*Vikings Running Back Adrian Peterson *
Q: How is your quest in becoming more versatile as a player for the upcoming season?
A: I'm just coming out here taking every day serious. I'm just trying to improve my craft. I'll be focusing on and talking about being more effective in the pass game. When I'm in the meeting room, just making sure I'm paying attention to the details and coming out and executing during practice.
Q: Is there a certain running back in the past you admired because of his versatility?
A: LT [LaDainian Tomlinson]. LaDainian Tomlinson was always a guy that I looked up to, not only because he's from East Texas in that area, but it's the way that he played. Overall, he was just a complete back and did it consistently for a long, extended period of time.
Q: Have you noticed any of the new wrinkles added to the offense?
A: Yeah, definitely. I've definitely noticed a few wrinkles in the run game, in the pass game as well, so we're just coming out and everyone is taking it in and trying to execute it as they would like for it to be executed.
Q: How do you measure yourself during this time or how do you tell where you want to be in preparation for training camp?
A: I try to pretty much come in having that confidence due to the work I put in already. If one thing I've realized in 10 years, there's no way to come out and duplicate playing football – cutting on a dime and avoiding people and things like that. If anything, for me, I try to focus on doing more lateral work and cuts and things like that to get used to the wear and tear your body goes through leading up to training camp. You get a taste of it here in OTAs, but it actually turns up a notch once you put full pads on at camp, so that would probably be it for me.
Q: What are your plans during your time off after minicamp?
A: Just go back home, put my foot on the pedal. I have about five and a half weeks before training camp, so that's when you really put in the bulk of the work, and you just grind through and put the finishing touches on what I've been doing since February. That's pretty much it, same thing, different year.
Q: What will Adrian Peterson Day be like back home especially after the floods?
A: For me, it will definitely be a little more emotional, but just being involved and seeing how the community has just stayed resilient. It'll be good just to see the people and see the progress that we've made, and not only that, being able to present a good time to them to kind of get away, relax and enjoy a great weekend.
Q: Do the running backs ever get invited to Teddy Bridgewater's passing and receiving camp?
A: I'd be lying to you if I say that we don't, but it's called receivers camp for a reason. Their biased towards the running backs. But I don't know, I don't know if he's doing it. He said he might be doing it again this year. I might be able to take a week off and go down there. I've been trying and lobbying to get those guys down in Houston, kind of cater to my somewhat lazy side.
Q: Do you feel smooth catching passes this offseason?
A: Yeah, I guess so. I've been catching the ball for a long time, so after playing since you were eight and catching balls – I suppose you can always become better. I see myself getting to where I want to be.
Q: What would you say is your biggest learning curve right now or what is taking longer to catch onto?
A: Nothing really to be honest. If anything, just staying locked in on our gun runs and what they're asking from us, so with that, just being conscious of it and being more patient and really understanding what's happening on each play – who's pulling, what to expect, so just that detail part of it is probably what I'm focusing on the most.
Q: Have there been any changes with running backs coach Kevin Stefanski moving from tight ends to the running backs group? Do you do anything different with workouts?
A: More drills, more running back drills. He's reminding me of E.B. [former running backs coach Eric Bieniemy] but we haven't taken a step back at all. We're actually doing a great job. If anything, we took a couple steps forward. His style and being able to move to different positions and, really, just understanding the entire offense. He presents so much to the group, and that's good for not only the young guys that are trying to pick up everything fast, but for the veteran guys and everything as well. People have different teaching styles, and his is one that is really helpful for our group and what we're trying to accomplish.
Q: Do you think you might be a little more antsy entering this training camp with as good as this team can be? Do you think you'll be more excited to get going than in previous years?
A: Yes, I think I'll be a little more excited, but I'm never excited to go to training camp. It's always until I drive into Mankato, I'm just like, "OK, reality is there. It's time to start." But I am excited as far as what we have and the vision that we have for this season. So, that makes things better. It'll make it a lot better going into camp this year.
Q: You think the Vikings are going to win a Super Bowl every year. I know it gets a lot of publicity when you say it, but you always say it, don't you?
A: Yes, I always say that, but I said this year with just more – I don't know what to call it. I really can see it. We have a long way to go, but we have the pieces and what it takes to accomplish that. So, there's nothing wrong with saying it. If any other guy on this team doesn't feel that way, then we need to be trading him and bringing somebody in that feels that way as well. So, we all know what we're trying to accomplish, and I feel like we have what it takes to accomplish that.
Q: The older a player gets, the hotter the fire burns for that?
A: Yes, you could definitely say that. I don't see an end in my future anywhere soon, but of course, I know I'm coming around the last lap. And I'm itching to get a couple [Super Bowl wins] before I'm done playing this game. So, we need to start immediately.
Q: What are your thoughts on Teddy Bridgewater? He's in his third year, and yesterday he said he was more confident, and he's getting stronger, too.
A: One thing I've noticed is – I don't know if you guys noticed this at all – but he's getting a little more muscle to him. So, that's always good, which is going to make him into a stronger quarterback. He just keeps working hard. That's one thing I love about him, that he has that mentality to get better, and going into his third year, we're expecting great things from him. I don't think it's pressure toward him, but he understands it now even more going into this next year. He is the leader of this team, when it comes to the offensive side of the ball, and he just has to know that and take control; and that's what he has been doing.
Q: What have you seen from Zach Line the longer you've been around him, in terms of how he has progressed?
A: He has definitely taken giants steps and bounds forward, and he has taken everything seriously. He's always pulling me to the side, telling me what he's going to do, and he's putting on a display when he comes out here. And even in the classroom, when he's called upon, he's answering everything and helping those young guys, as well. So, [he's] becoming a leader in that room, too. He's doing what we expect from him.