For almost a decade while in Green Bay, John Kuhn watched with admiration from the sideline as Adrian Peterson tried to carry Minnesota’s offense on his back.
Those workhorse days rushing the football are over after Peterson signed Tuesday with New Orleans — and the fullback who will be opening holes for him believes it’s a good thing.
Kuhn, who joined the Saints last season, says Peterson will enjoy the benefits of playing with the best supporting cast of his NFL career. Like with Brett Favre in 2009 and 2010, Peterson again is paired with a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees. Mark Ingram also is the running back complement Peterson has lacked since sharing snaps with Chester Taylor in the late 2000s.
"When (Peterson) was there a few years without Brett he was (Minnesota’s) offense," Kuhn told co-host Mark Dominik and me on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “It got to the point where (Green Bay’s) defense really needed to concentrate on him to be successful. You contrast that with him being down here with Drew and our wide receivers and Mark. You’re looking at a lot of (defensive) challenges.
"That’s really what excites me. I know it’s not the same as when he was in Minnesota all those years as the No. 1 guy we needed to stop. Here, he’s a part of the plethora of weapons Drew has at his disposal."
Peterson’s greatest success has come primarily from playing in the I-formation with the quarterback under center. That was part of the Saints’ appeal as New Orleans ranked 25th in shotgun formations last season at a 55 percent clip, per Football Outsiders.
Kuhn, though, says Brees and the offensive genius of Saints head coach Sean Payton give New Orleans the flexibility to strike in multiple ways.
"We dictate based off what weaknesses we see and where we think we can attack,” Kuhn said. “That's actually a great offense for anybody to want to join. You get your opportunities when the skillet is hot. You’re not running into brick walls.
"(Peterson) understands I think by coming here his opportunities are going to be the best opportunities he can possibly get because that’s what we do as an offense."
Kuhn said signing a 32-year-old veteran like Peterson provides further proof New Orleans is loading up for a Super Bowl run in 2017. This coincides with the 38-year-old Brees being in the final year of his contract and no extension in clear view.
"This team is right now trying to fit themselves with a championship roster that can really challenge within the NFC,” Kuhn said. “It starts with some more explosiveness on offense.
"That’s exactly what AP brings."
Alex Marvez can be heard from 7-10 p.m. ET Wednesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio.