PHOENIX – When the Cardinals drafted Patrick Peterson with the No. 5 overall pick in 2011, they fully expected the LSU standout to be a fixture at the Pro Bowl.
Sunday in Phoenix, Peterson played in his fourth Pro Bowl of his four-year career.
When the Cowboys drafted Peterson's former teammate Morris Claiborne with the No. 6 overall pick in 2012, they certainly expected the same results.
After three seasons, it's safe to say Claiborne's career has been disappointing and well below the lofty expectations. This past year, Claiborne suffered a torn ACL in the team's fourth game, putting him on season-ending injured reserve.
But if there's anyone who thinks Claiborne can get back on track, it's definitely Peterson.
"First of all, I definitely think Morris can turn the corner," Peterson said this week from the Pro Bowl. "He's got all the talent. He's been battling injuries since he got into the league. If you want to play in this league at a high level, one, you have to play with a healthy body. Two, you have to play with a clear mind. Three, you just have to play with confidence."
And of those three aspects, from afar, Peterson said it's probably a combination of health and confidence.
"At the end of the day, I think he was lacking, honestly, in confidence because he couldn't stay healthy," Peterson said. "That comes with the territory of the game. But, he has more than enough ability to get the job done. He's always been compared to me, (being drafted) sixth and I was fifth. We both went to LSU. He won the Jim Thorpe (Award) and I won the Jim Thorpe. There's always going to be a bunch of comparisons. But he is his own player. He has his own unique way of playing the game at a high level.
"My line is always open. I have an open line of communication. I always used to tell him, especially with him being a high draft pick, you have to go in there with a chip on your shoulder still because your team is expecting so much of you and the players are looking at you and trying to take your position. You don't have to fight everybody, but you have to have that mentality that it's you vs. everybody."
Entering his fourth season, Claiborne should be rehabbed from his knee injury in time to compete at training camp. If he can do that, he's got at least one former teammate in Arizona pulling for him.
"He's just got to stay healthy. That's the main thing with Morris," Peterson reiterated. "He's got the ability and all the intangibles in the world."