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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs the ball at Cincinnati Bengals strong safety George Iloka (43) in the second half of the game at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals beat the Minnesota Vikings by the score of 42-14. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Peterson to get the ball in space more often?

Minnesota Vikings superstar running back Adrian Peterson had another excellent season last year, and he will be even better next season with a better quarterback situation. It’s amazing thinking that Peterson was able to run for 1,266 yards and ten touchdowns with an average of 4.5 yards per carry while facing a nagging injury down the stretch, subpar blocking, and eight-men boxes due to horrific quarterback play. AP didn’t have it easy at all last season, but his ability to consistently move the chains and produce is the biggest reason why he is the league’s best running back.

Assuming the Vikings find an upgrade at the position in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, Peterson should have an even better 2014 season. It’s going to be interesting to see if his rushing total is closer to what he had in 2012 or 2013, and it will also be interesting to see how often he is used in the passing game after only catching 40 passes in a season on two occasions.

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press’s Chris Tomasson, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer stated in an interview with ESPN that he would like to get AP in space more often and believes his star player gets hit too often, “Getting him the ball in space. I’m watching a game the other day and the two safeties just kept creeping closer and closer. This guy is getting hit a lot. He’s a fantastic runner. If we can get him space, he can do a lot of damage.’’

Norv Turner stated earlier this offseason that he would like to see the Vikings pass the ball more often to Peterson, and that could also help get him in space. But the best way to give him more room to operate and avoid cheating safeties and big hits is to pass the ball much more effectively.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings

  • Kerry Elmberg jr

    Manziel is the answer to that

  • Frank Weems

    Kerry think not

  • Frank Weems

    For AP to have more space means the OL must block and that also means no Charlie Johnson as the starter. He is possibly the worst guard in the NFL

  • Gordon Guffey

    All the more reason to find a better than good backup in round 2 ~ I know its not the sexy pick but its needed ~ And someone who can fit Turners style of offense meaning they need to be a good pass blocker and have good hands ~ As great as AP is when he is gone running back want be so important anymore ~ But a well rounded RB will be ~ I love AP as much as the next fan but I’m tired of seeing him get the QB’s killed ~ JMHO RB in the second would be a great add to the roster ~ A good backup now is more important than when the Vikings drafted Gerhart ~ I’m sure Norv will get a RB he wants ~