In his first OTAs as a member of the team, New Orleans Saints running back Arian Peterson “looks the part” and “has not lost any steps.” At least, this is according to Peterson’s new teammates after the future Hall of Famer signed in free agency during the spring.
The number of Saints players going on record to lob praise Peterson’s way can be seen two ways. Either they are simply attempting to lift him up or are really surprised by how good the 32-year-old running back looks after playing in a grand total of 20 games since the end of the 2013 season.
“He’s a stud, man. He looks the part,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said, via ESPN. “There’s something about handing the ball off to that guy and watching him run through the hole and take on anybody who tries to tackle him.”
New Orleans will have two future Hall of Famers handle the load in the backfield this season. Brees himself continues to play at a high level, having thrown for over 5,200 yards and 37 touchdowns last season.
With that said, Brees and Peterson have a combined quarter century of NFL experience under their belt. Whether that will translate to success remains to be seen. No matter how well they have performed at an individual level in the past, they are long in the tooth.
This didn’t stop other Saints from continuing to praise the team’s new running back.
“It’s ridiculous. He has not lost any steps. Wait, just watch. He’s so explosive … just in flat shoes out there,” safety Kenny Vaccaro said.
There’s also a chance that Peterson looks good because he’s going up against one of the worst defenses in the NFL. That’s a debate we see rage around this time every year. “You’re only as good as your opponent” in practice, some will conclude.
Saints LT Terron Armstead: I've honestly never seen anybody like Adrian Peterson. … He's got so much left.
— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) June 1, 2017
New Orleans will be relying on Peterson to help boost an offense that has relied on the pass too much in the past. Whether that happens is anyone’s guess. At the very least, it looks like his new teammates are impressed. That’s never a bad thing.