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How To Manage Adrian Peterson? (UPDATE: Who Cares, He’s Superhuman)

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After the opening season performance of both Adrian Peterson and the Redskins’ OL, it seems pretty clear that he’s got enough left in the tank to be an effective weapon, as long as he’s healthy and the blocking in front of him holds up. 

But despite the impressive showing, it’s still impossible (or at least foolish) to look past his age, which at 33 (and a half) is well beyond the expected shelf life of an NFL RB. He got 26 carries, which for a full season would be a 416 carry pace. That’s extremely high for anyone, let alone a 33 year old. A few facts about RBs of advanced age in the NFL:

- Since 1990, the most rushing attempts in a season by a player age 32 or older was Emmitt Smith’s 267 carries in 2004. 

- Since 2000, Frank Gore and Emmitt Smith (2x each) are the only players to carry the ball 200+ times in a season at age 33 or older. The next highest total at that age was Warrick Dunn at 186.

- In the history of the sport, only 3 players age 33 or older have ever carried the ball even 130 times and averaged over 4 yds/carry (Marcus Allen 2x, Ricky Williams, Warrick Dunn).

-  AD’s two big games last season came after he had two weeks off (after he was traded and after the bye). His worst games came after the quick turnaround of a Thursday game. 

 

Not trying to be a buzzkill here, but the point is that though AD seems superhuman at times, he’s still just a man. It’s not reasonable to expect his body to be able to hold up to a workload like yesterday’s over the course of a full season. Even half of yesterday’s carries (13) would put him in line to be one of the greatest 33 year old workhorses in the last 2 decades (208 carries) if maintained over 16 games. 

So how would you handle him? Dial the carries way back, incorporate Kelley/Perine more, and hope AD holds up all season with more limited work? Rest/sit him entirely for certain games like they do in the NBA? Or just ride him till the wheels fall off, keep giving him the ball until he can’t take it anymore?

Edited by e16bball

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 I would reduce his carries to 20 per game, which should be easier once Perine gets back.  Rob Kelley is not a serviceable first down option.  

I would limit him to only 12 games played.  He's going to whine about this, but its in his best interest.  

    We've got the Cardinals, Colts, Packers, then our first BYE.  

    Then we have Saints, Panthers, Cowboys, 3 games that could be crucial for our playoff chances. 

     I'd then sit him against the Giants Week 8.  

    Play him against the Falcons and Bucs Week 9 & 10.  

    Then sit him week 11 against the Texans, they are an AFC opponent this game isn't as critical. 

     Bring him back for the gauntlet of division opponents, Cowboys, Eagles then Giants.  

     Then, depending on where we stand in the NFC playoff race and Peterson's health, I'd consider sitting him for both the Jags & Titans

      Bring him back for the season ender against the Eagles and hopeful playoff run.  

On a 20 carry limit in only 12 games played that would be 240 carries.  

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I’d run him till the wheels fell off. He is on a one-year rental. He runs better the more carries he is given. I would give him as many carries as he physically could handle. 

I thought they used him enough. (Admittedly I was screaming for them to run instead of kneel so he could get his 100 yards). I think the more we can play from in front keep giving him the ball and monitor his health. I saw nothing that would indicate he can’t be a 25 carry/game bellcow.

 

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15 minutes ago, Slappy Mc said:

I’d run him till the wheels fell off. He is on a one-year rental. He runs better the more carries he is given. I would give him as many carries as he physically could handle. 

I thought they used him enough. (Admittedly I was screaming for them to run instead of kneel so he could get his 100 yards). I think the more we can play from in front keep giving him the ball and monitor his health. I saw nothing that would indicate he can’t be a 25 carry/game bellcow.

 

This. 

 

He's gonna want to be the bell cow, and I'd just let him tote the rock. As long as he's effective, I wouldn't think about limiting his carries at all.

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1 minute ago, Jeezy Fanatic said:

This. 

 

He's gonna want to be the bell cow, and I'd just let him tote the rock. As long as he's effective, I wouldn't think about limiting his carries at all.

The problem is if you run him into the ground Rob Kelley is going to be our starting RB by week 11.  

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20 minutes ago, MKnight82 said:

 

The problem is if you run him into the ground Rob Kelley is going to be our starting RB by week 11.  

But we'll be 10-0!!

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Run him till he can't run anymore. We're going to have plenty of games coming up where he'll only get 10-15 carries because we're chasing. 

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51 minutes ago, MKnight82 said:

 

The problem is if you run him into the ground Rob Kelley is going to be our starting RB by week 11.  

He aint even in game shape yet. AP will get another game to get going and its likely he could be good for the entire season. 

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It's a fair question, and I understand the concern, but I do not expect the pace to even come close to continuing. 

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1 hour ago, MKnight82 said:

giphy.gif

OLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLDDDDDDDDDD! :D:D:D

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As to the topic at hand, @e16bball, I think I agree with the "run him into the ground" crowd because there is also Chris Thompson. He got 5 snaps but 65 yards. Now, I doubt he keeps up a 13.0 YPC clip, but I could see adding a carry per week to his count at Peterson's expense (or at least in the early going, Kelley's).

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2 hours ago, MKnight82 said:

 I would reduce his carries to 20 per game, which should be easier once Perine gets back.  Rob Kelley is not a serviceable first down option.  

I would limit him to only 12 games played.  He's going to whine about this, but its in his best interest.  

    We've got the Cardinals, Colts, Packers, then our first BYE.  

    Then we have Saints, Panthers, Cowboys, 3 games that could be crucial for our playoff chances. 

     I'd then sit him against the Giants Week 8.  

    Play him against the Falcons and Bucs Week 9 & 10.  

    Then sit him week 11 against the Texans, they are an AFC opponent this game isn't as critical. 

     Bring him back for the gauntlet of division opponents, Cowboys, Eagles then Giants.  

     Then, depending on where we stand in the NFC playoff race and Peterson's health, I'd consider sitting him for both the Jags & Titans

      Bring him back for the season ender against the Eagles and hopeful playoff run.  

On a 20 carry limit in only 12 games played that would be 240 carries.  

This is almost exactly what I would plan to do. The only change I’d make is I might be looking to sit him against a Giants team that is likely pretty stout up the middle (Harrison/Tomlinson at DT, Ogletree at MLB, and Collins at SS) and just game plan to attack them with more stuff on the perimeter or at least off-tackle. And then play him against the Titans.

But that’s a really minor difference, for sure. On the idea as a whole, I completely agree with you. 

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5 to 10 carries a game for Thompson

20 to 25 for Peterson

We prob should have put him out of the game when we were up 24 to nothing.

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