get his head around fast enough.
Other than that, the Pro Bowl cornerback said – and was echoed by defensive coordinator Todd Bowles – he felt he played pretty well.
Peterson disputed the idea his focus might be lagging at times, but said he understood the scrutiny he has received. He also said he
understands he needs to play better.
"It comes with the territory, with being the highest paid cornerback in the league and being recognized as one of the top cornerbacks," Peterson said Thursday. "Is that something I might shy away from? Not at all. Is that something I am scared of? Am I worried about the concerns or the criticisms? Not at all. We have 11 more games to go. I have a lot of games left to improve, because I do believe I am not playing to the best of my ability right now. That's definitely going to change."
Signing his big contract extension during training camp has intensified the spotlight on Peterson's play. But he said the new deal has not added pressure, in fact making it easier just to concentrate on the playing side of football.
Bowles also waved away the idea the contract could be a burden, saying Peterson was his own harshest critic.
"I don't really think he's playing bad," Bowles said. "He's had a play or two to clean up."
What Peterson does do, Bowles said, is allow the defense to get creative inside because Peterson can stay with his man by himself while Bowles might dial up a blitz or stuff the box with defenders.
"I think he's handling everything well," safety Tyrann Mathieu said. "He's on that level he can't have a bad game, people can't go for a 60-yard touchdown on him. He holds himself accountable, our coaches hold him accountable, I hold him accountable as a little brother to him. He doesn't want it to happen anymore."
Peterson said he's had to adjust his prep now that he's basically staying on one side of the field – after the Cardinals added Antonio Cromartie – instead of following one receiver around all game like he had in years past.
But the idea of staying out on an island, the possibility of making or giving up a big play every day, appeals to him. Even if it sometimes comes with criticism.
"I am a man-to-man guy," Peterson said. "I want to be in your face, I want the best receiver. That's how I was brought up."
CAMPBELL BEING SMART WITH KNEE
Defensive end Calais Campbell said the "door is open for me for sure" to return to playing a week from
Sunday when Philadelphia visits University of Phoenix Stadium, but in light of his MCL strain, Campbell isn't guaranteeing anything.
"I don't want to go too hard and have a hiccup," he said.
Campbell is jogging and the swelling has gone down considerably on his knee.
"I feel a lot better, but it's still a process," Campbell said. "It won't be that I wake up one day and feel amazing. When I do come back, I'll have to deal with some discomfort."
CARLSON, RUCKER BACK ON FIELD
Defensive tackle Alameda Ta'amu did not practice because he was sick. Wide receiver John Brown was also added to the injury report with a hamstring issue, although he fully practiced.
The Cardinals did get some players a little healthier Thursday. Tight end John Carlson (knee) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (calf) were upgraded to limited work, and wide receiver Michael Floyd (groin) and linebacker Alex Okafor (quad) were upgraded to full practice.
Still limited were Peterson, quarterback Carson Palmer (shoulder), running back Andre Ellington (foot) and linebacker Glenn Carson (ankle).
For the Raiders, five players did not practice: tackle Kahlif Barnes (quad), wide receiver Vincent Brown (hamstring), cornerback Keith McGill (groin), fullback Marcel Reece (quad) and defensive tackle Justin Tuck (knee).