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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Saints RB coach says it’s ‘matter of time’ before Adrian Peterson breaks out

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson has been close to a non-factor for the New Orleans Saints through the first four games of the season, but one member of the team’s coaching staff believes that is bound to change.

When asked about Peterson having only 81 rushing yards on 27 attempts this season, Saints running backs coach Joel Thomas said Tuesday that he believes it’s a “matter of time” before Peterson breaks out.

“It’s just a matter of time,” Thomas said, per Herbie Teope of the 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.”

That would be easier to believe if the Saints’ backfield wasn’t so crowded. Peterson appears to still have enough left in the tank to contribute, but it has become clear that he is not the preferred back in Sean Payton’s scheme. Mark Ingram has rushed for 170 yards on 42 attempts, and rookie pass-catching back Alvin Kamara has made the biggest impact of the three with 147 yards receiving on 20 catches and 83 rushing yards on 15 carries.

Thomas insists Peterson’s lack of involvement has been mostly about game flow, and he says the 32-year-old has handled it as well as possible.

“He’s been a professional about it,” Thomas said. “I mean, go to high school, go to college, go to pros: When was the last time he was kind of second fiddle in an offense?”

Peterson knew he would have to share carries with Ingram, but the emergence of Kamara has rendered him essentially useless. Unless there’s an injury in the Saints’ backfield, we’re more likely to hear remarks like this from Peterson than we are to see him make a huge impact.

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