Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has averaged less than 30 catches a season so far in his NFL career, but with a new coaching staff in Minnesota, Peterson may find himself having more passes thrown his way.
Offensive coordinator Norv Turner said he wants to do more than just hand the ball to Peterson and let him run into an eight-man front, and the best way to get Peterson the ball in space may be to pass it to him.
“A big part of that is finding ways for Adrian to not have to run in such crowded areas all the time. He’s going to have to do that, that’s part of his job, he’s the best in the league at it. But if we can get him more space we can take advantage of his great abilities,” Turner said, via 1500ESPN.com. “He’s got good hands, I think he’s comfortable with the routes that we would ask him to run. It’s certainly not the lead part of what we’re doing. We threw a screen to him yesterday that was as nicely set up as you could ask for and the linemen got out in front. If we can get him in space like that throughout a game, throughout the season it will help all of us.”
Head coach Mike Zimmer said he’s been surprised to see just how natural a receiver Peterson is.
“The way he catches the ball is very, very good, I didn’t know what kind of receiver he was,” Zimmer said. “I think I’ve seen him drop one ball the whole time [in three days of minicamp]. . . . Obviously, when he’s got the ball in the hands he’s extremely dangerous. I think he caught one out here today on a flat route or a swing route.”
Peterson could become even more dangerous if the Vikings can find more ways to get him the ball. Now the only question is whether the Vikings have the right quarterback to throw to Peterson.