A­dri­an Peter­son

c/o New Or­le­ans Saints

5800 Air­line Drive

Me­tai­rie, LA 70003


Dear A­dri­an:

We are only 18 days from your sched­uled re­turn to Min­ne­ap­olis as part of a run­ning back ro­ta­tion for the New Or­le­ans Saints, and it’s my duty to in­form you the larg­est share of the Min­ne­so­ta sports me­di­a and Vi­kings fan­dom are ex­treme­ly ex­cit­ed not to have you here any­more.

The crowd that fills The Zygi on open­ing night might be will­ing to of­fer ap­plause if and when you ap­pear on the field, but you should know any such greet­ing will be a dis­play of mass hy­poc­ri­sy.

As it turns out, you were large­ly a det­ri­ment to the Vi­kings through the dec­ade of em­ploy­ment here, and we’re not talk­ing a­bout the seas­ons missed: one game played in 2014 when the child a­buse case sur­faced, and in 2016, when a knee in­ju­ry and then a sea­son gone awry lim­it­ed you to three games.

No. From what I’ve been hear­ing and read­ing, you were a great­er ob­sta­cle to Vi­kings suc­cess when you were in the line­up than when you were out of it.

There is a grudg­ing ad­mis­sion here, A­dri­an, that those 2,097 rush­ing yards were ben­e­fi­cial in 2012, when the Vi­kings put to­gether an un­like­ly four-game win­ning streak at regu­lar sea­son’s end and reached the play­offs.

And I also car­ried around the i­de­a that the league-lead­ing 1,485 yards and 11 touch­downs were help­ful in 2015, the most-re­cent play­off sea­son, but now I have learn­ed the sit­u­a­tion was ex­act­ly the op­pos­ite.

This is what you were doing, A­dri­an, by get­ting those 327 car­ries and be­ing re­lied on to reach the end zone when the Vi­kings were in close:

You were ruin­ing the de­vel­op­ment of Teddy Bridge­water into a top 10 — heck, make that top five — quarterback.

You, A­dri­an. It wasn’t of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Norv Tur­ner’s longtime fond­ness for a strong run­ning game that could lead to an ex­plo­sive pass­ing game. It was your de­mand for get­ting the foot­ball and dis­com­fort for run­ning out of the shot­gun for­ma­tion that was lim­it­ing our hero, “Teddy, Teddy, Teddy.’’

You, A­dri­an. It wasn’t a flawed of­fen­sive line, in­clud­ing the bust of a No. 4 over­all draft choice in Matt Kalil at left tack­le, that caused Teddy to back up fran­ti­cal­ly on third downs and throw away pass­es if there was a hint of a pass rush. It was your in­a­bil­i­ty to block, which meant you weren’t on the field for those third-and-6s, which meant the de­fense could for­get a­bout any run op­tion and go af­ter our guy, Throw­away Ted.

You, A­dri­an. It wasn’t the fact when Bridge­water tried to throw more than 30 yards to a speed re­ceiv­er, such as Mike Wal­lace, and the ball would flut­ter like a wound­ed blue wing teal, that el­imi­nat­ed the deep threat from the Vi­kings of­fense. If you had cre­at­ed a pass catch­ing threat in the right flat, that would have made the secon­dary more hon­est, and the speed guys could have stood there wide open and wait­ed for Teddy’s duck snort (apo­lo­gies to Hawk Har­rel­son) to wobble into their arms and, pres­to, a 35-yard gain.

More I think a­bout it, A­dri­an, it was prob­a­bly a missed block by you some time in 2015 that caused Bridge­water’s knee to be weak­ened to the point that it blew up be­fore last sea­son.

We have a new guy in the rook­ie, Dalvin Cook, and all of the lim­its you put on the of­fense have been wiped away. The play­book is a clean sheet for of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Pat Shur­mur.

Here’s just a sam­pling of re­cent head­lines:

“Dalvin Cook’s e­mer­gence makes clear Vi­kings’ era of one-di­men­sion­al backs is over.’’ (startribune.com)

“Good news for Vi­kings: rook­ie RB Dalvin Cook can catch.’’ (twincities.com)

“Un­like A­dri­an Peter­son, Dalvin Cook ap­pears to be a com­plete run­ning back.’’ (1500espn.com)

The new guy can run, catch and block. And he’s not going to fum­ble like you did, A­dri­an.

OK, Cook did fum­ble at Flori­da State, but he’s not going to fum­ble here, be­cause we have this new run­ning backs coach, Ken­nedy Polamalu, and he’s teach­ing Dalvin not to fum­ble, and he’s Troy Polamalu’s un­cle, and that solves that.

There’s none of that em­bar­rass­ing be­hav­ior in Cook’s back­ground, like you and the son, A­dri­an, and even if there is, he was ac­quit­ted in a half-hour by the jury on the charge of punch­ing the young lady out­side of a bar, and most of the rest of Dalvin’s stuff is in ju­ve­nile re­cords.

Plus, when chal­lenged to take a shot at you, we al­ways can make an­oth­er joke a­bout the cam­el at your birth­day par­ty.

Welcome back on that first Mon­day night of the new sea­son, A­dri­an, and Purpleland seems dang re­lieved to have you in a visi­tors garb.

Best wish­es,

Pat­rick J. Re­usse