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Marshall Faulk on Adrian Peterson: 'If He Stops Right Now, He's a Hall of Famer'

As part of his role with NFL Network, Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk made a trip to Mankato last week to take in Vikings training camp practice.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press connected with Faulk to get his thoughts on Adrian Peterson and what he continues to bring to the table at age 31.

Faulk said Peterson looks just as athletic as he did when he entered the league in 2007 and said he's already earned his eventual entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Faulk said Peterson will be compared to Walter Payton in retirement.

"When they show highlights of Walter Payton, they show tough, gritty, hard-nosed runs," Faulk told Tomasson. "They're going to show (Peterson's) tough, hard-nosed, gritty runs. That's who he is."

And as far as a drop off in performance before Peterson reaches retirement, Faulk doesn't think there will be one.

"I think Adrian's going to walk away from the game being able to play the game at a high level," he said.

Mike Zimmer following in late father's footsteps

Like father, like son.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is the son of another coach, Bill Zimmer, who passed away last August. ESPN's Ben Goessling delved into the relationship between Zimmer and his father and the influence Bill had on his son's coaching style that led him to Minnesota.

The Zimmers' house in Lockport [Illinois] abutted the high school practice fields, and from an early age, Bill Zimmer's oldest son was a fixture there. Mike took an interest in farming and hunting, from his grandparents, but his mother knew where he was headed.

*Mike Zimmer would tag along to football practice, where his dad's search for perfection occasionally stretched longer than the school bus was willing to wait. *

"He'd say, 'One more play, one more play,' about 100 times, and the kids would keep doing it," Mike Zimmer told Goessling. "And then, if some of the kids would miss the bus, he'd drive them across town, wherever they had to go."

Goessling wrote that both Mike Zimmer and his son, Adam, currently serving as the Vikings linebackers coach, had to earn their coaching positions, and the two are grateful for that. Zimmer's tough-love coaching style mirrored his fathers, and he fit in well under Bill Parcells with the Cowboys.

"We're all products of our upbringing in this business," Parcells told Goessling. "This guy is a football coach. He's not interested in any ancillary issues, he's not caught up in anything but coaching football. He's sleeping and eating it. That's what he does. I like that. That's the way I was brought up."

Zimmer values everything he learned from his father over the years, and most is engrained as part of his daily life – from film sessions with his players to his relationship with his own children.

Bridgewater aired out the deep ball against Bengals

With a quick turnaround for Thursday's rematch against the Seahawks, the Star Tribune's Matt Vensel offered a few takeaways from Minnesota's first preseason game.

Vensel's first observation was on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and his ability to throw the deep ball.

*We finally saw what [Vikings coaches] were so excited about during two weeks of training camp, when Bridgewater was on target on about two of every three bombs he heaved down the field to Stefon Diggs and Co. Of course, those passes came when Bridgewater was unable to be touched. That's why his 49-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Charles Johnson on Friday was so encouraging. Bridgewater stepped up to evade the rush and generate the power needed to throw an accurate pass that traveled 52 yards in the air. *

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