- Adrian Peterson and Pete Carroll are finally teaming up on the Seattle Seahawks
- Carroll wanted Peterson to play for him as early as 2004 when the former was coaching at the University of Southern California
- What can the veteran head coach really expect from the 36-year-old running back?
The idea of Adrian Peterson playing for Pete Carroll would have been fascinating in 2005, when the former was an All-American phenom at the University of Oklahoma and the latter was still coaching at the University of Southern California. Or, in 2012, when Peterson was rushing his way to over 2,000 yards on the Minnesota Vikings and Carroll was turning the Seattle Seahawks into Super Bowl contenders.
Unfortunately for football fans, the reality of them finally partnering in December 2021 isn’t as appealing. Peterson is 36 and almost certainly nearing the end of his career. Carroll is in charge of a 3-8 Seahawks team that is quickly approaching the start of a possible rebuild.
Nonetheless, here we are. After nearly 20 years of waiting, we’re finally about to see Carroll and Peterson on the same team in a (somewhat) meaningful game.
Adrian Peterson and Pete Carroll finally have a chance to work together on the Seattle Seahawks
At the end of a player’s career, anything is possible. Remember when Dallas Cowboys legend Emmitt Smith played for the Arizona Cardinals? Or are we still not allowed to talk about that?
So, here we are at the end of 2021. Peterson, who spent his first 10 seasons with the Vikings, is now on his sixth team since 2017. The injury-plagued Seahawks recently signed the four-time first-team All-Pro selection to their practice squad.
This signing might not mean much in the grand scheme of things, especially considering the Seahawks are among the league’s worst teams. Still, according to The News-Tribune in Washington, Carroll is happy that he finally gets to coach Peterson.
“He’s a player that I’ve known forever, way back to his high school days. Admired him tremendously over the years. Always disappointed we didn’t get him back in the day, but like I told him, we finally got him.”Pete Carroll
If you’re in the mood to feel old, consider that Carroll began recruiting Peterson when the latter was a teenager. Peterson graduated high school in 2004, or the same year that most current high school seniors were born.
Carroll’s teams have historically gotten the best of Peterson
Although Peterson chose to play at Oklahoma and spent the first decade of his career in the NFC North, he’s crossed paths with Carroll numerous times. First came the 2004 National Championship Game when No. 1 USC held Peterson to 82 yards on 25 carries in a 55-19 rout.
The two next faced off on Nov. 4, 2012, when Peterson gashed Seattle’s defense for 182 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-20 Vikings loss. That marked the only time Peterson would ever hit the 100-yard plateau against Carroll’s Seahawks.
The 2012 NFL MVP averaged 39 yards on 2.2 yards per carry in his next four matchups against the Seahawks. He only managed 45 rushing yards on 23 carries in a 10-9 loss during the 2015 NFC Wild-Card Round.
On a related note, we apologize to Vikings fans for mentioning that playoff loss.
What should the Seahawks expect from Peterson in the coming weeks?
If you’re expecting Peterson to channel his 2012 self, we suggest you come back to reality. He rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries in three games with the Tennessee Titans earlier this year. Considering he also turned four catches into eight yards, the Seahawks probably shouldn’t expect him to finally become a prolific receiving back.
With respect to all parties, the most intriguing aspect of this partnership has nothing to do with winning games. If the Seahawks do win a game here and there, great. Really, we’re keeping our eyes on this partnership because of what it can mean for Peterson’s final numbers.
Peterson is 367 yards short of passing Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders for fourth all-time on the NFL’s rushing list. He also needs five more scores to move ahead of Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen for third place in rushing touchdowns.
Barring one of the most incredible performances in NFL history, we’re likely not going to see Peterson pass Sanders this season. However, we won’t be too surprised if Carroll feeds his new running back at the goal line, assuming the struggling Seahawks can make it that far down the field, of course.