Adrian Peterson signed with the Washington Redskins on Monday, and a former college teammate apparently wants hims a teammate again.
The Washington Redskins are clearly looking for a healthy running back, as multiple injuries have depleted their current depth. Adrian Peterson visited the team on Monday, with visual evidence of Peterson in Redskins’ gear via the Instagram feed of cornerback Quenton Dunbar.
Washington All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams was a college teammate at Oklahoma with Peterson, and they trained together this offseason at a gym they own in Houston. So it’s easy to assume Williams has some thoughts on the possibility of a reunion, in light of the Redskins’ starting to seek outside help at running back, bringing Peterson in for a visit and now reportedly signing him on Monday.
According to Matthew Paras of The Washington Times, Williams advocated for his friend and offered a succinct punchline regarding the perception surrounding Peterson.
I don’t understand the stigma when people get 31, 32, 33 — they somehow just slow down?” “You don’t. That’s a gifted athlete, you know? He has a gift. Did Darrell Green ever lose his speed? He didn’t. Some things are just always with you. It’s you, it’s your makeup, it’s your DNA. … So, no, he’s the same athlete that you’re used to seeing.
“He hasn’t slowed down a step.”
Peterson never was a very versatile running back, and now his impact as a pure workhorse runner has diminished. In 10 games for the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals last year, he averaged 3.4 yards per carry. He had a couple great games early in his run with the Cardinals, with 134 yards against Tampa Bay and 159 yards against San Francisco, but that just shows how bad he was in the other games before a neck injury ended his season early.
Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has suggested the team is not necessarily looking for a starting running back, which would surely not fit with how Peterson envisions himself. But Williams went amateur general manager to address that matter too.
You don’t bring a guy like that in to be depth. You don’t,” “So whatever role he’s given, I’m pretty sure he would go with it. But if he’s coming in here and they sign him, he’s coming in to help.“He’s not coming in to fill up the last few spots on the roster.
Washington’s No. 1 plan for this year was to have rookie Derrius Guice step into a lead role and help improve last year’s 28th-ranked rushing attack. That plan is on the scrap heap now because of Guice’s ACL tear, to be revisited in 2019.
Williams clearly hasn’t watched Peterson play lately. If he had, he would know his college teammate will only take opportunities away from someone else who could contribute more (see Alvin Kamara in 2017).