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Catching up with Julian

"I don't know if I'm going to be here. I don't know how that's going to work. I hope I will." --- Julian Peterson</p>

Q: How are you doing?

Peterson: I'm feeling good. The best I can for not playing. But, I'm all right.

Q: It looks like you are able to get around OK after your surgery in October.

Peterson: A little bit, a lot better now. It's what, eight weeks since the surgery now? It's starting to come back around. I'm starting to break up some of that scar tissue, so it allows me to move my foot and ankle a little bit better. I probably have, like, another two weeks in this brace here and then I can start walking.

Q: Have you already started your rehab?

Peterson: I'm starting to do it now. Just little motion spots, moving my feet and getting my ankle to kind of react like it used to, and just getting some old muscles to flare up and fire up again. My quad muscle lost a lot of muscle, and I'm starting to get a little tendinitis in my knee, and that's from lack of using it. So right now, I'm just kind of strenghthening it up, trying to build all my muscles back together.

Q: When will you be able to hit a regular workout regimen?

Peterson: They told me, the schedule is supposed to be in May, I'll be able to move around and try to do all the stuff that everybody else is doing on the field. But I kind of want to see how it goes. Right now, it's healing pretty well. I'm getting a lot of flexibility in, and I'm getting a little more and more confidence. And the more confidence I get, the more I kind of scurry away, don't want to do too much because, you know, it's in me to be kind of over-doing it, I would say, pushing it too much. By May, I should be able to do everything, and then I can go out there and compete with everybody, have fun where I enjoy it, being out there.

Q: How long do you plan to stick around the team facility doing this stuff in the offseason?

Peterson: I'm going to be around here for a while, a good month or two. I'm going to make sure I'm going to be pretty much OK before I'll be able to travel away and do all the other things that I want to kind of do in the offseason. But for the most part, I want to at least be able to be on track and be prepared for next year hopefully.

Q: Hopefully meaning?

Peterson: Meaning I don't know if I'm going to be here. I don't know how that's going to work. I hope I will.

Q: Has what has happened with the team this season affected the way you feel about coming back?

Peterson: No, not exactly. I mean, things happen. This is the NFL. I mean, everybody can't win 10, 11 games. Somebody has to lose. Unfortunately, we was the team that took a lot of bites, and a lot of bruises. We lost a lot of key players, a lot of linemen, some key guys on defense. You know, stuff like that kind of adds up after a while. You know, quarterback's been in and out, all of our quarterbacks been banged up, and it's kind of hard to get a rhythm and establish anything with people just going in and out of this game and you don't know who you're going to have week to week.

Q: What has it been like to watch it?

Peterson: It's been rough. Just for everybody else, those who are 49ers fans ... It's kind of rough. You're not used to seeing the 49ers lose like this or us being 2-and ... I don't even know what the record is. You don't expect us to get the No. 1 pick or the No. 2 or 3 pick. You're used to seeing us with a (late) first-round pick or something. But it's a new day, and hopefully everything gets turned around by next year.

Q: Are you personally ready for another offseason like you had last year?

Peterson: This one's going to be a little bit different. It's a different scenario. I'm coming off an injury compared to last year, I was injury free. This year, they'll probably see a lot more of me, because I'm going to be pretty much rehabbing and trying to make sure I'm back to 100 percent.

Q: But might you be back to square one on the talks for a new contract?

Peterson: I hope not. I might be. I would hope not, though. I think we've already have been through a year of that, so hopefully we can get past that first couple of stages that we have already been through and come back and get back to getting the contract done. Of, if not, then what is best for both myself and the organization.

Q: How much contact leverage did you lose by getting hurt?

Peterson: I don't think I lost too much leverage. I mean, I'm hurt, I'm injured. But I'm 26. I got a whole year to come back and be healthy. If Deion Sanders can come back at 37, Jerry Rice still playing at 41 doing a great job, I know I can come back at 27 and do the same thing I was doing before.

Q: Do you expect contract talks to resume immediately after the season is over?

Peterson: I would think so, probably after the season when they got some time to evaluate the whole situation as to what they want to do and how they want to go about some of draft picks or what they want to do with the draft. We got some time. A couple or two or three weeks or so, after that, we probably start talking about something. I wouldn't mind coming back and turning this whole season around winning another Super Bowl for the team. That's what I'd love to do.

Q: So you're still feeling good about the organization?

Peterson: I love my teammates. I came in here with Jeff Ulbrich, John Engelberger, Ahmed Plummer and Tim Rattay. So, I've been here with a lot of the same people like Bryant Young who have been in the tradition so long and a winner so long, I mean, I just want to be a part of it. I'm pretty loyal to wherever I go, and I don't really skip around or anything like that. So, I wouldn't mind coming back here and doing it right and getting back on track.

Q: Besides your teammates, what about the rest of the organization?

Peterson: Ah, well it's kind of changed a little bit. Every year or two there's been new people in and out, so it's kind of hard to say I know the whole staff upstairs, because I really don't. We're interchanging right now. But the feedback I've gotten, it seems like everybody that's up there is pretty good, I talk to them, they talk to me back, we have pretty good response. There's no love lost or anything like that.

Q: Have you ever thought about being with a team that's a little farther along at this point?

Peterson: It doesn't really make a difference to me. Anything can happen, regardless. I mean, a team can look like a Super Bowl team on paper, but they can just win, like, two games. So anything can happen regardless of what you have on your team or not. It doesn't really matter. I haven't been looking at any teams, or who can I fit real good with. I haven't been looking at anything like that. I like a lot of talent on everybody's team. Everybody has some type of talent. But I would like to come here.

Q: If you get franchised again, how might that affect your rehab? You weren't around here much last year after getting franchised.

Peterson: I think I'll be around this time. It's a different situation. I'm coming off an injury instead of just being healthy like I was last year.

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