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Presser Points: Vikings Could Look for Extra Dimension with 2 RB Set

MANKATO, Minn. — Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner — and the rest of the NFL — know what Minnesota has in Adrian Peterson.

The seven-time Pro Bowl running back is coming off his third career rushing title and enters the season 17th all-time with 11,675 rushing yards.

Jerick McKinnon, a third-round pick in 2014 also has shown promise. He and Matt Asiata filled in for Peterson two years ago and then backed up Peterson last season. Toward the end of the 2015 season, the Vikings worked McKinnon into the mix as a rusher and a receiving target.

Peterson still led the league with 327 carries and 1,485 yards, but could the Vikings find an extra dimension this season?

Turner was asked on Saturday about potential uses for Peterson and McKinnon in 2016.

"To me, that's a game-to-game deal," Turner said. "I know there's a lot of talk about where we were ranked in pass offense and a lot of different things and how we were one-dimensional, there's a lot of games we had great balance. I look at our best games and we played good against some good defenses and good teams. We want to be able to do that for 16 games. We had some games where we weren't balanced and some games where we didn't play very well at all.

"We want to be more consistent and we want to do whatever it takes to win to win a game," Turner continued. "Some games maybe that means Jerick gets more carries. Some games that means Jerick gets the ball thrown to him. Maybe some games we have Jerick and Adrian in the backfield together. It's about putting a plan together that helps you win and certainly enough has been talked about in the passing game. We want to be more balanced like we were in a number of our games where we did have good offensive production. We want to be more consistently balanced and get everyone involved."

Here are four other topics that Turner covered:

Spreading the pigskin

*An initial question about involving receiver Adam Thielen more in the mix led to an explanation of trying to spread the ball around during games that usually feature about 60 plays on offense. *

"Adam is a contributor to our offensive football team. He had a good year last year. You just follow the flow of the questions you've asked. Obviously, everyone is not going to be able to be as involved as they'd like. That is why the competition out here is so great. I try not to, but I listen to what you guys say sometimes or read what you guys write or listen to the so called experts and through the last two months I've seen that we need to get the ball to – and now just plug a name in. There is about a list of 10 that we have to get the ball to and you get about 60 plays.

"Adrian is going to get his. We are going to be more diversified and more balanced but I have a feeling Adrian is going to get his. Now, where does the rest of it go? That is what we are working on here. But I'm a big Adam Thielen guy and I think our entire staff is. He's a good football player who keeps getting better." 

On his initial impressions of rookie receiver Laquon Treadwell

"Well the first day was a walkthrough, so there was the conditioning test and all that. But yesterday I thought he had good day. A good day, a good first start. He's obviously a big-bodied receiver with long arms. I could tell he worked hard on the things that we gave him this summer. The things we told him when we left from OTA's that he needed to work on and it showed up that he put a lot of time in during the summer because he was running very fluid and had a much better feel for the routes."

The team beyond Teddy

"Well I mean it's funny when I think of an offensive football team, I don't think of a guy. There's been so much conversation about all these things are for [quarterback Teddy Bridgewater]. Teddy is going to benefit from them, but they're for our team and they're for our offensive unit. The things we looked at and said, 'What do we need to do to take a step as an offensive football team?' Everybody wants to put Teddy's name in front of it, and I'm not the guy who's going to do that. It's about our team getting better. If we get better everywhere and everybody steps up and play better, Teddy will be the beneficiary of that."

The additions of offensive line coach Tony Sparano

"Change can be good, and Tony (Tony Sparano) has brought a little bit different of a style of running game. He is very detailed and very specific in how he wants to do things, which I think is good for our guys. We are keeping the things that Adrian does best, but we're certainly expanding the running game. Same thing in the passing game. I think [tight ends coach Pat Shurmur] has been exposed to some different things. We try to sit down and talk about the things we've done, a lot of the things we've done that haven't shown up in games and then incorporate some of the things he's done well in his past."

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