Not exactly sure what HC MIKE ZIMMER'S approach with ADRIAN PETERSON will be this preseason, but I absolutely believe he should play and contribute.
He's dominating and a RB maybe in the second half of his career, but this offense and the offensive-line approach is so new I'd like to have him see it versus the adversary. OC NORV pulled OL many times Friday night, and that will be a big part of what he does when we run. Adrian needs a few in-game reps behind that to establish timing.
I always have believed the reason OCs have not gone "screen" to Peterson much is because he hasn't been fluid catching passes and patient enough to wait for the blockers to become established. Maybe that changes this year?
Adrian can be a force in the screen game if done correctly because he finds open field, gets to juke, which he does well, and if the blocks are good he has to run over or beat DBs. Swing passes to Peterson can be lethal, too.
I hope he plays Saturday night against Arizona and the entire first half at Kansas City. You know he wants to play, and the correct approach I believe is to get around 4 1/2 preseason quarters out of the top-shelf offense, and he's the most explosive guy on the team and should be part of it.
QB MATT CASSEL widened his lead on rookie QB TEDDY BRIDGEWATER in the Sprint to St. Louis Stakes. The race, too, may be over. Teddy looked confused at times Friday night and at times was rookie-skittish.
Cassel, conversely, knew exactly where the ball was supposed to go and blended in beautifully. We averaged 24 PPG last year and will score more this year because the offense will not have to be so throw-happy given the defense should force markedly more punts. Field position should be better this year, too.
I loved what I saw from most of the first defense, and as written/mentioned Zimmer has them flying from all over the place and defenders better be ready to cover one-on-one because it was all over the field against Oakland. If the blitz, though, surprises the opposition they'll have to dish it earlier than preferred, and that's how Zimmer buried teams in Cincinnati.
Off one game I am elated to watch this team and love working with a group finding cohesion step by step.