Adrian Peterson Wants the Ball in the Passing Game Too


May 29, 2013; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs drills at organized team activities at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson is already about 95% of the Vikings’ offense. But that’s not enough for the 2012 MVP. He wants to be even more involved. He wants Christian Ponder to start finding him through the air as well as sticking it in his belly on hand-offs.

Peterson wants to explode the myth that he is not a good receiver. “A lot of people have this misconception that ‘Adrian cannot catch the ball,’ and that’s so false” Peterson said (charmingly referring to himself in the third person). “They’ve really never thrown it to the running backs [in Minnesota]. But [Brett] Favre believed in us more and he [was] checking it down to us and getting the ball in our hand in the open field.”

Sounds like a great idea. Get the ball into Adrian’s hands in the open field and let him make something happen. Oh but wait. Christian Ponder is the quarterback now, not Brett Favre. See that’s the problem with the plan right there. Favre actually went through his progressions and had a chance to find Adrian and Chester Taylor open where they could do some damage. Ponder’s more of a one-read guy at this point in his career.

Thanks to Ponder’s limitations, it seems the only way Adrian will get the ball more is if Bill Musgrave dials up more screens. But frankly the Vikings are not good at screens. And Adrian isn’t reliable enough as a blocker to be left in on third downs where his presence as a checkdown option in the passing game might be felt more.

So how realistic is Adrian’s dream of becoming a more multi-dimensional weapon? Not very realistic. Unless Ponder gets a whole lot better. Or the clock winds back to 2009.

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