The moment from Adrian Peterson’s debut with the New Orleans Saints that went viral was Peterson yelling something to coach Sean Payton on the sideline, and Payton wheeling around and saying something back.
It looked worse than it was, apparently. That doesn’t mean Peterson was thrilled with how his first Saints game went.
It wasn’t hard for Peterson to keep count of how many snaps he played against the Minnesota Vikings, his former team. He played just nine downs.
“I didn’t sign up for nine snaps, though, but unfortunately that’s the way the game played out,” Peterson said, according to the New Orleans Advocate. “In my mind, personally, I knew it was gonna take some adjusting.”
The marriage between the Saints and Peterson always seemed a bit odd. New Orleans already had Mark Ingram. Less than a week after signing Peterson, the Saints gave up a 2018 second-round pick so they could draft running back Alvin Kamara. Ingram and Kamara both played more than Peterson.
Peterson was obviously a star in high school. He was one of the best freshmen running backs in college football history, at Oklahoma. He was NFL offensive rookie of the year, and we know how his Vikings career went from there. It seems possible that Monday night was the first time in Peterson’s life he was third in the pecking order on a football field. He had six carries for 18 yards.
Peterson insists the dust-up with Payton didn’t have to do with his playing time, but Peterson commenting that the Saints needed to “run the ball up their donkey,” as he put it on Twitter. He said he and Payton were on the same page.
“It was definitely overdramatized,” Peterson said, according to the Advocate. “Of course, with the heat of the game, me being back in Minnesota and things like that, just catching that look – that intense look on my face, like I had – I actually got some laughs out of some of the memes that were made.”
Even if he and Payton aren’t sideways after a quick exchange of words Monday, it doesn’t mean the situation will be smooth going forward. Ingram is a good back and the team likes the talented rookie Kamara. Peterson was a workhorse in Minnesota; he surpassed 300 carries in a season four times with the Vikings. He might not get half of that this season.
It has been strange to see Peterson in a Saints jersey, after so many years with the Vikings. The situation itself with Peterson and the Saints is a bit strange, too.
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