Tennessee Titans make a key move and sign Adrian Peterson

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

According to multiple reports, the Tennessee Titans have signed Adrian Peterson after Derrick Henry had to have surgery this morning.

While the Titans are optimistic that they will get Henry back before the end of the year, signing Peterson is a very smart move for Tennessee.

Despite playing behind a struggling offensive line in 2020, Adrian Peterson still averaged 3.9 yards per rush and had 7 touchdowns. Before that, he spent back-to-back years in Washington where he racked up 1,940 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns.

Any team would have been smart to sign the future Hall of Famer, but the Tennessee Titans are the perfect fit for him.

Why the Tennessee Titans the best fit for A.D.

Note: Tennessee Titans fans should be aware that Peterson prefers A.D. (All Day) instead of his initials.

Without getting too far into the weeds, the Titans are starting to use a running play called “duo” a lot more than they did with Arthur Smith. Sure, Tennessee still uses some zone blocking, but this is a gap scheme where you get multiple double teams from the offensive line in the hopes of creating small gaps that the running back can run through. If you are interested in a more detailed look, here are two threads on “duo” and why Peterson is the best at this play.

The good news is that Peterson is the perfect back to step into the role the Titans need right now. With just a week of practice, it helps that Peterson really won’t need to learn about pass protection because that will be something that Jeremy McNichols focuses on.

Instead, Peterson can come in and just focus on running behind this offensive line and filling into this scheme that has taught defenses that they can’t focus on the rushing attack all day.

If teams do decide to try to stifle Peterson, they will need to find a way to also stop A.J. Brown who has 374 receiving yards in the last three games.

If they can stop Peterson and A.J. Brown then the “other” players on the roster include Julio Jones who is averaging 17.7 yards per reception and whoever earns the WR3 role that week which will either be Chester Rodgers or Marcus Johnson who have combined for 18 receptions and nearly 250 receiving yards.

The point is, Peterson is one of the few running backs who can just walk onto the field and dominate and the “pick your poison” offense that the Titans have been running will be alive and well with him in the backfield.

A bonus is that if that Derrick Henry is going to have so much to learn from a running back like Peterson who had an MVP season and who has come back from major injuries. The psychology that he brings to the locker room will be as important as the product on the field.