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Adrian Peterson's Lead Blocker Deserves Some Praise

Illustration for article titled Adrian Petersons Lead Blocker Deserves Some Praise

Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: AP averages 3.9 more yards per carry when Jerome Felton is blocking for him.

Jerome Felton joined KFAN in Minneapolis with Dan Barreiro to discuss the transition from ball-carrier to fullback, coming to the realization that if he wanted an NFL career he needed to be a fullback, convincing Adrian Peterson that having a fullback was a good thing, if the fullback position is dying and having the mindset to be a good blocker.

How do you make the transition from being a ball-carrier to a fullback?
"I came into the league with Detroit and my running backs coach there was Sam Gash, and he really kind of instilled what being a fullback means and basically it's, you're the tailback's bodyguard. … I owe him a lot for my development playing fullback."


Was it tough to come to the realization that this was your path to an NFL career?
"When I first came into the league, obviously I felt like I could do some different things, whether it was catching the ball out of the backfield or running the ball. But I knew my position was going to be fullback and I was going to have to work off of that. To come here and be able to block for somebody like Adrian, it's not too hard of a transition. Obviously my statistics aren't so much numbers, but it's what the tailback does. … This is potentially a historic year and I've enjoyed it."

Peterson stated early on his career he felt better being a single-back running back. How did it come to be that you guys have worked so well together?
"I think our relationship has developed throughout the year. I think one thing with Adrian, and it's probably the same thing with most great backs, they like what works, and we've had a lot of success out of the two-back [formation] this year. I think, as we've went along this season and developed, he's become more comfortable with it. My job is just to make life easier on him."

Are fullbacks a dying breed?
"I think most teams have one. I'm not really sure of any teams besides maybe New England … Detroit. But obviously the majority of the teams do. … As in most things in the NFL, everything somehow starts coming back around, and I think this position - you look at the success we've had, you look at the success the 49ers have had - as teams have more and more success using a fullback, I think it will definitely come back around."

Were you a good blocker in high school and college or did you have to develop that skill?
"In high school, I didn't do much blocking. In college, you hate to say this, but I felt like when I wanted to block well, I could. I think I always had it in me. But like I said, I give a lot of credit to Sam Gash. Playing fullback is more of a mindset."


This post, written by Eric Schmoldt, appears courtesy of Sports Radio Interviews. For the complete highlights of the interview, as well as audio, click here.

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