Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What's Next for Adrian Peterson?

The Big Lead has a nice review of Oklahoma’s 2006 season, or at least the things that I’ll remember about it. One of the most memorable moments had to be the one that occurred towards the end of last Saturday’s game against Iowa State. Here it is in case you have been living in a cave. (Note: This video is pretty low-quality, but at the same time, good enough quality to let you see the run and injury in question).

I have heard many people criticize coach Stoops for having Peterson in the game with OU ahead 27-9 with only 6:38 left in the game. I don’t think it is coach Stoops’ fault. He was attempting to run out the clock and he called a run play. Also all week and all game all we heard about was how this was the first game that Peterson’s father, Nelson was able to watch Adrian play. You see, during the 1990s, Nelson Peterson worked at a Wal-Mart warehouse in the small East Texas town of Palestine and helped coach young Adrian's pee-wee football teams. At the same time, he helped run a large crack cocaine trafficking operation that led to his arrest in 1998. Nelson spent eight years in federal prison in Texarkana and was released October 5th from an Oklahoma City halfway house. Nelson has never attended any of Adrian's high school or college games until Saturday. So with the big deal about Peterson having his father able to watch him play in person for the first time in years, I’m sure Adrian wanting to play as much as he could and I’m sure coach Stoops had no problem letting Peterson run out the clock. Except for one thing. Peterson, it seems, has 99 injury. In case you forgot, he dislocated his left shoulder in fall practice in 2004, reaggravated it during the regular season and then had surgery in that offseason. Peterson also missed one game last season and was severely limited in three others with a sprained right ankle. And now this. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge A.D. fan, but after watching the clip of Peterson’s run and subsequent injury, I have concluded that he was showboating as he went into the endzone.
Now, I have heard one announcer say that Peterson runs reckless and that is true, but surely that can’t be a negative knock on Peterson? Every coach would love to have a back that ran with half the determination and passion that Peterson runs with. With that being said, why is Peterson so out of control as he enters the endzone? I know the guy clips Peterson’s leg as he crosses the goal line but I don’t see how Peterson didn’t have the balance to keep his feet on a hit that wasn’t nearly as hard as others he has broken and stayed upright. I think Peterson was just starting a dive into the endzone celebration style and when the defender hit him, it caused his own momentum to slam him into the ground hard thus breaking his clavicle. So we know Peterson is done for this season. He might be back for a bowl game, but that is really irrelevant right now, as their bowl game won’t be a BCS bowl or anything that counts for much. So now the question is where does this leave Peterson? Well he has a few options:
1) Peterson could come back to OU and play his senior season. This would be likely only if Peterson feels like Oklahoma will be a competitive team next year, as in competing for a National Championship. This is not going to be the case, so more than likely Peterson will make the jump to the pros.
2) So Peterson will make the jump. There have already been rumors that the Raiders have said they will surely take Peterson with the number one pick. I know there is no guarantee that the Ray-duhs will have the number one pick, but let’s be serious now, we all know they will. Now if I am Peterson I would simply refuse to play for that franchise so maybe that will factor into his decision to come out early. No one wants to play for the Raiders right now, not even people who play for the Raiders right now.
3) Here is one of the most interesting rumors I have heard. CollegeFootballTalk.com reports this: “Another note: some of our NFL scout friends told us that Peterson will not be a Top 5 lock in the 2007 NFL draft since the injury seems to be another indication that he is about as sturdy as Humpty Dumpty.” Now that is definitely interesting but I personally could not see the five worst teams in the NFL passing on a talent such as Peterson. However, stranger things have happened. Stay tuned to see what the future holds for Adrian Peterson.


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