It hasn’t been very long since Norv Turner was named the Minnesota Vikings new offensive coordinator, but it sounds like he is already working on making things better on the offensive side of the ball. And, of course, when you talk about the offense in Minnesota, you are mostly likely talking about Adrian Peterson.
“He’s run the ball in closed-in quarters with a lot of defenders there and he makes a lot of long runs, making people miss or running over people,” Turner said. “It’s hard to do, but we would like to get him in space and getting the field spread a little bit better for for him.”
Fans have wondered for a long time why Peterson hasn’t been used more in the passing game. “Purple Jesus” hasn’t been used as a pass catcher very often since Brett Favre was the team’s quarterback. In 2009 and 2010, Peterson totaled 777 receiving yards and was a legitimate threat to be thrown to. That kind of fear could help spread out defenses a bit more.
That’s not to say that Peterson won’t be as effective running the football, either. When a team commits to stopping the run, they will have to deal with the Vikings aerial assault, which is more deadly when it involves Peterson.
“You have to be good in enough things so that when a team overplays the run, you can throw it,” Turner said. “Having a runner like Adrian can and should able to help a young quarterback. It can be a hindrance sometimes because if you aren’t giving him the ball, it’s like you aren’t trying to win. Those are things that I’ve tried to manage.”
Norv Turner knows very well what Adrian Peterson is capable of. He was on the sidelines when Peterson broke the NFL record for most rushing yards in a game against the San Diego Chargers back on November 4th of 2007. Adrian lit up Turner’s former team, the San Diego Chargers, while Norv was left on the sidelines to watch in amazement. This is something that Turner will be reminded of every day when he comes to work for the Vikings. Inside the team offices for the team, there is a large photograph of Peterson that was taken during that game and Turner can be seen in the photo watching Peterson work his magic.
Now we get to see what Turner can do when he is on the same sideline as Peterson. By the sound of things, big things could be in store for both these gentlemen this coming season.