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Pro Football

Rival RBs Had Different Roles

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 22, 2013 at 09:22 AM

Brian Westbrook could only smile and shrug when asked if he expected the Philadelphia Eagles to use him more as a blocker this week.

Adrian Peterson doesn't hear those questions. He's the main reason the Minnesota Vikings got this far.

The biggest difference between Westbrook and Peterson is this: Westbrook goes into every game wondering how many carries he'll get, while Peterson knows he's carrying the load.

Sunday's NFC wild-card matchup features a team (Minnesota) with the best run defense in the league against one (Philadelphia) that prefers to pass, pass and pass some more.

Does that mean Donovan McNabb will put the ball in the air 50 times and reduce Westbrook to a blocking role?

"I hope not," Westbrook said Wednesday. "I think we still need to give those guys a challenge and I think we have the guys up front who can give them a challenge. They've been very stout against the run, so it's going to be tough."

Peterson had some advice for Philadelphia's coaching staff.

"I would give him the ball every down," he said. "He's the total package. He's a guy I loved to watch. He does it all."

It won't be too hard to figure out Minnesota's offensive game plan. Peterson led the NFL with 1,760 yards rushing on 363 carries - 130 more than Westbrook.

"It's a high-impact position," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "He's got a significant role. He's taken a licking and kept on ticking."

TOOMER'S FUTURE: Amani Toomer's contract with the defending Super Bowl champions New York Giants ends after this season, and he doesn't know whether the team wants him back.

"This is the business part of it," Toomer said. "I have never been a free agent, so it is going to be exciting. I am going to look at it as exciting. It will be a different experience for me. That's all I can really say."

TICKET EXTENSION: The NFL has given the Minnesota Vikings and the Arizona Cardinals extensions to sell more tickets and avoid local TV blackouts of their playoff games this weekend.

The Associated Press

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