As Brett Favre goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, one of the hardest workers in the game today and a former teammate – Adrian Peterson – said his passion for the game came from watching Favre.
“I grew up watching him. The passion that I played with is something that came from Favre, watching him play the game,” Peterson said Wednesday. “When I watched guys like him playing the game growing up, it was like, that’s how I’ll play at the running back position.”
Peterson spent his first year in the NFL battling Favre, when the Hall of Fame quarterback was finishing up his career with the Minnesota Vikings’ biggest rival and division foe in Green Bay. But as Favre was forced out of Green Bay to make way for Aaron Rodgers, eventually he made his way to Minnesota to exact some revenge on the Packers.
That’s when Peterson really got see up close and personal just how much passion Favre had for the game.
“To have the success that he had for such a long time, initially it was like, ‘Wow, this is Brett Favre.’ To have a locker right next to him, that was pretty special,” Peterson said. “I don’t ask too many guys for autographs, but I definitely asked him for a couple. It was a great experience, one that I’ll always remember and cherish.”
The two of them helped guide the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game following the 2009 season, Favre’s first in Minnesota, but mistakes by both of them contributed to the loss in New Orleans.
Favre will reportedly have both a Vikings and Packers jersey in his locker at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, something that Peterson said is “pretty cool.”
He said the same thing about receiving an invitation to Favre’s induction this weekend, but with the Vikings practicing Peterson won’t be available to attend the ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
“That was a no-brainer,” Peterson of Favre getting into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. “I’m sure it’s going to be a great day for him and his family. I wish him all the best. I can always say that I played with him. That right there is satisfying to me.”
When Favre first arrived in Minnesota during the 2009 preseason, Peterson said he was initially in “awe” of the veteran quarterback and larger-than-life personality. Eventually his perception of Favre’s personality was confirmed. So, too, was Favre’s arm strength.
“I could tell by the way that he played the game that he had a great personality. That was pretty much confirmed,” Peterson said. “… The only ball I heard whistle when it went by my helmet one particular day, that’s the only time I heard that happen. To still be able to the throw the ball with that much power was incredible to me.”
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Six years later, the cycle of life continues. Peterson is now the mentor to younger teammates, although he has a warning for them.
“I make sure to let them know, ‘Hey, I’m not old. I’m still young. Don’t get it twisted,’” he joked. “I love the role, so I sit back and encourage those guys and when they have questions I do my best to try to answer them.”