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Jim Schwartz: Eight-man fronts won't stop Peterson

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Former Lions coach Jim Schwartz knows firsthand about the brand of havoc that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson can drop on a defense.

After spending five years trying to stop the All-Pro runner in Detroit, Schwartz explained on the Move The Sticks Podcast how Peterson's return amounts to an early Christmas gift for second-year passer Teddy Bridgewater.

"You're talking about a running back -- I mentioned J.J. Watt, not being able to stop him with double teams -- Adrian Peterson's a guy that you have a hard time stopping just with an eight-man front," Schwartz told NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah on Thursday.

Said Schwartz: "There's still some things for (Teddy) to figure out, but it does make it a lot easier for quarterbacks. And it makes it a lot easier for wide receivers, when you know you're going to be one-on-one for a significant portion of the game, and that's what Adrian Peterson does."

You don't have to tell that to Norv Turner, the Vikings play-caller who told reporters this week that Peterson, after missing all but one game last season, "looks like he hasn't missed a day."

Turner did commendable work with Bridgewater in 2014, helping the first-rounder to arguably churn out the best tape of any rookie quarterback. Schwartz expects much more from all phases of the offense in Year 2 because of Peterson, who he called the "best in the business at getting guys out of place."

Especially in a Turner-led scheme that historically feeds its running backs. Emmitt Smith, Terry Allen, Stephen Davis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Ricky Williams and Frank Gore all notched 1,300-plus yard campaigns under Norv's watch.

The Vikings have emerged as offseason darlings, with plenty of pundits hoisting up Minnesota as future playoff material in the rugged NFC North.

We need to see more from Bridgewater before signing on, but after Peterson single-handedly tugged a Christian Ponder-led squad into the postseason in 2012, it's not crazy to suggest that A.P. can do the same with a more talented team come September.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses offseason clichés and who are the NFL's most valuable non-QBs. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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