Adrian Peterson is back and in more ways than one.
The former Vikings running back signed with the injury-plagued Washington Redskins on Monday and by Tuesday he has already revived one of his go-to moves: calling out his critics.
To those who say the 33-year-old can’t contribute to an NFL team anymore?
“They don’t know football,” the 2012 NFL MVP said.
Count the Star Tribune's Jim Souhan among those critics.
“He needs to run in an offense built around his skills, and those skills have diminished,” Souhan wrote Monday about Peterson signing with Washington. “It won’t work.”
The four-time All-Pro showed glimpses of greatness last season after being traded from New Orleans to Arizona, posting two games with more than 130 yards before a neck injury ended his season. But he also only averaged 3.39 yards per carry last season, marking his career-low for a season in which he played at least 10 games.
But Peterson did suggest he knows his skills aren’t what they used to be and that he can help the team in ways he might not have been able to in the past.
“The things that I've been doing for the past two years – of course being in New Orleans last year and finishing off in Arizona – is just being a great teammate,” Peterson said. “I have a lot of knowledge being around for a long time, so helping these young guys and not only just the running backs, but guys at different positions as well."
The Redskins didn’t sign Peterson to be a feature back – that’s likely Rob Kelley’s role. And Peterson said his role hasn't been revealed to him yet. So it’s tough to imagine Washington would be too upset if the best Peterson has to offer is his savvy veteran insights or the occasional touchdown.