Let the speculation begin.
Former Patriots linebacker and ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi joined in on that speculation Tuesday, appearing on ESPN’s “First Take” to determine whether Peterson or Marshall would be a better fit with New England. His answer — Peterson — gave insight into how head coach Bill Belichick might use the seven-time Pro Bowl running back.
“I’d go Adrian Peterson because he would last more, I think,” Bruschi said, via ESPN.com. “There would be gameplans, in my opinion, where Adrian Peterson wouldn’t even be utilized. He’d get five to 10 carries a game. And so, the injury factor wouldn’t be in there. He’d be rested for those major games down the stretch when he’d be needed (in) the Antowain Smith/Corey Dillion role, the LeGarrette Blount role.”
Bruschi clarified that Peterson only would make sense for the Patriots if they lost Blount in free agency, which is a very real possibility. But as Bruschi points out, New England does have a history of bringing in bigger, veteran running backs — most notably Smith and Dillon, who played major roles in the Patriots’ Super Bowl teams of the early 2000s.
Belichick also rolled the dice recently on Steven Jackson, a former Pro Bowler like Peterson, who played sparingly in 2015 for New England, tallying just 50 rushing yards on 20 carries.
Could the Patriots take a similar chance on Peterson as a physical compliment to the more versatile Dion Lewis and James White? Only time will tell.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Wayrynen/USA TODAY Sports Images