Adrian Peterson (Jeff&nbps;Gross/Getty)
Randy Moss should have an effect on the running game as well, and the Vikings know it. So does former Viking Cris Carter. And let the distractions begin: Brett Favre is being investigated by the NFL.
Adrian Peterson is hoping that Randy Moss doesn’t just help the Vikings passing offense. He’s hoping there is a benefit for him in the running game as well.
“It’s going to make the offense more dynamic and will definitely give us that deep threat and open up the run game,” Peterson said.
“Defenses have to pick their poison. As long as we’re getting (victories) across the board, that’s what it’s all about.”
So far, Peterson is off to one of his better starts. He is averaging just under 133 yards per game, has three touchdowns and a 5.6 yards-per-carry average.
He’s done that through the first three games with a passing offense that is struggling to find its stride. And now that Moss is in the mix …
““You’ve got to pick your poison a little bit,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “Are you going to try to stop the run and leave guys out on islands? Then there’s always opportunities for big plays. Or do you try to put a little bit of an umbrella coverage, then hopefully we’re able to open some holes for Adrian.”
Former Vikings receiver Cris Carter, who played four seasons with Moss, states the advantage even more aggressively.
“There’s a Moss effect no matter where he goes. Randy has not had a great running game since the running game we had in Minnesota,” Carter said. “People give us a lot of credit for scoring points and throwing the ball, but the one thing we prided ourselves on was running the ball effectively with Robert Smith, Leroy Hoard, whoever we had at running back out of a three-receiver set. The ability to be able to run him out of a one-back set with three receivers on the field – and in four or five weeks those receivers being Sidney (Rice), Visanthe Shiancoe, Percy Harvin and Randy Moss – this is like fantasy football.”
The Vikings let Peterson know that they were working on getting Randy Moss before the trade happened. Asked what his reaction was when he found out, he gave a confused and surprised look.
“What?” he said with a laugh. “I couldn’t believe it. I don’t see why anyone would let Moss go. You never know the story, but I’m glad they did. Now he’s a Viking. I actually had to hear it a couple times before I’d believe it.”
Without Moss, the Vikings were ranked fifth in rushing and 16th in passing offense in the league, and it’s clear he’s being worked into the offense quickly.
“At this point … it doesn’t seem like he’s going to have many questions. It seems like he’s going to be able to get in and out of the huddle,” Bevell said.
“Obviously the whole playbook’s not going to be open, but there’s a lot that we expect of him. He’s a unique individual, a unique player. His height, his speed, his ball skills – just another piece of the puzzle to have another playmaker to try to get the ball to.”
Peterson might be the biggest beneficiary of all.
BIGGER THINGS AHEAD?
Moss offers Favre a 6-foot-4 target on the outside, kind of like Sidney Rice did when he’s healthy. So what happens when Rice is able to return later this season after having hip surgery on Aug. 23?
“Getting him back can be a nightmare for a lot of defenses,” Peterson said.
That isn’t likely to happen for several weeks yet, but if you forced Bevell to look ahead, he would anticipate good things.
“It could be a pretty awesome experience to have all those guys,” he said.
FAVRE BEING INVESTIGATED BY NFL
According to the Associated Press, the NFL is investigating allegations that Brett Favre texted lewd pictures of himself to a former Jets employee, Jenn Sterger, when the quarterback played for New York in 2008 and Sterger worked for the team’s web site. Deadspin.com posted pictures and two audio clips that the web site alleges were from Sterger’s cell phone and came from Favre. Vikings coach Brad Childress said he has not been contacted by the NFL about the investigation.
“No. I’m not getting into that. I’ve got my hands full with the Jets and am trying to get some timing down with our guys, so that’s all I’m going to discuss,” Favre said when asked about story Thursday.
Bevell said the Vikings were reviewing their playbook for calls that fit Moss’ abilities after they signed him. “Immediately you start to draft up things to get him the ball. You don’t want to come out of a game and have zero catches,” he said.
Cornerback Chris Cook did not practice on Friday because of a knee injury. He missed Thursday as well. Cook originally injured his meniscus in the third preseason game and missed the preseason finale and the first two games of the regular season.
Favre was wearing a sleeve on his right elbow and was limited in Friday’s practice. He was a full participant on Thursday.
TE Visanthe Shiancoe (hamstring) and center John Sullivan (calf) were also limited.
For the Jets, DE Shaun Ellis (knee), T Wayne Hunter (shin), C Nick Mangold (shoulder), CB Darrelle Revis (hamstring), LB Jamaal Westerman (ankle) and G Brandon Moore (hamstring) were limited.
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.