If you got 'em, use 'em!
Like most good things, they come in sets. The Minnesota Vikings and head coach Brad Childress have a scenario that they should take advantage of. But why doesn't Childress use both of these good things at the same time?
When you got two All-Pro running backs in Chester Taylor and Adrian Peterson, you are going to have success no matter who's lurking in the back field. Peterson is a home run threat on every play and can energize a team, a stadium, and a state in a split second. Chester Taylor is a running back with less sizzle but is a lock to get the job done, and then some. What could these two players do on the field at the same time? Minnesota fans really do not know!
Imagine if you will: Adrian Peterson lining up in the slot against either a small corner or a slow linebacker while the threat that is Chester Taylor is lined up as a running back. The quarterback hikes the ball and gives a play-action fake. Taylor stays in to block while a wide open Peterson catches the ball, runs over a safety and breaks into the open for a score. Like that image? Your imagination is the only place you'll see it!
We all know that defenses will scheme against Peterson and at times stack eight or nine in the box to stop the run. He is the starting running back after all and a good one at that. But why is he just being used in the backfield? When you have a player like Peterson in the game and a player like Taylor sitting on the sidelines, you are not using what you have. Line up Peterson or Taylor as a wide receiver and show the defense that they have to defend against two huge threats.
When you have both players in the game, a defense will have to decide who the bigger threat is. Is at Peterson who is lined up at receiver waiting to catch a pass? Or is it Taylor lining up in the backfield waiting to break it to the second level? With the threats that are the running backs and a threat at wide receiver in Bernard Berrian, you can't defend three players adequately at the same time. Someone will be open to make a play.
Just look at the situation that use to occur in New Orleans. You have a good running back in Deuce McAlister at running back and you have a dangerous player in Reggie Bush at receiver. The results were good. The Saints coaching staff knew how to use their weapons at the same time.
There may be some nay-sayers stating that having both running backs on the field at the same time will tire both of them out and the backup won't be "fresh". Or stating that lining one up at receiver could increase the chance of injury. These two gentlemen are running backs who are built for 40-50 plays per game and they are also built for contact. Those are hardly excuses. In Adrian's case, just don't send him over the middle where he will be a juicy target for a backer, have him run a streak or an out to protect him. Or line the more durable Taylor at receiver and Peterson in the backfield. Easy solutions.
You do not have to play the entire game with both players in the game at the same time. We saw what can happen with both players in the game when the Vikings played the Carolina Panthers. Chester caught a screen pass and took it to the end zone as Adrian Peterson "decleated" an unlucky Panther defender. The play was nullified by a penalty but the result was clear.
An extra 5-10 plays when both backs are the field could prove to be a major headache for defenses and added success for two weapons who are among the league's best. I can already smell the fear from opposing coaches...
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