METAIRIE, La. -- Adrian Peterson said he knew what he signed up for when he joined a running back time-share in a pass-first offense with the New Orleans Saints. But he certainly hopes there are better days to come than his debut performance on Monday night in Minnesota: just six carries for 18 yards on nine total snaps, as the Saints were forced to abandon the run throughout the fourth quarter of their 29-19 loss.
"I didn't sign up for nine snaps, though. But unfortunately that's the way the game played out," Peterson said Thursday. "In my mind, personally, I knew it was gonna take some adjusting. You know, me and Mark (Ingram) played in the last preseason game, and AK (rookie Alvin Kamara) didn't even play that game. So with all three of us being out there, I knew it would take a game or so to kind of get adjusted. So we'll see how things (go) this week."
It can only get better for all three of the Saints' running backs against the New England Patriots on Sunday and beyond. Peterson's 18 rushing yards actually tied Kamara for the team lead. And his 3.0 yards per carry led all running backs, as the Saints averaged 2.9 yards per carry overall.
However, Ingram and Kamara will likely remain more involved in the passing game, while Peterson will primarily be used in base packages.
Peterson, 32, insisted that he doesn't consider himself the type of running back who needs a high volume of carries to get into a rhythm, though.
"I can get it started at any point in the game," said Peterson, who pointed out that he ran for 9 yards on the first play of Monday's game. "So I'm not that type of guy. I can take it the distance on the first play, I've done that in the past before. Just whenever it's in my hands, I know that's an opportunity to take it to the house."
As for Payton's infamous sideline exchange with coach Sean Payton on Monday night -- which both player and coach insisted was not a heated exchange -- Peterson said the public and media reaction was "definitely overdramatized."
Peterson, who explained Monday night that he was just urging Payton to run the ball up the Vikings' "donkey," said there was no need for him and Payton to clear the air, since they both knew "exactly what was said."
But Peterson said he understood why it became such a viral internet sensation under the circumstances -- and he actually had some fun with it.
"Of course, with the heat of the game, me being back in Minnesota and things like that, just catching that look -- that intense look on my face, like I had ..." Peterson said, briefly re-creating the look that was preserved on so many screen captures.
"I actually got some laughs out of some of the memes that were made. And I still am to this day, it's funny," said Peterson, who said his personal favorite was one that included a voiceover from Denzel Washington in the movie "Training Day" saying something like, "You guys gonna turn your back on me?! On me?"