Strong Work Ethic Helps A.D.'s Big Goals

Adrian Peterson's goal of 2,000 rushing yards in 2008 doesn't come from a cocky, lazy athlete. The emerging star has a work ethic and surrounding cast to help his efforts. See what Peterson had to say about the process.

Adrian Peterson has lofty goals for the 2008 season.

After rushing for 1,341 yards (second in the league) and being named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2007, the running back is shooting for a 2,000-yard rushing campaign in his second year in the NFL.

Can't be done? Don't tell Peterson.

"It's something I stay consistent with," he said. "I'd be cheating myself if I kind of set it lower. But 2,000 yards, that's my goal. I'm just going to work hard to give myself an opportunity to reach that goal."

Heck, Peterson also doesn't dismiss the idea of putting the NFL MVP trophy on his mantel and definitely wants to improve on the 19 receptions he had last season.

Don't get Peterson wrong. He isn't bragging or trying to diminish anyone else's goals. He's simply that confident. In fact, when Peterson talks about his expectations he keeps a very even tone and doesn't come across as cocky.

Part of the reason for this is running backs coach Eric Bieniemy doesn't allow his prized pupil to get swept up in the hype. Bieniemy is constantly working with Peterson on improving his game and becoming a more complete player.

This offseason has been spent working on pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield. The former is of utmost importance because last season Peterson frequently was taken off the field in passing situations.

Veteran Chester Taylor is more than capable of playing on third down, but the Vikings would love to have the option of keeping their most dangerous offensive threat on the field. Peterson and Taylor also could end up playing at the same time far more than they did last season.

"It was a big year my rookie season, but I look at it as I'm coming into my second year now," Peterson said. "I've learned a lot and experienced a lot also, so I'm more mature as a man and as a football player. I'm just looking forward to seeing what I can bring to the team this year and to making the team better and just being in my second year and reaching my highest potential."

NOTES

  • Center Matt Birk has followed through on his plan to skip the Vikings' organized team activities, which are optional. Birk, entering the last year of his contract, has not been approached by the team about a legitimate contract extension. He does plan to attend the mandatory minicamp June 6-8.

  • Veteran RB Chester Taylor missed the previous two weeks of OTAs because of a family emergency, according to coach Brad Childress, but he is expected to return next week.
  • The Vikings haven't decided whether LB E.J. Henderson or S Darren Sharper will wear the communication device in his helmet this season to relay defensive signals. The team experimented with the new technology — it was approved at the owners meetings this spring — during OTAs this week.

  • CB Antoine Winfield (chest) participated in almost all drills during OTAs as he recovers from surgery.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's cool. Having one of my best friends out here with me. Even though people probably don't realize it, my younger brother is one of my best friends. To have him out here is something special. I know it's a unique opportunity, I know he's going to have to work hard to be here in the summertime, to be here during the season. So, we've got a lot of work ahead of us. I say we because we're in it together, but eventually we do have to separate and let him do what he does. See how it works out." — Vikings veteran linebacker E.J. Henderson on playing on the same team with younger brother Erin, a rookie free agent from Maryland.



  • Viking Update Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" Adrian Peterson has lofty goals for the 2008 season.

    After rushing for 1,341 yards (second in the league) and being named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2007, the running back is shooting for a 2,000-yard rushing campaign in his second year in the NFL.

    Can't be done? Don't tell Peterson.

    \"It's something I stay consistent with,\" he said. \"I'd be cheating myself if I kind of set it lower. But 2,000 yards, that's my goal. I'm just going to work hard to give myself an opportunity to reach that goal.\"

    Heck, Peterson also doesn't dismiss the idea of putting the NFL MVP trophy on his mantel and definitely wants to improve on the 19 receptions he had last season.

    Don't get Peterson wrong. He isn't bragging or trying to diminish anyone else's goals. He's simply that confident. In fact, when Peterson talks about his expectations he keeps a very even tone and doesn't come across as cocky.

    Part of the reason for this is running backs coach Eric Bieniemy doesn't allow his prized pupil to get swept up in the hype. Bieniemy is constantly working with Peterson on improving his game and becoming a more complete player.

    This offseason has been spent working on pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield. The former is of utmost importance because last season Peterson frequently was taken off the field in passing situations.

    Veteran Chester Taylor is more than capable of playing on third down, but the Vikings would love to have the option of keeping their most dangerous offensive threat on the field. Peterson and Taylor also could end up playing at the same time far more than they did last season.

    \"It was a big year my rookie season, but I look at it as I'm coming into my second year now,\" Peterson said. \"I've learned a lot and experienced a lot also, so I'm more mature as a man and as a football player. I'm just looking forward to seeing what I can bring to the team this year and to making the team better and just being in my second year and reaching my highest potential.\"



  • Center Matt Birk has followed through on his plan to skip the Vikings' organized team activities, which are optional. Birk, entering the last year of his contract, has not been approached by the team about a legitimate contract extension. He does plan to attend the mandatory minicamp June 6-8.

  • Veteran RB Chester Taylor missed the previous two weeks of OTAs because of a family emergency, according to coach Brad Childress, but he is expected to return next week.
  • The Vikings haven't decided whether LB E.J. Henderson or S Darren Sharper will wear the communication device in his helmet this season to relay defensive signals. The team experimented with the new technology — it was approved at the owners meetings this spring — during OTAs this week.

  • CB Antoine Winfield (chest) participated in almost all drills during OTAs as he recovers from surgery.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: \"It's cool. Having one of my best friends out here with me. Even though people probably don't realize it, my younger brother is one of my best friends. To have him out here is something special. I know it's a unique opportunity, I know he's going to have to work hard to be here in the summertime, to be here during the season. So, we've got a lot of work ahead of us. I say we because we're in it together, but eventually we do have to separate and let him do what he does. See how it works out.\" — Vikings veteran linebacker E.J. Henderson on playing on the same team with younger brother Erin, a rookie free agent from Maryland.


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