Peterson has a lot to prove

With the Packers second minicamp just around the corner, begins a series on players to watch. Some are fighting for jobs or rebounding from injury while others have stepped into new roles due to changing personnel. Today we'll take a quick look at defensive lineman Kenny Peterson, who hopes to re-emerge after fading into self-imposed obscurity during his rookie season.<p>

The team's post-draft minicamp featured new faces with a crop of rookies. It also featured a new-look Kenny Peterson. No longer a rookie but with just about as much to prove, Peterson slimmed down in an effort to capitalize on his "sophomore" season in Green Bay.

The Packers' third-round pick in 2003, Peterson spent last season in the shadow of starter Cletidus Hunt. The former Buckeye was active for just 10 games, but when he did get a chance to shine he wasn't able to take full advantage. Peterson, used to the limelight as a star at Ohio State, had just 12 tackles all season and broke up one lone pass.

Peterson's lack of PT wasn't only due to Hunt's outstanding season. Admittedly, Peterson was his own biggest obstacle. Poor diet and workout habits put the defensive tackle over the 300-pound mark. He estimates that he finished the season around 305 pounds.

"I can't eat like a pig and perform like a horse," Peterson told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "I was eating whatever I wanted to eat."

Peterson says he's changed his ways and rededicated himself to offseason workouts in Green Bay. The results were evident when he showed up at the post-draft minicamp a trim 290.

"But now I've changed my diet and my work regimen and things like that. I'm back on track. I took it upon myself. I know where I want to be and I know where I want to go."

Coaches were reportedly impressed with Peterson's appearance and performance and are looking for more good things when the DT takes the minicamp field in early June. He'll face challenges from draftees Donnell Washington (third round) and Corey Williams (sixth round).

"I'm staying on myself and willing to help this organization in any way I can," Peterson vowed.

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