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Adrian Peterson, arguably the most prolific running back in the NFL over the past decade, is now a New Orleans Saint, and the backup running back in a pass-first offense.

Peterson has never been known as a receiving threat out of the backfield, and his pass protection has been below average at best. Over his last three full seasons (2014 & 2016 were abbreviated due to suspension and injury), Peterson had a total of 99 catches and 2 receiving touchdowns. When compared to the younger, less experienced, Mark Ingram, who put up 125 receptions and 4 touchdowns over the same span, it is clear that Peterson has yet to master the skill.

The question that needs to be asked is, what would provoke a “once in a lifetime” runner, who lacks value in the passing game, to sign with a team that wants to stretch a defense and run only when the situation warrants? The answer: a chance to prolong a career and hoist a trophy that has eluded him for far too long, despite his individual success.

The Canonization Of Adrian Peterson

At the age of 32, Adrian Peterson falls into a category that most experts would call “past his prime”. He would politely disagree with this label, despite coming off his second major knee surgery less than a year ago.

The first hurdle in Peterson’s quest for a Super Bowl ring is understanding that 200 plus carries a season is no longer going to get him there, and that those days are long gone.

Second, he will need to understand that he is no longer the focal point of the offense, and his role is now going to be complimentary to Drew Brees and Mark Ingram.

Third, in order to accomplish the previous two items, his pride will need to be left in his locker, because if Adrian Peterson is to succeed, his ego will have no place in the Big Easy.

With Ingram already in place, and vaunted pass catching rookie, Alvin Kamara, chomping at the bit,  Peterson will have to adapt to an offensive philosophy that has been a staple in New Orleans since the arrival of Brees in 2006.

The Saints see Peterson as an answer to the question that plagues every NFL front office, “How do we get back to a Super Bowl?” In 2009 the Saints ran the ball 468 times on the way to the Lombardi Trophy, a number they have failed to match since. Head coach, Sean Payton, sees an opportunity to have a healthy backfield for the length of the season; this starts with a capable group of running backs who can run or catch the ball when called upon.

This is a new world for one of the most gifted runners the NFL has ever seen. But, if approached with an open mind, Adrian Peterson may have a chance to make a run at the one thing he is missing, an NFL championship.

Danny Rendon

Author Danny Rendon

Sports writer and Navy Vet from Gilroy, CA. Currently residing in the High Desert of Southern California.

More posts by Danny Rendon

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • John says:

    Excellent read, well done.

  • Mike says:

    Drew Bree’s isn’t getting any younger. They are going to run a lot more this year . I wouldn’t doubt if they run 15+ a game. That will give Bree’s a great opportunity to throw . Great article.

  • Jarrod says:

    Is there really a chance for him to win a championship when you have to run into the falcons twice a year?
    This doesn’t look to me like he went to a team that wouldn’t run him like crazy this looks to me like a guy making a desperate attempt at a career resurgence.
    This team at running back is like a band aid for one season AP may do nothing Ingram is coming off of his best season rushing of his career he must feel like his starting job is in jeopardy lets see how he reacts to this. One last point Ingram will be 28 this season that’s not a young buck for a RB
    This team could be looking at a top 5 pick not a championship

    The long term future of the position is going to the first round talent Kamara.

    One last note Brees could get hurt this season and the back up is chase Daniel are you comfortable as a fan to see what he could do in a usually great offense because I am not.

  • Jarrod says:

    This team that has to play the falcons twice a year and the Buccs who are on the rise really could make a superbowl? not likely they may even come last in the NFC South

    This choice for him to join the Saints may just be out of desperation no one wanted to give the proven hurt RB past his prime.
    The Saints RB situation is a Band aid right now they have Mark Ingram who will be 28 this year coming off his best rushing season but you add 2 RB what does that do for his confidence?

    Kamara a first round talent projected higher by most teams before the draft will be the long term future of this team and he has the ability to catch out of the backfield.

    This team lost Brandin cooks that’s no easy loss even though he was seldom targeted he is a play maker with elite speed.

    Then lets move on to the QB Brees is one of the best QBs to ever play the game but the guy is 38 will be turning 39 toward the end of the season. Tom brady excluded almost no one does well at this age and if he gets hurt is Chase Daniel the Answer?
    this team is set up for Failure and should of drafted a QB in this draft and at the latest next Season.

  • Ryan says:

    This is a great read, well done.

  • Kevin says:

    Perhaps AP can learn to catch a ball out of the backfield and surprise with versatility. Seriously doubt he will make much of a difference unless Ingram goes down. Amazing player to watch when he peaked.

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