In­side

Adrian Peter­son con­cerned with learn­ing Saints’ of­fense.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SPORTS -

METAIRIE, La. — Adrian Peter­son sounds far more con­cerned with his abil­ity to pick up the New Or­leans Saints’ dy­namic of­fense than whether he can still run over and through would-be tack­lers.

Af­ter get­ting a day off from prac­tice on Sat­ur­day, Peter­son dis­missed the idea that he would need to play in a pre­sea­son game to demon­strate he was still phys­i­cally ca­pa­ble of run­ning the ball as pow­er­fully as he did with the Min­nesota Vik­ings for most of the past decade.

Still, he wants to play in the pre­sea­son to gauge how well he un­der­stands the con­cepts of a dy­namic Saints of­fense that has con­sis­tently ranked among the NFL’s best for 11 straight sea­sons.

“I’m healthy, with­out a doubt,” Peter­son as­serted. “When it comes to the phys­i­cal part of it, I don’t think that’s go­ing to be an is­sue.”

“It’s more men­tally fully un­der­stand­ing the of­fense be­cause Drew Brees, he’s a gen­eral back there and he talks so fast when he calls plays.”

With min­i­mal tack­ling al­lowed at Saints train­ing camp so far, Peter­son, 32, hasn’t had many chances to demon­strate the ex­tent to which he still pos­sesses one of the most renowned as­pects of his game — the abil­ity to use a com­bi­na­tion of hard cuts, lever­age and strength to shake off tack­lers and get ex­tra yards — some­times in bunches.

Yet Coach Sean Pay­ton said a lack of tack­ling hasn’t en­tirely un­der­mined his abil­ity to eval­u­ate what kind of pro­duc­tion he can ex­pect from Peter­son, a seven-time 1,000-yard rusher who once rushed for more than 2,000 yards in a sea­son. But he also missed most of last sea­son with the Vik­ings be­cause of a knee in­jury.

“I feel pretty com­fort­able with where I think he is,” Pay­ton said,

ad­ding that eval­u­at­ing Peter­son is “fur­ther down on the list of my con­cerns.”

AP/JONATHAN BACHMAN

Run­ning back Adrian Peter­son (28), moves to the New Or­leans Saints this sea­son af­ter spend­ing his en­tire ca­reer to this point with the Min­nesota Vik­ings, said he is more con­cerned with pick­ing up the con­cepts of Coach Sean Pay­ton’s of­fense rather than his phys­i­cal tough­ness.

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