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#pounditTuesday, August 11, 2020

NFL GM: Adrian Peterson could push Saints ‘into the playoffs and beyond’

Adrian Peterson

The New Orleans Saints may list Adrian Peterson as the No. 2 running back on their depth chart behind Mark Ingram, but there are at least a few NFL front office executives who expect A.P. to make a major impact with his new team.

Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report spoke with multiple front office executives and assistant coaches who feel the Saints and New England Patriots were the only teams that could utilize Peterson to his maximum potential. And now that the 32-year-old has signed with one of those teams, look out.

“Adrian Peterson is going to scare the league one more time,” an NFC assistant coach told Freeman. “Sean (Payton) will turn him back into the terror he once was.”

One NFL general manager took it a step further. With Peterson on board, he believes the Saints can go from a 7-9 team to a playoff contender and then some.

“This is the type of move that could put the Saints into the playoffs and beyond,” the GM said.

Peterson himself isn’t going to propel New Orleans to the playoffs. The Saints are always capable of putting up big numbers on offense, but their defense needs to improve. That said, Peterson can add another dangerous element to Payton’s offense if he looks more like his Pro Bowl self than the aging back we saw rush for just 1.9 yards per carry in limited action last season.

As Freeman notes, Peterson will be playing with a great quarterback for the first time. Drew Brees forces teams to not commit too heavily to the run, and that can only help A.P.

It will be interesting to see how Payton deploys both Peterson and Ingram. Neither is considered a pass-catching specialist, so there could be some issues in splitting up the backfield work. From a depth perspective, that is a great problem to have.

Peterson should be as motivated as ever right out of the gate, especially considering who his Week 1 opponent is. NFL fans could not have asked for a better place for the future Hall of Famer to end up.

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