Notebook: Peterson on the Preseason

Adrian Peterson has lofty goals for the regular season, but his preseason goals are a little more in keeping with normal preseason protocol. Plus, get notes and quotes about Tarvaris Jackson, Tyrell Johnson and more.

While Adrian Peterson has professed that one of his goals this year is to reach 2,000 yards rushing, he isn't placing any specific numbers on his preseason wish list. Good thing, too, since he didn't touch the ball in the preseason opener.

"Being a running back, it's definitely frustrating," he said of getting no carries. "Like I say all the time, I'm willing to do what it takes to win the game. If that's catching 20 passes a game, then I'll do that. I'm pretty sure I'll be getting some carries this year."

Yeah, we're pretty sure of that, too, as long as he stays healthy in the preseason, which probably had something to do with the team's strategy to throw the ball on the first 11 offensive plays.

That has left Peterson with this goal for the preseason: "Just really going out and working on my overall game, whether it's pass protection, running my routes. Just really rehearse everything right now," he said.

As head coach Brad Childress said, he knows what the running game can do from last year and he wants to find out about the passing game this year. Part of that is seeing how much Peterson has improved in his pass protection.

"That's something I did last year, too, picking up blitzes and things like that. That's part of the game. If you can't block, you will not play and I definitely played last year," Peterson said. "It's about the little things, the little things I can do better. Pass protecting, catching the ball on the perimeter, I can do better at that. Running the ball, I feel I can do better at that, so just working on my overall game to give my team the best player from me when I step out on that field."

What they got last year from Peterson was pretty good, but he admitted to some nerves coming into training camp as a rookie. This year is a different story.

"To come in as a rookie, I had the jitters a little bit. I didn't know my teammates and my coaches that well, but having a year under my belt to go through different adversities to know more about my coaches and players, it's like I'm part of the family now. I was definitely more relaxed this year," he said.

If a relaxed Peterson means even more production, bigger goals could be within reach.

DIFFERENT KIND OF CONFIDENCE

Tarvaris Jackson is another player that seems more comfortable this year. He seems to have a better command of the offense and has said he is able to focus on the defense now and what they are doing.

Wide receiver Bobby Wade said the biggest difference between Jackson last year and this year is the kind of confidence he is displaying.

"He's seen a lot of things. He had confidence last year just in his ability to play, but to actually be able to compete with the confidence, he was kind of lacking in that with the lack of game experience," Wade said. "After playing last year, he's good. He's coming out here looking to compete. When he makes a bad play, he doesn't get so down about it. He understands that he needs to come back and make a play on another down."

But if Jackson is more aggressive this preseason, there may be a reason for it – that was apparently the directive from Childress during training camp.

"We ask him to be aggressive out here in the pass skeleton periods to kind of push the envelope, if you will. We don't want him to be stupid with the football, but we want to know what they can and can't do, what they can get away with, what a receiver can do when you heat him up or try to throw it in close quarters. So we ask him to be aggressive," Childress said. "We don't want him to be dainty with it. I know that that's a balance, but if you're cautious or tentative, that's not the way to play the game. You kind of get a feel for yourself and what your faculties are. You get a feel for the other people that you're playing with and what they can do when you move the football around to them. You want them to be aggressive as hell. Like I said, there's a balance between that. You can't play the game on your heels."

NOTES AND QUOTES

  • CB Antoine Winfield's assessment of safety Tyrell Johnson, who is expected to be the starter opposite Darren Sharper until Madieu Williams returns from a neck injury: "Good player. Real aggressive, has good range, smart. He's competing, so that's always a good thing. I'm looking for him to have a good year."

  • DE Ray Edwards was asked if being on the physically-unable-to-perform list at the start of training camp helped him feel fresher at the end of camp: "I think I always feel fresh at the end of camp because that's just how I train myself during the summer because I know training camp is going to be hard. It's not an easy task to do."

  • Running back Chester Taylor will be one of the Vikings having a homecoming of sorts for tonight's game in Baltimore. Taylor was originally a sixth-round pick by the Ravens in 2002. By 2004, he started four games and had consecutive 100-yard performances against Cincinnati and the New York Giants in the final month of that season. In Taylor's first season with the Vikings in 2006, the year before the team drafted Adrian Peterson, he had 1,216 yards.

  • Five Vikings attended college within an hour's drive of Baltimore: LBs E.J. Henderson and Erin Henderson, safety Madieu Williams and fullback Jeff Dugan all played at Maryland. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe played at Morgan State.

  • Some leftover notes from the preseason opener, courtesy of Viking Update stats man Scott Grams: 1) Maurice Hicks' 29-yard run against Seattle was 10th longest in team pre-season history; 2) Darius Reynaud became the eighth Vikings player in 48 preseasons to reach 100 yards in kickoff returns. His 109 yards ranks seventh in preseason team history; 3) Reynaud's 53-yard kickoff return is tied for fifth longest in preseason history.

  • In the 37 preseasons the Vikings have finished .500 or better, the team has gone on to finish .500 or better 30 times in the ensuing regular season. Darren Sharper said this week that Childress views winning in the preseason as important.

  • Tarvaris Jackson, Peterson and Taylor have never played against the Ravens.




  • Viking Update Top Stories

    \r\n","mobileBody":"While Adrian Peterson has professed that one of his goals this year is to reach 2,000 yards rushing, he isn't placing any specific numbers on his preseason wish list. Good thing, too, since he didn't touch the ball in the preseason opener.

    \"Being a running back, it's definitely frustrating,\" he said of getting no carries. \"Like I say all the time, I'm willing to do what it takes to win the game. If that's catching 20 passes a game, then I'll do that. I'm pretty sure I'll be getting some carries this year.\"

    Yeah, we're pretty sure of that, too, as long as he stays healthy in the preseason, which probably had something to do with the team's strategy to throw the ball on the first 11 offensive plays.

    That has left Peterson with this goal for the preseason: \"Just really going out and working on my overall game, whether it's pass protection, running my routes. Just really rehearse everything right now,\" he said.

    As head coach Brad Childress said, he knows what the running game can do from last year and he wants to find out about the passing game this year. Part of that is seeing how much Peterson has improved in his pass protection.

    \"That's something I did last year, too, picking up blitzes and things like that. That's part of the game. If you can't block, you will not play and I definitely played last year,\" Peterson said. \"It's about the little things, the little things I can do better. Pass protecting, catching the ball on the perimeter, I can do better at that. Running the ball, I feel I can do better at that, so just working on my overall game to give my team the best player from me when I step out on that field.\"

    What they got last year from Peterson was pretty good, but he admitted to some nerves coming into training camp as a rookie. This year is a different story.

    \"To come in as a rookie, I had the jitters a little bit. I didn't know my teammates and my coaches that well, but having a year under my belt to go through different adversities to know more about my coaches and players, it's like I'm part of the family now. I was definitely more relaxed this year,\" he said.

    If a relaxed Peterson means even more production, bigger goals could be within reach.



    Tarvaris Jackson is another player that seems more comfortable this year. He seems to have a better command of the offense and has said he is able to focus on the defense now and what they are doing.

    Wide receiver Bobby Wade said the biggest difference between Jackson last year and this year is the of confidence he is displaying.

    \"He's seen a lot of things. He had confidence last year just in his ability to play, but to actually be able to compete with the confidence, he was kind of lacking in that with the lack of game experience,\" Wade said. \"After playing last year, he's good. He's coming out here looking to compete. When he makes a bad play, he doesn't get so down about it. He understands that he needs to come back and make a play on another down.\"

    But if Jackson is more aggressive this preseason, there may be a reason for it – that was apparently the directive from Childress during training camp.

    \"We ask him to be aggressive out here in the pass skeleton periods to kind of push the envelope, if you will. We don't want him to be stupid with the football, but we want to know what they can and can't do, what they can get away with, what a receiver can do when you heat him up or try to throw it in close quarters. So we ask him to be aggressive,\" Childress said. \"We don't want him to be dainty with it. I know that that's a balance, but if you're cautious or tentative, that's not the way to play the game. You kind of get a feel for yourself and what your faculties are. You get a feel for the other people that you're playing with and what they can do when you move the football around to them. You want them to be aggressive as hell. Like I said, there's a balance between that. You can't play the game on your heels.\"



  • CB Antoine Winfield's assessment of safety Tyrell Johnson, who is expected to be the starter opposite Darren Sharper until Madieu Williams returns from a neck injury: \"Good player. Real aggressive, has good range, smart. He's competing, so that's always a good thing. I'm looking for him to have a good year.\"

  • DE Ray Edwards was asked if being on the physically-unable-to-perform list at the start of training camp helped him feel fresher at the end of camp: \"I think I always feel fresh at the end of camp because that's just how I train myself during the summer because I know training camp is going to be hard. It's not an easy task to do.\"

  • Running back Chester Taylor will be one of the Vikings having a homecoming of sorts for tonight's game in Baltimore. Taylor was originally a sixth-round pick by the Ravens in 2002. By 2004, he started four games and had consecutive 100-yard performances against Cincinnati and the New York Giants in the final month of that season. In Taylor's first season with the Vikings in 2006, the year before the team drafted Adrian Peterson, he had 1,216 yards.

  • Five Vikings attended college within an hour's drive of Baltimore: LBs E.J. Henderson and Erin Henderson, safety Madieu Williams and fullback Jeff Dugan all played at Maryland. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe played at Morgan State.

  • Some leftover notes from the preseason opener, courtesy of stats man Scott Grams: 1) Maurice Hicks' 29-yard run against Seattle was 10th longest in team pre-season history; 2) Darius Reynaud became the eighth Vikings player in 48 preseasons to reach 100 yards in kickoff returns. His 109 yards ranks seventh in preseason team history; 3) Reynaud's 53-yard kickoff return is tied for fifth longest in preseason history.

  • In the 37 preseasons the Vikings have finished .500 or better, the team has gone on to finish .500 or better 30 times in the ensuing regular season. Darren Sharper said this week that Childress views winning in the preseason as important.

  • Tarvaris Jackson, Peterson and Taylor have never played against the Ravens.



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