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Patrick Peterson: 'I'm here to stay' with Cardinals

Patrick Peterson, once the face of the Arizona Cardinals, appeared headed for a divorce with the only team he's ever known in the NFL.

Things were bad in the desert. The Cardinals had fallen from near-.500 to the worst place in sports: last. At 28 years old and squarely in the prime of his career, Peterson didn't have time to waste.

But now that the Cardinals have taken a radically different path -- from defensive-minded head coach Steve Wilks to Air Raid hero Kliff Kingsbury, with Vance Joseph in tow as defensive coordinator -- Peterson doesn't want to go anywhere.

"I just want to apologize to everybody for asking for that trade in the middle of the season," Peterson told the crowd at the 16th hole of the Waste Management Phoenix Open Pro-Am on Wednesday, per the team's official site. "I'm here to stay, baby."

In case you didn't notice, it seemed as if Peterson started to slip from the consciousness of the league. When top corners were mentioned, sometimes people forgot Peterson because of the Cardinals' struggles. Those same struggles took a toll on Peterson, who went from essentially eliminating an opponent's top receiver to working more within a system.

"Being the type of player I am, I put so much into it in the offseason, and obviously I work on taking receivers out," Peterson said. "I was very limited in doing that, and that's what keeps me in the game. That's what keeps me energetic. I know I have something to look forward to on Sundays.

"Last year I kind of had that taken away from me, but now I think hiring Vance, and Mr. Bidwill getting some input from me, asking me what I think that can help this defense get back to what we were accustomed to doing -- that's what they did in the offseason. We're going to be in that 3-4, high-pressure, get-the-ball-out-of-the-quarterback's-hand-quickly (style), and have me on the No. 1 receivers."

Joseph struggled as a head coach in Denver, but his defenses were still effective at pressuring the quarterback. Joseph will go from coaching edge rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, to Chandler Jones, and will enjoy deploying the talents of Peterson, who's recorded 76 passes defensed and 23 interceptions in his eight seasons.

That's the first step to helping the Cardinals turn things around after finishing 3-13. They'll be taking those steps with Peterson near the front of their flock.

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