The Saints RB Coach Says It's A "Matter Of Time" Before Adrian Peterson Breaks Out, Which Is A Bold Faced Lie
PFT- Through his first four games as a member of the Saints, there’s been little sign that running back Adrian Peterson has a lot of juice left in the tank.
Peterson has 27 carries for 81 yards, including four yards on four carries against the Dolphins last week, and the Saints have had more success when they give the ball to Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Given those trends, one might expect the team to lower their expectations for what Peterson is going to bring to the offense this season.
Running backs coach Joel Thomas says that’s not the case, however.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Thomas said, via Herbie Teope of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “I really feel like this block, it’s going to break. We just have to keep on chipping and you keep grinding, keep getting after something and ultimately something positive is going to come out of this.”
Peterson played six snaps against the Dolphins in a 20-0 win that would seem to offer the kind of opportunity to get Peterson work that might not exist in closer games. If he’s not playing there, it’s hard to think he’ll be playing a lot at any time unless an injury shakes up the backfield mix.
A matter of time, huh? I understand that Adrian Peterson's position coach doesn't stand to do himself any favors by publicly stating that Adrian Peterson is a footnote in the Saints' offense. Luckily, I'm not tasked with keeping him motivated in case his services are eventually needed so I can say that - for the 32 year old running back who is far and away the third priority in a crowded backfield - time is the matter.
Personally, I don't think that 'AD' yet stands for 'All Done', but the only way he's truly "breaking out" is if his runs are through a field of poison ivy or a gaggle of unclean women. Assuming Mark Ingram remains healthy (::knocks on wood::), there's just not going to be enough touches available to get him going. It's no coincidence that the team has looked better offensively with Alvin Kamara's ever-expanding role, and they aren't going to sacrifice his development to give insanely predictable snaps to someone that needs far too many of them to be effective.
Now, that doesn't mean there isn't an 80-90 yard performance in his near future, because I think he still has the timeless talent to provide that (as shown below)...
However, even if there is, it would most certainly be the outlier. It took a Mark Ingram ball security issue to get Tim Hightower going last season, and Adrian Peterson is simply a vastly superior player filling that same less than significant role. I think I speak for all Saints' fans, players, and (running back) coaches (who aren't at liberty say so) when I say that the team is probably better off if he continues to do so. That might read as an indictment of the future HOFer, but it's really just a commendation of the players ahead of him who are balling their asses without needing a historically versatile playbook catered to their skill set.
Live and learn, I suppose. A Sean Payton offense is no place for an aging back that is trying to re-prove himself as one of the best to ever tote the rock. In retrospect, we probably should have known.