|Adrian Peterson wasn’t supposed to be leading the Redskins to a Week 1 win, because Adrian Peterson wasn’t supposed to be on the Redskins.
Washington had its running back of the future in Derrius Guice, plus a host of options behind him, plus Peterson was 33 and not all that great last season, plus these Redskins no longer bring in aging stars who’ve done their best work elsewhere, nope, never. And so even when Peterson visited the team’s facility in July, the team had no plans to sign him. Running backs coach Randy Jordan was stunned during that visit when the future Hall of Famer walked into the team’s practice bubble and asked if he could work out, according to this great Les Carpenter piece. Adrian Peterson? Work out? Haha.
“I killed it,” Peterson texted his longtime trainer after the workout. Others agreed. Via Les:
The team was not planning on signing a running back that afternoon. The hope was the other backs’ injuries would not keep them out long. “But after that workout it was a no-brainer,” Jay Gruden said. “The shape he was in, the power, the burst that he still had. Like, ‘What the hell are we thinking? Let’s just grab this guy.’ ”
Just read the whole thing. You can’t write these stories with any degree of long-term confidence on Sept. 13. Maybe Peterson gets hurt. Maybe he’ll start looking like he’s 33. Maybe the yards aren’t there if the Redskins fall behind. But if you had told me in early June that Washington would romp to a Week 1 win behind 166 total yards from Adrian Peterson, well, you could have knocked me over with a brand new FedEx Field concession item inspired by Cheetos®.
Anyhow, thanks for all the feedback yesterday on why the Skins still haven’t sold out their home opener; I’ll quote some of the notes I received in the future. The Hardy Hawks volleyball team is now 2-0, thanks for asking. As always, you can find me @dcsportsbog or via email, and let’s do this again tomorrow.
Tonight on TV: The Nats host the Cubs in a rescheduled game at 4 p.m. on MASN2. The Ravens are at Cincinnati on NFL Network, but I’m only mentioning that because it’s the NFL, not because it’s Baltimore, because I had someone unsubscribe to this newsletter after a Baltimore reference. There’s also a weird 5:30 college football game: Boston College at Wake Forest on ESPN. (Speaking of subscribing, I really want more subscribers. Tell your friends. Send them this link. Or just sign them up.)
- Watch Trent Williams just dominate.
- More on the Redskins’ new strategy of actually trying to sell tickets. And even more from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which quotes team execs very well aware that the team’s reputation is shot with many local fans. (“How do we be a first-class organization? How do we protect our brand and make it something that means integrity and means class to people?”)
- Also, they finally have a T-shirt Gatling gun.
- The new Mystics arena, set to open in Southeast, represents a blueprint for how Washington might work with the Skins on developing their next NFL stadium.
- Those Mystics got swept in the WNBA Finals.
- NFL weekly ratings have become the new jobs report.
- Sean McVay is an actual genius.
- Boz: Juan Soto has been the best teenage hitter ever, and it doesn’t look like a fluke.
- The Nats are finally red hot and if they can rattle off about 11 or more straight wins….well, the Nats are finally red hot, anyhow.
- If you missed the Nats game, look at Juan Soto pose, and look at Stephen Strasburg hit the batter, catcher and umpire with a single pitch.
- The Black Cat is shrinking by half, because the 14th Street I used to live on no longer exists.