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NFL teams carefully control what players eat while they're in the practice facility.
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It also helps that Arians' offense is built around keeping his Adidas Authentic Kyle Turris Youth Jersey quarterback under center. Just 13 percent of Arizona's run plays have come out of the shotgun this season, the second-lowest rate in the league. Peterson hasn't run the ball much out of the shotgun in the course of his career, with just 135 of his 2,445 rushing attempts coming out of the shotgun or pistol, and he has been far better under center. AD has averaged 4.9 yards per carry under center and 3.7 yards out of the shotgun. At the same time, though, the Saints were supposed to offer that benefit to Peterson too. They've run the ball out of shotgun only 19.4 percent of the time, which is 27th in the league, and 24 of Peterson's 27 carries this season came with Drew Brees lined up under center. Peterson has averaged 2.9 yards per attempt on those runs. The one saving grace in Peterson's defense might be that he has averaged a mere 0.9 yards before being hit by the first defender, which is 46th among 47 qualifying backs in 2017. Ingram is at 1.5 yards before contact per rush, which is also below average and suggests that a Saints team missing both of its tackles for most of the season hasn't been effective in creating holes for their power backs. The problem is that the Cardinals haven't been any better; their backs have gained just 1.5 yards before contact, which is 31st in the NFL and ahead of only the Dolphins. It's also plausible that Peterson has lost several steps and isn't fast enough to get to the hole. The former league MVP has more than 2,500 NFL carries if you include his playoff attempts. He's now two years removed from his last effective season, when he led the league in rushes, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns for the 2015 Vikings. Peterson didn't look good before or after suffering a knee injury last season, and he has been a subreplacement back this season. Throw in the 2014 season that he essentially missed via suspension and Peterson has had just one useful campaign in three-plus seasons. I'd argue that logic is Adidas Kasperi Kapanen Youth Jersey a little tortured. Peterson's missing 2014 season shouldn't hurt his chances of being effective in 2017; if anything, given that he basically spent a year on the sidelines without accruing carries or taking hits, it should have extended his career. I'm also not sure how much we should read into 37 carries from 2016 or 27 carries from this season on sample size alone; there are plenty of backs who have ugly three- or four-game stretches and manage to be effective after, which is really what Peterson's workload amounts to. It's telling that the league expressed little interest in signing Peterson this offseason, and he had to wait until late April to come to terms with the Saints. The odds are certainly against him turning back the clock and looking like a franchise running back, even if Arians and Arizona have managed to turn around the career of fading veterans such as Chris Johnson and Dwight Freeney in years past. Peterson also won't solve Arizona's problems on defense, notably the gaping hole at cornerback across from Patrick Peterson that teams have been exploiting during the past season and a half. Given that the deal is for a conditional sixth-round pick in 2018, though, it's hard to argue that the Cardinals are giving up much for a player who could shore up a major position of need. Paying a little more than $700,000 and giving up a late pick for a player whose upside might still be as a league-average starting running back isn't much at all. Peterson might be able to both improve the Arizona running game and spark a Cardinals play-action passing attack that ranks 29th in passer rating through five weeks. Desperate teams have taken far more desperate and damaging measures than the Cardinals did Tuesday. Some NFL players weigh more than 300 pounds. If you think those players can walk into their team cafeteria and eat whatever they want, think again. In the ultra-competitive modern NFL, players and teams are looking to gain an advantage wherever they can. Nutrition has become an important component of building a winning team, which means NFL teams carefully control what players eat while they're in the practice facility.
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