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New Orleans Saints

Saints should have known Adrian Peterson is poor fit

METAIRIE, LA - AUGUST 23: New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson (28) works out during Training Camp on August 23, 2017, at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center in Metairie, LA.(Photo by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)
Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire

Adrian Peterson complaining about the New Orleans Saints’ offense after 60 minutes of football isn’t exactly a twist worthy of an M. Night Shyamalan movie.

In fact, Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton should be ashamed of themselves for not seeing this coming from a one-trick pony who believes any offense should be built around him.

In Minnesota that was one thing — Peterson was at the height of his spectacular career as one of the greatest pure runners ever. In NOLA, where everything revolves around the skill set of future Hall of fame quarterback Drew Brees, the job description is a bit different.

In the Saints’ offense, a running back needs to catch the football and pass protect, not exactly the fortes of Peterson, who may have gone down as the best ever had he played in a different generation when the I-formation was embraced.

Today, that kind of offense might as well be in the Smithsonian with the type of back who excels in it.

Despite all of that, New Orleans was the landing spot for one of the most obvious “Square Pegs” since Sarah Jessica Parker started her career on the short-lived CBS sitcom in 1982.

The writing was on the wall during the Saints’ opener in Minnesota against Peterson’s old team. Payton wanted to pay deference to the former MVP in those surroundings but was also trying to win a football game.

Neither went well. The Vikings dominated and Peterson was seen on the sideline shooting a death stare at his new coach, one that launched countless internet memes.

Peterson downplayed the reaction despite his obvious disdain for sitting on the sideline, as the Minnesota fans who once loved him embraced his rookie replacement, former Florida State standout Dalvin Cook.

It got so bad that Payton even upstaged Peterson by putting him in the red zone and asking him to be a receiver, as if to highlight just how deficient Peterson is at that part of the game.

In the end, Peterson played nine snaps. That’s likely headed down from here, too: Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara are both better fits for what Payton is trying to accomplish offensively.

“It was definitely overdramatized,” Peterson said of his sideline reaction. “Of course, with the heat of the game, me being back in Minnesota and things like that, just catching that look – that intense look on my face, like I had – I actually got some laughs out of some of the memes that were made. Me and [Payton] were on the same page. We knew exactly what was said within that exchange.”

That didn’t stop the square peg from asking to be pounded in the round hole yet again.

“I didn’t sign up for nine snaps,” Peterson quipped.

Peterson has no history in New Orleans nor any goodwill with Payton. He’s not a fit for this offense, an RB3 who still thinks he has MVP skills.

“I can get it started at any point in the game,” Peterson self-scouted, “so I’m not that type of guy. I can take it the distance on the first play, I’ve done that in the past before. Just whenever it’s in my hands, I know that’s an opportunity to take it to the house.”

The Saints should ask Peterson to take his tired act to his own house in Texas and cut the cord now, because people will always look for a reaction from the former superstar because of his cachet.

That’s a distraction no coach needs.

— John McMullen is a national football columnist for FanRagSports.com. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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