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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Adrian Peterson moved on, but not backing down from ‘outcoached’ remarks

By Andrew Krammer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — After a healthy Adrian Peterson saw career lows in carries and playing time in Sunday’s blowout loss to Seattle, Mike Zimmer agreed that his best offensive player ‘probably should’ have received more work.

On Tuesday, Peterson didn’t back down from his claim the Vikings were ‘outcoached’ in the loss, seemingly a jab at the play calling that handed him 12 touches in 20 plays; he also made the same comments when he received just 13 carries in a loss to Green Bay last month.

Peterson, who leads the NFL with 245 carries, doesn’t feel his number has been called enough in recent losses, in which the Vikings have trailed by at least two scores before halftime.

“That’s the mindset of a player who wants to be great,” Peterson said. “You want to be able, when your number is called, to make plays. Of course I’d be frustrated when you think about eight carries. But we’re focused on Arizona and trying to get this thing back on the right track.”

The Vikings (8-4) have only consistently been on the right track, on offense, when Peterson is the engine driving the locomotive. They’re 8-0 when he has at least 19 carries, and 0-4 when he falls well below that. They haven’t gotten much from a passing attack led by second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who has been feeling the pressure behind a patchwork offensive line and a scheme committed to vertical routes from offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

So, Peterson has a point in wanting to shoulder more of the load when his team is trailing in games, since he’s the driving force — like 2012 — on a team likely headed for the playoffs. His lack of playing time in come-from-behind situations stems from a coaching staff unwilling to put him on the field in hurry-up or passing downs, seemingly because of his ineffectiveness as a pass blocker and receiver, two areas he’s struggled with throughout his career. For instance, on Sunday, Peterson mimed a carry on a play-action pass and ran into guard Brandon Fusco, who lost his grip on Frank Clark and surrendered a sack.

The Vikings predicate their offense on mistake-free football, and running with Peterson. But when they’re behind by multiple scores in games, their approach pulls Peterson off the field in favor of more well-rounded, though not as talented, backs in Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata. An ineffective passing game hasn’t allowed the Vikings to claw back, meaning Peterson stays on the sideline as the scores have become more lopsided in a 38-7 drubbing by Seattle and 30-13 loss to Green Bay.

Peterson didn’t back down from his ‘outcoached’ comments on Tuesday. However, he spent much more time talking about how he could’ve taken better advantage of the eight carries he had in Sunday’s blowout loss, including a pitch left in which he cut inside and into a swarm of Seahawks defenders, instead of using his speed to try and get the edge. “I look at that play, and I could have took that to the house,” Peterson said.

“I addressed how I felt about the situation and that was it,” Peterson said. “I came in Monday with a smile on my face, ready to roll and thinking about Arizona.”

The post Adrian Peterson moved on, but not backing down from ‘outcoached’ remarks appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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