Super Bowl champion and current NFL Network analyst Heath Evans joined The Jim Rome Show Wednesday and the former fullback said all those who think father time has caught up with the great Adrian Peterson need to think again.
“I think he might be Superman,” Evans said of the New Orleans Saints new running back on CBS Sports Radio. “We go back, he’s basically had the better part of two seasons off, and so we talk about injuries, but I think the other side of that is I think you have to look at the rest on his body. So he’s 32, we know the yards he’s put up, we know the beating he’s taken, probably more accurate the beating he’s delivered.
“I was there in camp with him. Listen, for eye to eye, he hasn’t lost a step. When he puts his shoulder in someone’s chest, you still hear that audible pop from 50 yards away. They had a very physical practice the day I was there. It was red zone run, short yardage goal line. And from my 16 years in this business, 10 as a player and now 6 plus as an analyst, he hasn’t lost a bit of a step. So, whether it’s two years from now, this year, another injury, if he’s healthy, I think what they can offer defenses with him and Mark (Ingram), is an absolute train wreck.”
By adding a healthy Peterson to Drew Brees’ already potent offense, Evans said Saints head coach Sean Payton will have options he’s never had on that side of the ball.
“The way teams have had to stop Drew over the years doesn’t add up to the way teams have had to stop Adrian Peterson over the years,” Evans said. “So defensive football is a numbers game, and you don’t have numbers if Adrian Peterson is what he’s been in the past, and Drew is what’s he’s been in the past, I’ll just say numbers don’t add up.
“The attention to detail you have to pay to numbers wise with sorting a healthy Adrian Peterson doesn’t give you the option to do what you need to do in the back end of a defense to stop Drew Brees. So I would say the old cliché the sky’s the limit. This could be a devastating offense, one strong enough to actually balance out that defensive roster to help that defense to get better.”
Evans also weighed in on the training camp of the current Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Evans said Bill Belichick’s team has already turned the page on last season’s success.
“[They’re] more focused than ever. I always laugh, I always ask [Tom] Brady here and there, hey what’s your favorite ring and he will give you the patented answer, ‘the next one.’ They got five in hand,” Evans said. “The brilliance of Bill Belichick is the ability to get a 90-man roster to focus on the future instead of even remotely dwelling on the past. How he does it I wish I knew, because I then would try to be an NFL head coach, but it was a focused machine. Again, how they do it, I don’t think anybody knows, but they are hungry.
Evans continued to rave on the Patriots, “That roster is stacked from top to bottom. It’s faster than I’ve seen it in a long time. It’s got a great build of older veteran leadership with that wise seasoned approach to a whole bunch of young guys that are fast and hungry and good athletes. And so I expect special teams to be better than it was last year, and I know they had the number one scoring defense last year, but all and all they could be potentially be better.
“Offensively we know what Brady is capable of, we know Cooks, we know Allen’s been added to the mix, they got a lot of weapons over there. The proposition is scary, but they’ve got a lot to do to be able to match what they put up and put out on the field last year.”