Solomon Wilcots: Jay Gruden Probably Being Forced To Play Adrian Peterson

PFF Analyst Discusses Redskins RB Situation

The DA Show
September 10, 2019 - 11:43 am
Adrian Peterson

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Pro Football Focus analyst and former NFL safety Solomon Wilcots joined The DA Show on CBS Sports Radio to go around the league following a wild Week 1 to open the season. 

Jay Gruden decided to make Adrian Peterson a healthy scratch in the Redskins Week 1 matchup against the Eagles. With Derrius Guice expected to miss at least a few games with a knee injury, it may be Peterson time now. 

"I think Jay Gruden is probably being forced to play Adrian Peterson," Wilcots said. "Jay Gruden as a head coach, he should get to pick the players who he wants to take the field for him. We all know and players and former players, we have a great deal of respect for Adrian Peterson, he's been one of the great warriors in the National Football League. But he is a two-down back. He's a first and second down back, he's a primary runner. As you know over the 100 years we have been playing this game in the NFL, our game has evolved. When you watch an Alvin Kamara in the Monday night game, think of him as our prototypical back in today's NFL. He's a runner, he's a catcher, he could do everything. He's prolific in the passing game as much as he is in the running game. Well Adrian Peterson has never been that kind of receiver."

Peterson is not graded highly by PFF in his all-around game. 

"Our PFF receiving grade is right around 64.3, which is not great, below average. His pass blocking grade is 38.7, which is woeful in pass protection. Derrius Guice ranks much higher in terms of his receiving grade and pass blocking grade than Adrian Peterson," Wilcots said.

Taking Peterson off his back and he's just not the same player he used to be. He's also 34 years old.

"Jay Gruden is right when you talk about the evaluation of the player. If you were to take the names off the back of the jersey and just go by the pure evaluation, you would say player B is going to give me a better chance of winning today," Wilcots said. "Player B in this case would be Derrius Guice. As a true runner from an i-formation, Adrian Peterson is certainly superior. But as an all around football player, which is what I think Jay Gruden is looking for, he went with Guice. We all know Chris Thompson is their third-down back. If you're talking about who is the better of the two as a first and second down back, the numbers and data show that it's Derrius Guice."

It will be a lot of Peterson and Thompson in Week 2 when the Redskins take on the Cowboys in their home opener.