Peterson Headlines Special Olympics Event

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson led a group of Vikings that helped out Special Olympics Minnesota with a Punt, Pass and Kick clinic Tuesday at Winter Park. Get reaction to that and notes from Tuesday's pratice session.

Adrian Peterson gave far more high fives in the half hour after Tuesday's organized team activity than he did during the preceding two-hour practice.

Peterson and about 10 of his teammates spent more than 30 minutes after practice working with about 50 athletes from Special Olympics Minnesota from across the state for a Punt, Pass and Kick clinic.

"This just gives us an opportunity to interact," Peterson said as he signed autographs. "These are some great athletes right here also. It's just fun to come out here, interact with these youngsters and have a good time."

Peterson helped the athletes, many of them with Down Syndrome, with their punting form, gave and received high fives, offered plenty of encouragement and even participated in a throwing contest in which two girls beat him.

"It was a blast," said one participant. "We love Adrian."

One of the participants presented Peterson with a folding picture frame, with the athlete in a Vikings jersey on one side and a drawing of Peterson on the other. Peterson also signed dozens of t-shirts and memorabilia, including an Oklahoma Sooners hat.

Peterson said it is "amazing" how much he has touched the lives of people in Minnesota in just more than a year since being drafted by the Vikings.

"That's one thing I'll look back on and thank God for putting me in a position to able to affect people's lives. How I was raised, just knowing that I'm going to be able to do that in the right way, it feels good."

Wide receiver Bernard Berrian was also a big part of the event, held on one of the outdoor practice fields at Winter Park. He was busy catching passes while other players were retrieving and holding for kicks and punts.

"It's definitely rewarding. I've been working with Down Syndrome kids for a long time, since I was in high school," Berrian said. "A lot of them were my friends actually, too. It's real fun.

"Some of them surprised me with how far they can throw. They could throw a lot farther than I could at that age. (One kid) told me to go long and I went about 35 yards and he told me to keep going. I was like, OK, and he actually overthrew me too. It's fun. You don't expect things from them a lot of times and they shock you a lot."

Among the other Vikings who helped were Brooks Bollinger, Jeff Dugan, Braden Jones, Jim Kleinsasser, Ben Leber, Cullen Loeffler, Garrett Mills and Bobby Wade.

The Punt, Pass and Kick Clinic is part of Special Olympics Minnesota's ongoing relationship with the Minnesota Vikings.


  • The Adrian Peterson "All Day" Foundation will also be hosting a golf tournament on June 14-15 at Bearpath in Eden Prairie as a fundraiser for his recently formed foundation. The event will also support the Special Olympics and the Boys and Girls Clubs.

  • The Vikings signed WR Daniel Davis of Texas Southern and LB Brannon Carter of Northern Iowa. Davis made one very nice grab across the middle of the field with a leaping catch. The team has two roster spots available after releasing WR Brent Little and trading DE Erasmus James.

  • Defensive tackle Pat Williams didn't participate in many team drills, with Fred Evans taking his place in the lineup.

  • Rookie John Sullivan continued to take the bulk of the first-team reps at center with Matt Birk skipping voluntary workouts. Birk is expected back for minicamp June 6-8.

  • Running back Chester Taylor also has not been present for the voluntary workouts last week and so far this week.

  • Undrafted rookie Tim Mattran is taking some reps at left tackle.

  • Wide receiver Sidney Rice made several impressive catches on various routes, going deep down the sideline with a move that fooled a cornerback and making a high, leaping catch in the end zone.

  • Safety Madieu Williams forced a fumble with a quick punch-out of the ball on receiver Martin Nance.

  • Cornerback Antoine Winfield made an athletic interception on a Brooks Bollinger pass.

  • Cornerback Marcus Walker was part of an interesting play on a ball at the back of the end zone. Since he couldn't make the interception himself as he was getting pushed off-balance, he shoved the ball into the hands of safety Michael Boulware for the interception.

  • Safety Darren Sharper was doing some work for NFL Network after practice as part of Adrian Peterson's big day of helping out with the Special Olympics of Minnesota. Sharper's behind the scenes look at Winter Park is scheduled to air at 6 p.m. Central Tuesday.

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