Adrian Peterson wants to play special teams
Simply put, Adrian Peterson is a freak of nature. If you didn’t think so before this season, you need look no further than the way he recovered from a torn ACL. Peterson rushed for over 2,000 yards this year after suffering a major knee injury late in the 2011 season. Very few — if any — players would be able bounce back that quickly and become a legitimate MVP contender.
Peterson has cemented himself as the NFL’s best running back, but he wants more. The 27-year-old wants to contribute on special teams as well.
“For the past two years, I’ve been trying to get in on field goal block,” Peterson recently told the Associated Press. “Come in off the edge, you know? It’s just going to take one block for them to really be like, ‘OK, you know what? Let’s take the chance and let you go out there and get it done.’ Kickoff return, I wouldn’t mind getting back there. I’m in it to win.”
That’s never going to happen. Because he is such a fierce competitor, I believe that Peterson is serious in wanting to give special teams a try. Special teams coach Mike Priefer said Peterson has asked him for a shot many times, but it’s not Priefer’s call.
“He always asks,” Priefer said. “He’s a football player. Gunner, field goal block, returner. The guy is awesome. I always say yes, and then I ask the head coach and he says no. I know what the answer is going to be. I don’t even have to ask.”
A.P. returned some kicks his during his rookie season and once during his second year in the league, but I’m sure Leslie Frazier hasn’t even considered using him in that role since. Frazier can’t afford to risk getting his best player hurt — not that any injury would prevent Peterson from remaining one of the best running backs in NFL history. Remember, Eric Dickerson — he’s still coming for you.