For Norv Turner, the use of Adrian Peterson has been quite a dilemma ... an experiment that has both failed and succeeded. For Norv, it's not so much what he's doing ... it's when he's doing it. You could look at Adrian Peterson's overall numbers as being proof positive of Norv's success ... however, the reality is that what we need to focus on is Lost Opportunity Costs. It's is effecting this teams ability to score early in contests as there are too many negative Adrian Peterson runs.
For Norv ... somehow the statement for him has become ... piss or get off the pot.
For Adrian Peterson, it is clear that Norv's "Go Strategy" ... of using a single back running set ... is clearly the boss card, however that is only true in the 3rd and 4th periods of the game. This boss card is true regardless of whether the Vikings have a lead or not. The good news is that Norv has many things going for him to correct his master plan. Firstly, he has a boss ... which means he's always open to change. Secondly, he's brilliant ... where he's constantly evolving ... figuring out the truth's of the game. Thirdly, Teddy has a complete trust in Norv internal digits of one's and zero's, where he's open to it ... evolving toward his success. Fourthly, Adrian Peterson is hungry for even greater success. Lastly, although maybe a little arrogant making such a statement ... if in the right situation, Norv will find a way to succeed.
Keep in mind that sometimes you have to initially be as rigid as a hitting rock to prove that what your doing wins before you can unleash the dogs as it takes 6 to 8 weeks to unlearn bad habits. The proof must be clearly defined to overcome the incessant bad habits. Said another way ... Adrian Peterson ... this is why we haven't won our first Super Bowl Championship. You might look at it another way. It's hard to say that this is either Teddy Bridgewater's or Adrian Peterson's team as it cannot be attached to either of them, nor does it follow either Mike Zimmer or Norv Turner. The team is now an enigma of numerous fluid pieces where the burdens are distributed throughout ... to a bunch of men eager to do a job ... well ... not good.
Early in our contests we have clearly forgone opportunities of utilizing our numerous weapons to instead feed Adrian Peterson the ball in single back sets ... as if Barry Sanders was in that backfield. As you might recall, Barry had big downfield rips along with numerous no-gains, and losses behind the line of scrimmage, running mostly East-West in that system. The idea of feeding AD the ball may be to protect Teddy, utilizing play action, until he warms into his stride. In other words, Teddy doesn't take hits when AD is toting the rock. The problem is, run blitzing is prevalent early, as the passing game hasn't yet been developed ... nor is it respected ... where Teddy takes a beating absorbing the intensity of that run blitz. There are several shortcomings to this concept ... that has clearly failed ... as Adrian Peterson is not Barry Sanders where his strength in the first quarter is clearly as a north-south runner.
For Adrian, what's missing is that 2nd level full back block. In the shot gun, AD is too close to the line of scrimmage where his block are not yet developed. Most importantly of all, his vision, or better said his perspective of the developing blocks have altered his ability to gain positive yards consistently.
It is clear that we need to feed Adrian Peterson the ball, early and often in the 1st quarter, however in doing so, his average yards per attempt has to be 3 yards or greater. To achieve this in the first quarter that means double tight ends with a lead full back and Teddy under center. In fact, in the first quarter, it is a particular system that must be allowed to dominate ... not any particular individual, where splitting the initial carries between Asiata and Peterson is in order. Coaches tell their players to grind however in the first quarter, our intent should be to pound. In other words, in the first quarter, the only requirements for the run game should be to pound and achieve positive yards. Where we've failed in the past was in not parting from The Pound Strategy into what is now Norv's very successful "Go Strategy". Said as directly as possible, in the first quarter ... if you're going to run, then piss of get off the pot ... POUND IT! As Madden once said, "We knew what we were going to do ... They knew what we were going to do ... Everyone knew what we were going to do ... and they were powerless to stop it".
There is a difference today. In years past, there was no way to get Adrian Peterson out of that pound mindset. Now AD is so hungry for that old strategy that it would be like that proverbial fig leaf that would be accepted with fervor. The overall "Go Strategy", and it's overall game day evolution, involving the entire team is now quite clear to AD. He now has a greater hunger for it. Sometimes you have to toss a dog a bone to get the result you want.
There is also another key 1st quarter difference. Before, the Pounding-the-Rock strategy tied everyone's hands. Now Norv can develop the pass game, beyond just 3rd and long, early and often with one caveat. Early on, if you're going to run then clearly send a clear and distinct signal ... we are going to pound you. Initially, it will send the signal that the Vikings are reverting back to a prior system but anyone that makes that assumption would be making a grave error.