Adrian Peterson is looking for a career resurgence in New Orleans, and if you believe his new teammates and coach, he’s on the way to finding it.
“He looks the same way he looked when I was watching him from the other sideline for all those years,” said John Kuhn, who spent many years as a fullback for the Packers before joining the ex-Viking Peterson in New Orleans, per ESPN. “He looks like the same old AP, and I’m just excited to see him in the same team colors.”
“He’s picked things up well,” Saints head coach Sean Payton said after Peterson’s initial OTA workouts. “He’s been here through the whole offseason program, he’s in good shape and moving around well. So it’s good to be able to get out and do some football movements and get that timing down. But he’s done well.”
Peterson, 32, is attempting to resuscitate his career at an age when most running backs are on the way out or already retired. The one-time Purple Jesus has seen his rep as First Guy Taken In Every Fantasy Draft damaged, perhaps beyond repair, but in New Orleans he’s got the opportunity to add a few more yards to his career total. In Saints OTAs, observers have reported that he’s been working at full speed with the first-team offense, and that he’s been catching more passes out of a nickel formation than he did in Minnesota. The idea of Peterson in the open field is an intriguing one, and could add a new dimension to New Orleans’ offense.
Here, via the Saints’ official Twitter account, is some video of Peterson in action:
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 25, 2017
It’s worth remembering that Peterson has played only 20 of a possible 48 games over the past three seasons, missing most of last year with injury and most of 2014 because of suspension. As a result, he believes he’s got less mileage on him than other running backs of his age … and he holds little respect for the “after age 30” line in the sand. “This is one thing that I really dislike about the NFL is how people kind of put guys in a box — especially running backs after that [age] 30 mark,” Peterson said in a conference call last month. “So in my mind, I feel like I have a lot of years left.”
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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at email@example.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.