Adrian Peterson believes he's a hell of a mentor -- and proved that in New Orleans -- but it's obvious he wants a shot at real playing time in Washington.
The 33-year-old veteran just signed a deal with the Redskins -- where Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine were carrying the load at running back.
We spoke with Peterson back in March and asked him if he'd really be cool playing second fiddle at his next stop ... and he was adamant he'll do whatever it takes to help a team win.
In fact, Peterson told us he feels he was a crucial part of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram's development during his stint with the Saints ... and would bring that attitude to the next team.
But Peterson says he still has superior abilities on the field -- and won't be content as a player/coach. Dude wants to play.
We also spoke with Redskins legend Joe Theismann -- who believes A.P. can still be a real asset on the field ... but "on a limited basis."
Season starts in 3 weeks. Things could get very interesting ...