Adrian Peterson's Breakout with Saints 'Just a Matter of Time,' Says RB Coach

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2017

New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson gives a thumbs-up to photographers as he walks off the field after taking part in an NFL training session at the London Irish rugby team training ground in the Sunbury-on-Thames suburb of south west London, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017. The New Orleans Saints are preparing for an NFL regular season game against the Miami Dolphins at London's Wembley stadium on Sunday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Matt Dunham/Associated Press

New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson has looked nothing like a future Hall of Famer during his first season with his new team, but running backs coach Joel Thomas believes that is going to change.

"It's just a matter of time," he said Tuesday, per Herbie Teope of the Times-Picayune. "I really feel like this block, it's going to break. We just have to keep on chipping and you keep grinding, keep getting after something and ultimately something positive is going to come out of this."

Peterson has split time with Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara and has just 27 carries for 81 yards and zero touchdowns through the first four games of the 2017 NFL season.

Ingram leads the team in rushing with 170 yards on 42 carries, while Kamara has been a weapon in the aerial attack with 20 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown. Only No. 1 wide receiver Michael Thomas has more catches than Kamara in New Orleans' first four games.

Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk (h/t Yahoo Sports) pointed out Peterson played a mere six snaps during Sunday's 20-0 victory over the Miami Dolphins, indicating "it's hard to think he'll be playing a lot at any time unless an injury shakes up the backfield mix."

That was a contest New Orleans had firmly in its control and could have turned to the veteran in an effort to run the ball and work the clock.

Peterson was a seven-time Pro Bowler and won the 2007 Rookie of the Year and 2012 NFL MVP during his impressive tenure with the Minnesota Vikings, but he is 32 years old and played just three games in 2016 and one in 2014.

While his running backs coach still believes Peterson can turn back the clock, it is becoming more apparent he is a second- or third-option for the Saints rather than a workhorse.