MANKATO – Adrian Peterson’s ultimate goal isn’t making it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But he does believe a first-ballot ticket to the shrine in Canton, Ohio will come as a byproduct of his approach.
“I feel like with my mind-set being set on being the best player to ever play, the Hall of Fame has to come with that,” Peterson said Saturday. “It’s not something I think about, like ‘Oh I’ve got to make it to the Hall of Fame.’ I think it will happen because of my mind-set and what I’m trying to accomplish.”
This year’s Hall of Fame class, which includes former Vikings receiver Cris Carter, was enshrined Saturday night with most of the ceremony coming as the Vikings practiced at Blakeslee Stadium.
Although Peterson wasn’t able to catch Carter’s enshrinement speech, the MVP did share thoughts on and that era of Vikings football.
“That’s when the Vikings were awesome,” he said. “Just watching them. [Daunte] Culpepper. Then [Randy] Moss came in. Those guys had a force offensively passing the ball. ... Those guys were pretty special to watch.”
Jefferson steps up
With rookie Xavier Rhodes still sidelined by a hamstring injury, A.J. Jefferson has slid in as the Vikings’ No. 3 cornerback temporarily, playing outside opposite Chris Cook in the nickel. Over the offseason, coordinator Alan Williams asked Jefferson to zero in on being more sound in his technique within the defense.
Williams also wanted the young corner to better sustain his competitiveness and focus in practice and was aware of the frustrations from last season with Jefferson beaten for a handful of big plays despite often being in good position.
“He was frustrated with that,” Williams said. “I think he’s said that. But being a corner, you have to let that go. And then you have to make sure that, first of all, your technique is good and you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. … And if the defense was designed to take away that play, you’ve got to take it away. But sometimes it’s going to be hey, your checker against their checker. And if their checker wins and our guys did what they’re supposed to do, I’ve got to live with that.”
Childs getting stronger
Receiver Greg Childs spent part of Saturday’s morning walk-through at Blakeslee Stadium standing near the spot where he tore the patellar tendons in both knees a year ago. But don’t read too much into that.
“I walk over there all the time,” Childs said. “But I’m not really like, `Oh, this is the spot or whatever.’ I don’t really think about it.”
Childs was injured last year near the end of the annual Saturday night practice that culminates the first week of camp.
“[Sunday] will be a year from the injury, but as far as the scrimmage goes, this is a year,” Childs said. “There’s been great progress from then to now.”
Childs remains on the physically unable to perform list and no timetable for his return to practice has been established. No NFL player has ever returned from this injury.
“I’m doing good, still getting stronger,” Childs said. “When I’m ready, I’m ready. Who knows when that will be? But there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t get stronger.”
Back to school
Quarterback Christian Ponder knew Saturday night’s action inside Blakeslee Stadium was little more than a glorified practice with a bigger crowd. But after the longest week of camp, Ponder appreciated the changeup from the tedium.
“It almost feels like a high school game,” he said. “Being out there in a stadium like that and you can smell all the food being cooked and everything, it’s pretty fun for us. … And just the amount of fans who show up is pretty cool.”