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Peterson An Early Focal Point In Camp

Adrian Peterson has had an offseason that consisted of endless debates as to who is the best running back in the NFL and, of course, he was included in that conversation.  I doubt he would prefer it if he wasn’t being talked about as one of the best.

However, no analyst has been able to mention the name “Adrian Peterson” without the obligatory mention of the word “fumble” following it up.

And Peterson knows it.  He says he avoided NFL Network and ESPN like the plague because of it.

He will now be tasked with fixing those mistakes, and Peterson seems to think it is simply a matter of the mind.

“What I came up with is, it’s all mental,” Peterson said.  “Just basically, it’s that simple. It’s mentally being aware at all times of my surroundings, knowing that guys are definitely throwing those extra punches to knock it out at all times. So, it’s mentally knowing that I have it high and tight at all times.”

“When I was holding it low,” Peterson said, “giving those guys that space to be able to punch up and knock the ball out at times — bring it up high, keep it high and tight. Being back the way it’s taught and the way you’re supposed to carry the ball. It’s pretty simple.”

While Peterson terming his fumbling habits as “simple” won’t ease the pain that still lingers from the NFC Championship game, it is encouraging to know that Peterson is at least thinking of it as a problem that needs fixing.

“It’s an ongoing process,” coach Brad Childress said. “We can’t really play with pads until we get out here (Saturday) morning. Those are points of emphasis. (Running backs coach) Eric Bieniemy tore that issue apart forward and backward. He looked at carries and if it was for extra carries.

“I don’t want to change the way (Peterson) runs with the football. You can’t play that position and be cautious. He is a violent, reckless running back. In football, sometimes the ball comes loose. Do I like it? No. Am I going to tolerate it? No. We are going to emphasize it, and usually, you achieve what you emphasize.”

Perhaps by saying the Vikings will not tolerate fumbles in a year in which Peterson is certainly going to expect a contract extension to be in the works will be enough motivation to fix the problem all on its own.

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One Response to “Peterson An Early Focal Point In Camp”

  1. B. Grant says:

    Everybody involved better understand that he is a marked man in the league now. Once a player gets this reputation, defenders turn aggressor for that ball. Adrian has a real hill to climb here, and has to be more wary than most RB’s. I gotta believe Chili is more focused on this that he is letting on. It could start to affect whether or not AP gets the ball in certain circumstances.

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