Friday, April 13, 2007

Five Good Questions with . . . John Shinn of The Norman Transcript about Adrian Peterson

Today's segment of "Five Good Questions" is with John Shinn of The Norman (Oklahoma) Transcript ....John covers Oklahoma football for The Transcript and provided some feedback about stud running back Adrian Peterson....
Q1. Adrian Peterson is the top rated running back in the draft. You have watched him over the past 3 years, describe his strengths and weaknesses.
His strengths are speed and power. He's probably the best between-the tackles tailback I've seen in college football. He always hit holes with a burst and always moved the pile forward. He is also very tough to bring down one-on-one. Few times can I recall a defensive back or linebacker making a solo tackle in the open field. His weakness is his ability to help on third down. He's impressed NFL people with his pass-catching ability during workouts, but blocking kept him off the field during passing situations at Oklahoma. It's the part of his game that needs the most work.
Q2. With all the various styles of blocking and offenses in the NFL, will Peterson have a problem with any specific offense or is he capable of adjusting?
He would have a problem playing in an offense that doesn't emphasize running between the tackles. An offense like Denver's would be a bad fit because most of the running plays are "stretch" plays where he would have to read blocks and make immediate cuts. He struggled with that at OU. He tended to try to outrun everyone to the sideline like he was still in high school. Obviously, a spread offense where they throw the ball to the runningback 10-15 times a game would also be a bad fit.
Q3. Character and off-the-field activities are a hot topic in the NFL these days. Are there any red-flags that NFL teams should be aware of about Peterson?
He had no brushes with the law during his time at OU. He was suspended for a couple of practices and didn't start one game due to missing class his sophomore season. But in the locker room every player I ever talked to said he was an ideal teammate. I can't imagine any off-the-field stuff turning teams away.
Q4. The Cleveland Browns are supposedly interested in Peterson with the 3rd pick and so is Tampa Bay with the 4th pick. However, both teams already have veteran running backs, Jamal Lewis in Cleveland and Cadillac Williams in Tampa. If Peterson is selected by one of these two teams, do you think he will be frustrated if he is not given the opportunity to be "the man" right away?
I think he would fit in perfectly with Cleveland. He's faster than Lewis, but both have the same running style. Those two guys could bang away at defenses without the worry of wearing one down. I think if the Bucs took him, it would signal Cadillac Williams is going to be traded within two years.
Q5. In your opinion, is Adrian Peterson an impact player who can immediately help an NFL team?
I could if he winds up on a team with a good defense. He'll be great at pounding away at defenses in the second half of games. But his impact won't be the same if he's on a team that tends to fall behind early. His worst games at OU were always the ones where the Sooners fell behind early.
I want to thank John Shinn for taking the time to is much appreciated!!!....tomorrow we will hear from Mike Reiss of The Boston Globe about his thoughts on the New England Patriots....

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