Zimmer: Adrian Peterson can handle “same role” in 2016

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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.

30 responses to “Zimmer: Adrian Peterson can handle “same role” in 2016

  1. And nothing really needs to change with him on the field other than holding on to the dang ball.

  2. As long as the predictable play-calling changes. When you run AP on 70% of your first down plays, it doesn’t exactly cause the opposing defense to take your passing game seriously.

    As a Viking fan, I don’t give a rip how many carries Peterson gets next year. I want to see a more potent offense, an offensive line that can pass-block, and more passing plays, especially on first down.

  3. AP is one of the best running backs to ever play, but it just really seems like he’s holding this team back. Sky’s the limit for this team but when he’s demanding the ball, there’s no room for growth.

  4. Trade him before he has zero value. That is the most logical option. The 2014 offense was just about as good without him.

    He also chokes in big games. Has there ever been a more talented player that the whole fan base cringes to see on the field in the last 2 minutes of a game?

  5. That’s exactly what the Vikings need. More responsibility in the teenie hands of Teddy. If I was the coach, I would give AD the ball 30 times a game. 4 yard run, 4 yard pass, no real difference.

  6. Absolutely he will do just as well! Look at all the rasslers who were champions in their 40’s, 50’s, or even 60’s like Verne Gagne was back when his AWA center was right here in sophisticated Minnesota! The Vikings have no reason to “switch,” even if Adrian does!!

  7. What Zimmer said:

    “I think he can handle the same role he’s had.”

    What Zimmer did not say but was thinking:

    “But he’s going to be taking his handoffs out of the shotgun and maybe he won’t get the ball on every single first down.”

  8. As a diehard Viking fan, I would like to see AP have less, but more effective roles in games moving forward. Norv is an idiot, simply put. He gameplanned going into the seahawks game to run the ball at all costs. The problem with that, is that the seahags had the #1 rush defense in the nfl. What do you do in your gameplan to combat a great run defense, but an average at best pass defense? You spread the defense out and attack downfield on early downs with your very good wr & te groups. The seahawks do not have enough talent in their secondary to matchup with all the talent we had if it were used properly. The Vikes could run a 3-4 wr set, with 1 te, and at least 2 of those players would be running freely all day. Not in Norv’s world though. He insists on inserting a square peg into a round hole, and the results were obvious…AP getting his carries, the defense consistently applying 8,9 and on some runs, 10 man boxes to stop him. 23 carries for 45 yds. You would think that at least at halftime, when AP was averaging 1+ yds per carry, that the all mighty Norv would’ve scrapped the horrid scheme, and adjusted by going pass happy against a defense incapable of defending it….but he never did, and Blair Walsh was a scapegoat for a loss that never should have even been a close contest to begin with.

  9. Oh man, I hope he whips Teddy with that switch. We need all the help we can get with our overrated QB. Teddy couldn’t throw a ball 15 yard if his life depended on it! I hope Walsh has being stepping his game up because FGs are the only way we can score!

  10. The key with Peterson is consistency, for example, he consistently fumbles in playoff games and those fumbles are consistently killers. And thus, the Vikings consistently lose. See how that all works?

  11. cheeseisfattening says:
    Feb 25, 2016 2:58 PM
    McCarthy: Lacy better not eat the “same amount of rolls” in 2016

    Wide Left.

  12. I like and trust Coach Zimmer. But I’m not sure AP is the best fit for the Vikings. Sure he won the rushing title but he also had the highest amount of carries, had the most amount of carries for a loss and had the most fumbles. In addition, where was he for the games against good teams (Packers and Seattle)? He only had one game over 70 yards rushing in the last six they played this year.

    What Zimmer says is very true. The holes from the OLine are few and far in between. With a better OLine, I am sure Peterson would do better. However, it is public knowledge that AP likes the QB to be behind center. The QB (Bridgewater) is more comfortable in the shot gun. Why continue to limit the QB with a 31 year old running back that may have shown he started to wear down when you have what seems to be a capable RB behind him as well as a pretty darn good free agent in Lamar Miller that was screwed in Miami due to their game plans. Yeah, their OLine sucked as well.

    In my humble opinion, the Vikes should seek a trade for AP now while his value is decent after winning the rushing title. Get Miller in free agency and have a RBBC between he and McKinnon. Sure up the OLine and move forward.

  13. usdcoyotesfan says:

    Peterson is a self-admitted child abuser who should be in prison.

    Then who is going to fumble at the critical moments of a game? Come on, they can’t rely on Blair Walsh to miss 27 yard FG’s all the time.

    Or can they?

  14. The REAL vikingforlife writing here: Zim knows what he is doing! Have faith in what this man does with this team, people. I certainly do. Stop your constant criticism of AP and fumbling-look up stats you boneheads! With the amount of carries he gets and has gotten his numbers are low as far as fumbling goes compared to other RBs! And seriously, Teddy B is just fine as well, learning and progressing each time he goes out there. AP is not getting traded. Live with it. And no, he does NOT belong in prison.

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