Adrian Peterson concerned with learning Saints’ offense.
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.”
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.