Schlereth: By signing Peterson, are Cardinals trying to win 2009 NFC title?
Trading for New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson has drawn a mixed reaction.
Some think it’s a bad move because the longtime Minnesota Vikings RB has his best days behind him. Others think it’s a great move with hope he can get back to his All-Pro days. And others say, what’s the harm?
Fox Sports football analyst Mark Schlereth didn’t hold back his negative outlook on the Arizona Cardinals’ recent acquisition when joining Bickley and Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station Thursday.
“You guys trying to win the 2009 NFC Championship? Is that what we’re going after? If that’s the case, then you guys are golden out there,” Schlereth said. “I think there were a lot of teams that kicked the tires on Adrian Peterson. They watched the film, they saw no explosion. I think there are a couple of things that you have to look at. I think I always look at the fit of a guy and I look at who you’re replacing in (David) Johnson and that guy may be the second-best receiver and route runner you have on your team.”
The Cardinals acquired Peterson from the Saints on Tuesday, giving up a conditional 2018 sixth-round pick, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
Peterson has had a long and successful career, rushing for almost 12,000 yards and 97 touchdowns. Now in his 12th year in the NFL, Peterson has averaged 4.8 yards per carry over that span.
There’s no questioning his past running ability. The questions come about his age and what else he can bring to a team.
“Adrian Peterson, one, has never been a blitz pickup guy. He just has never been interested in doing it and he’s horrible at it,” Schlereth said. “He can’t catch the football. I don’t know what he has left in the tank, but just from a pure fit standpoint, I think the fit’s bad. And then obviously the offensive line there in Arizona is one of the worst rated offensive lines in football, so I mean you got an old back, what is he 32 years old? You got very little tread left on the tires in a system that doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me. Good luck.”
The Cardinals rank last in the NFL in rushing with 259 yards on 100 carries — just 51.8 yards per game. Eighteen players in the league have more yardage on the ground than Arizona does as a team.
Arizona has been struggling to move the ball in the run game since All-Pro running back David Johnson went down with a wrist injury in Week 1.
The offensive line has also struggled to stay healthy or perform. Nine different players have started on the offensive line through the season’s first five weeks, and the group has also allowed quarterback Carson Palmer to be sacked 19 times, tied for second-most in the league behind the Houston Texans (20).
Only time will tell, but a look at the numbers at least suggests Peterson’s arrival will benefit the Cardinals.