Running back Adrian Peterson returned to the Vikings in 2015 and he returned to his usual place as the focal point of the offense.
Peterson led the league with 327 rushing attempts during the regular season, marking the fourth time in his career that he’s crossed the 300-carry mark in a season. The team found a bit more work for Jerick McKinnon as the year progressed, but coach Mike Zimmer said Thursday that he doesn’t think there will be a major change in the way Peterson is used after he turns 31 next month.
What Zimmer does want to see is a better job of blocking for him from the offensive line.
“I think he can still handle the same role he’s had,” Zimmer said, via ESPN.com. “I think we have to do a better job of continuing to try to get him some more space to run in, so he’s not running into 100 guys all the time.”
The Vikings hired Tony Sparano as their offensive line coach this offseason in a bid to get better work up front during the 2016 season. A more effective passing game would also help create more space for Peterson. It would also probably shift the balance of the offense in a direction that would lead to fewer carries for Peterson, which wouldn’t be a bad thing for the growth of the Vikings offense overall.