Tom Johnson says Peterson looks ‘hungry’

Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson has been working out with Adrian Peterson in Houston and says the star running back is in great shape.

There haven’t been many public comments about the relationship between the Minnesota Vikings and Adrian Peterson. We’ve heard about the visits. By and large, those involved have remained relatively mum on the subject.

A teammate of Peterson’s who should know – defensive lineman Tom Johnson – made it clear in a weekend interview with the Sirius XM NFL Radio that he’s a fan of Peterson and he should know. He worked out with him last Thursday.

Johnson, who re-signed with the Vikings, is not only a teammate of Peterson, but a workout buddy. From what he has seen, A.P. is ready to prove all detractors wrong.

Johnson was honest in what he is seeing that so few others are – Peterson preparing to return to the game he loves with a vengeance.

“The last time he touched the field, he was the best running back and, I believe, the best player in the league,” Johnson said. “If we can get him back, that would be great. It would only make our offense that much better. I just hope (the Vikings) can make something happen with him.”

A lot of players spend their down time building up their bodies for what they’re going to face next autumn. What Johnson is seeing firsthand could be a blessing or a curse, depending on where Peterson plays in 2015.

“I work out with the guy in Houston,” Johnson said. “I tell you, he’s one of the strongest guys pound for pound I’ve seen. You see him put 500 pounds on the squat and he does it like it’s nothing.”

The Sirius interviewer was curious about Peterson’s thin appearance from his workout regimen. Johnson corrected him by saying not to take leanness for weakness.

“He looks like he’s a little more lean,” Johnson said. “You can tell he’s doing he’s been doing a lot of workouts. As the season progresses, you lose a little bit. You get a little soft in different places and you get back in shape during the offseason. He just looks like he’s been grinding the whole time (since being deactivated in September). He looks a little lean, but still ripped up. But he’s always been that.”

If anything, Peterson is going to show what Beast Mode is really about. If that’s with the Vikings, hooray for their fans. If it’s with someone else, not so much. But from the “eyes on the ground” report, the chip is pronounced.

“He looks like he’s hungry,” Johnson said. “I can say that from the workouts we’ve been going on. I think he has something to prove. The situation that, you’re the best player in the league and over situations you can’t play the game you love, I think he definitely has a chip on his shoulder and he’s been taking it out on the weights.”

It would seem that the question being posed at Winter Park is “who is on the receiving end of that chip?” when it comes to an elite athlete with something to reinforce, not prove.

In 2015, Adrian Peterson will be relevant in January. The only question is whether it will be with the Vikings?

Johnson is on board with making that so.


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