New Redskins offensive coordinator Scott Turner will take over an offense armed with versatile running backs and pass catchers, but despite all that, veteran ball carrier Adrian Peterson will still play a big part in any Washington success this season.
"I’ve got a ton of respect for Adrian. I spent three years with him in Minnesota. In 2015, he led the league in rushing," Turner said Wednesday. "I wasn’t calling the plays, I was the quarterback coach, but that’s the offense that we’re going to run to an extent."
While Turner worked together with the Vikings from 2014 to 2016, injury cost Peterson the bulk of two of those seasons. In 2015, however, Peterson excelled, rushing for nearly 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns. Clearly, that made an impact on Turner.
"With Adrian and his skillset, when he’s rolling, there’s a role for that type of back."
It's no secret that Turner's offense last year in Carolina centered around passing the ball to running back Christian McCaffrey, but he was arguably the best offensive player in the league. The offense should center around getting him the ball.
For the Redskins, the running back room looked crowded before the NFL Draft in April, and then with their third-round pick, Washington selected another ballcarrier in Memphis' Antonio Gibson. That decision allowed some people to wonder about the future in D.C. for Peterson, but it doesn't seem like Turner sees things that way.
"He’s capable of catching check downs and those types of things," Turner said of Peterson. "He’s great when you have him in there for play-action passes, when you’re trying to throw the ball down the field. I’m not concerned with that."
The new Redskins coaching staff was in charge when the club elected to pick up Peterson's team option worth nearly $3 million. Ron Rivera, and in turn Turner, brought Peterson back on purpose.
At the same time, the Redskins drafted Gibson and signed J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber on purpose too.
"That’s the beauty of offensive football is you get to ask the players to do what you want to do," Turner said. "If someone’s not good at something, regardless of who it is, they don’t have to do it."
Turner also brought up the success Gibson had lined up as a wide receiver in college, so expect to see some of that this fall.
The simple message when it came to Peterson from the Redskins new offensive boss: We like him. He's got a role. He's a part of the plan. In politics, like sports, the old saying is to follow the money. Peterson had a role when the team picked up his option back in March. Now it just sounds that much more official.
Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS