Peterson Puts Onus on Himself

Running back Adrian Peterson said he was responsible for not having a 100-yard game in his final four contests of 2007.

Adrian Peterson has displayed a maturity that makes him seem far beyond his 23 years since the day the Vikings made him the seventh-overall pick in the 2007 draft. Despite the fact he has established himself as one of the NFL's best running backs, Peterson's focus is almost always on the team and he isn't one to point fingers.

With that in mind, it shouldn't come as a surprise that when Peterson sat down this off-season and watched film of his final four games, he came to a simple conclusion.

The reason he failed to rush for 100 yards in any of those contests wasn't because of something his offensive line did wrong or the fact the offense failed to stretch the field and make defenses respect the pass. He didn't even use the excuse that after missing two games because of a knee injury, he was still hurting. Nope.

Peterson's conclusion was that he was at fault. After rushing for more than 100 yards in six of his first 10 games, Peterson identified himself as the culprit for the reason he slowed.

"I studied the film and I was always amazed on a lot of plays, it was really me," he said. "It wasn't the offensive line not getting a block or anything like that, or anything they were doing really. It was really me kind of hurting myself."

How about that for holding oneself responsible? Peterson rushed for 1,341 yards and 13 touchdowns in 14 games to earn NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. His season included a league-record 296-yard performance against San Diego.

But Peterson is convinced he can do better. He said during the off-season that his goal is to rush for 2,000 yards, but has since toned that down in part because he doesn't want to overshadow the team goals.

But it's clear Peterson is convinced he can be better. Much better.

"I was able to take a lot from those tapes," he said. "Just being more patient and learning to play up the gut more."

NOTES

  • RB Chester Taylor, who rushed for 1,216 yards in his first season with the Vikings in 2006, said he isn't upset about playing behind Adrian Peterson. "I'm not frustrated," Taylor said. "I still know my abilities and what I can bring to the table. I'm just going to go out there every year and try to do my best and help my team win."

  • The Vikings completed the Mankato portion of their training camp having been in full pads only four times in 30 practices. This included a joint-practice against Kansas City in River Falls, Wis. It was quite a change from Childress' first season in 2006 when the Vikings had full-pads practices on 12 consecutive days.

  • For the first time in recent memory, the Vikings did not have one training-camp practice cancelled or moved inside because of bad weather during their time in Mankato.

  • Players had some fun on the final day of camp with offensive and defensive linemen trying to catch punts. Guard Dan Mozes caught the first one sent his way but dropped the second. Defensive ends Jared Allen and Ray Edwards both caught punts. The offensive and defensive linemen also traded off positions in one-on-one drills.

  • Second-year receiver Aundrae Allison is still a bit on the raw side, but the fifth-round pick in the 2007 does flash some big-time play ability. One such instance came in practice when Allison made an adjustment on a pass thrown slightly behind him and hauled it in for a 21-yard reception.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "That ain't going to happen Monday night (in the opener). Trust me it ain't going to happen. I've got everybody focused." – Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams, promising Packers running back Ryan Grant will not have another 100-yard rushing performance against the Vikings in the regular-season opener like he did last November at Lambeau Field. Grant was the only running back to gain 100 yards on the ground against the Vikings in 2007.


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