Adrian Peterson. Anyone and everyone who has watched professional football over the last decade has heard that name. You could say he is still one of the most gifted players playing in the league today. Or, you could say he was possibly one of the most wasted talents by one team in the millennium. Peterson ran for 11,600 yards (97.5 p/game) in 2,360 carries from 2007-2013, 2015. (Remove 2014 ACL Season) That equates to 4.92 yards per attempt in those 8 seasons. That ranks 5th in NFL history among running backs with at least 1,000 carries at the end of the 2015 season. Going along with that stat line, AP had 95 touchdowns (1.25 p/game) in that span.
So far, his career has been a human highlight film. Since moving on from the Vikings in 2016, AP has been a shell of himself rushing for only 529 yards in 156 attempts (3.4 YPC & 52.9 YPG). Dysfunction arose in New Orleans when he was given a shot as a secondary option to Mark Ingram etc. After a brief stint down in the big easy, he moved to Arizona to see if that could be his new home. Let’s just say those last six games were hardly any better. We saw a couple flashes of brilliance with two games over 130+ yards, and three of those six with an above 4.0 yards per carry average. Problem was, the other three games he averaged under 2.0 yards per attempt. With that, it concluded his time as a Cardinal.
So here we stand in the third week of the 2018 preseason and one of the most exciting and transcendent players of the millennium has landed on his third team in the last 11 months. The Washington Redskins had a plan, draft Guice and all is well. It was well, for a handful of carries until he tore his ACL. Then it was the “next man up mentality.” Oh wait, Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall go down in preseason game two. What is more “Redskins Front Office” than signing a former star past their prime? Nothing. Why not? It worked with Shaun Alexander! NOPE. Well it did with Willie Parker! Not quite. What is there to say about this signing? Let me give you my two cents.
Adrian Peterson has to realize that this is most likely his last shot to continue padding those Hall of Fame numbers. You were given a shot to become a Redskin because of injury and having little options for a power back in our system under Gruden. Take it and literally run with it! You will be playing behind multiple pro-bowl caliber linemen, a veteran quarterback who knows how to win games and a defense that is much improved from the last three seasons.
Peterson will be a better option than Rob Kelley. He is bigger, faster and stronger than “Fat Rob.” Yes, he is much older but with some of the best pass catchers for third down situations, you won’t need AP to run between the tackles 25-30 times a game like he did in Minnesota. If he wants to maximize his production in D.C., he has to understand that this role is to make the most impact with those 15-20 carries he will get during the game. The offense will hum quite nicely if they can somehow sustain a between the tackles running attack this season.
Some of what I am saying is opinion based, I get it. But, you have to think “what are we supposed to say about the move?” Nothing has happened yet. It’s all speculation. It is all opinion based until he shows us some of that magic that electrified the NFL some time ago.