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ARIZONA, GRAVEYARD OF GREAT RUNNING BACKS

Whitey Gleason
October 10, 2017 - 9:52 am
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All the best to the Arizona Cardinals and their new running back, Adrian Peterson.  History suggests they'll need it.

One can't blame the Cardinals for making this move.  Bruce Arians loaded up his wagon full of aging stars for one last ride this year.  In his book "The Quarterback Whisperer", Arians writes that he and Palmer agreed to "ride off into the sunset" together when Arians took the Cardinal job in 2013.  The club's margin for error this year was already small, then David Johnson broke his wrist in the season opener.  Margin for error exhausted.  With Chris Johnson and others unable to fill the void, Arians and the Cardinals decided to roll the dice on Peterson.  As Arians often points out,  "No risk it, no biscuit!"  

By the way, "No Risk It, No Biscuit" would have been a better title for his book than the self-aggrandizing "Quarterback Whisperer",  right?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who thought about this very move after watching the Cardinals stumble to 51 yards rushing against the 49ers in Week 5.  The problem is, Adrian Peterson's just not very good anymore.  The other problem is, the Arizona desert has not had a very rejuvenating effect on once- great running backs.

First came Emmitt Smith, who left the Cowboys for the Cards in 2003.  In his final two seasons, Smith ran -- and ran out of gas -- for 1193 yards as a Cardinal, averaging a meager 3.3 yards a pop.  Smith as a Cardinal was nearly as forgettable as Jerry Rice as a Seahawk.

Then came Edgerrin James, who left Indy and Peyton and Marvin Harrison to play for Arizona from 2006 through 2008.  James actually ran for a thousand yards twice as a Cardinal, but his yards per carry was under 4.0 all 3 seasons.  Edgerrin James wasn't awful as a Cardinal.  He just wasn't Edgerrin James anymore.  He actually finished up as a Seahawk, playing only 7 games in 2009.

Again, forgettable.

Adrian Peterson will be remembered for many things, great and terrible.  But he almost certainly will not be remembered for anything he does as an Arizona Cardinal.

No risk it.  No biscuit.  No chance.

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