Hartman: Peterson continues improving each week

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 27, 2012 - 10:33 PM

The Vikings star said his health is fine but added that he still needs a little fine-tuning following his recovery.

hide

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson

Photo: Jim Mone, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Adrian Peterson said he believes his recovery from knee surgery is "right there, feeling good each week and getting stronger."

That is good news for the Vikings. If they are to win at Detroit on Sunday, they will need a big day from their great running back, like the one he had two years ago, when he carried the ball 23 times for 160 yards against the Lions in September 2010.

Peterson, who despite tearing two knee ligaments at Washington in Week 16 last December still returned in time to play the 2012 opener, said he is physically feeling fine on the field but is still fine-tuning some of the more intricate aspects of the game.

"I'm just getting out there and getting in a rhythm, and it's more so mentally [challenging] as far as reads and your different assignments and stuff," said Peterson, who is averaging 4.0 yards per carry, having rushed for 230 yards on 58 attempts in three games.

Not only is he coming back from a serious injury, but he has had to work with a revamped offensive line, an offensive line he says he is high on. "We have some young guys that have stepped in and they're doing a good job," he said. "I see them gelling each week and just improving."

The former Oklahoma star also thinks that the addition of first-round draft choice Matt Kalil at left tackle and shift of Charlie Johnson to left guard has been a plus.

"He's a huge difference," Peterson said of Kalil. "Not only is he a great pass protector but he does good work in the run game, too. That was a good move by us, selecting that guy."

Peterson is also happy to be seeing more passing plays called for the running backs. He has caught six passes for 44 yards this year, including two catches against San Francisco on Sunday. Last year, he had 18 receptions in 12 games; in 2010 he had 36 in 15 games.

"That is something we've been harping on as a group, a running back group, just to be more involved in the passing game," he said. "You see how that really helped us out in this previous game."

Even though Peterson is coming off the injury, he said defenses still seem to be keying in on stopping the Vikings run game, and that has enabled Christian Ponder to pick apart opposing secondaries.

"You see some front fours, they're trying to stop the run and got the extra guy in the box. That's what we want," he said. "You want to stack the box, and we'll throw the ball over your head. They have to pick their poison.

"[I want to] continue to run the ball and be productive. When you're doing that and continue throwing the ball, they have to pick their poison, so that's the way to beat that."

Veterans influence

Peterson believes the team has had a greater focus because veterans have been talking to the younger players.

"That's what I sense, just the attitude and the willpower of everybody in here came out [against the 49ers]," he said.

"I think that helped out a lot. Some of these guys don't have the guidance and they don't really know what to expect, so when they hear a guy like Antoine Winfield or Mike Jenkins, Jared Allen, you hear one of those guys say something, they open their ears and listen. They take heed of it."

Talking about Sunday's game in Detroit, he said: "A divisional game, even more important than last week and the previous games. We're going to do whatever we can do this week for our preparation and be ready to go out and accomplish our goal, which is winning.

"They have a good fan base and are a talented team. It's part of the game and it's what we have to do. I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Iowa favored

Las Vegas oddsmakers have made the Gophers seven-point underdogs at Iowa on Saturday. But in the Gophers' favor is that the Hawkeyes have lost three of their past four games at home.

And quarterback James Vandenberg, who had nine touchdown passes in the first four games last year, has only one this year, on 128 attempts. A year ago Vandenberg passed for 3,022 yards and 25 touchdowns.

The big threat facing the Gophers defense is running back Mark Weisman, who rushed 27 times for 217 yards last week in the loss to Central Michigan. On the season, has carried the ball 53 times for 338 yards, an average of 6.4 yards per carry.

Gophers defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys said this game will give the defense a marker as to how much it has improved.

"We gave up 270 yards rushing against them a year ago and we can't do that again on Saturday and expect to win," he said. "We have to stop the run."

Jottings

• Vikings defensive end Allen has done well against the Lions, including a 1-yard touchdown catch on offense from Damon Huard when he was with the Chiefs in December 2007. With the Vikings in 2008, he was credited with a sack and a safety when Detroit quarterback Dan Orlovsky stepped out of the back of the end zone. In 2011, he sacked Matthew Stafford three times in both of the Vikings' games against Detroit.

• Ponder was asked about his relationship with Stafford, who might not play Sunday. "We're kind of friends, we kind of went through the whole recruiting process and we're from Dallas together," Ponder said. "... He's a heck of a player."

• ESPN recently took a look as to why Big Ten football is so far down this year, noting that there hasn't been a Big Ten quarterback selected in the first round of the NFL draft since Penn State's Kerry Collins in 1995. The conference is 1-9 in the past 10 Rose Bowls and 8-11 in BCS bowls since 2002.

• The Minnesota Daily reported that Gophers football game incidents involving police are down from last year despite adding alcohol sales at TCF Bank Stadium. Alcohol gross sales for the first three games have been: New Hampshire $118,118, Western Michigan $127,657 and Syracuse $164,927.

• Gophers baseball coach John Anderson has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday to show off the new Siebert Field. Anderson is spending time these days trying to raise money to add lights and a covered batting cage, something that would have been a part of the building had Dick Ames of Ames Construction been allowed to make his contribution.

• Twins infielder Jamey Carroll is hitting .379 (22-for-58) in 16 games this month. ... Joe Mauer going 0-for-4 against the Yankees on Wednesday didn't help his chances to win his fourth American League batting title, but Miguel Cabrera has had a rough stretch and is hitting only .327 to Mauer's .323. ... The Twins are 30-48 at home this season.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Jets 3 2nd Qtr 10:00
Buffalo 7
Baltimore 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Detroit
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Dallas
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
LA Clippers 43 2nd Qtr 4:21
Charlotte 43
Portland 40 2nd Qtr 4:45
Philadelphia 38
Orlando 27 2nd Qtr 4:07
Cleveland 44
Phoenix 19 1st Qtr 4:40
Toronto 18
New York 7:00 PM
Houston
Indiana 7:30 PM
Dallas
Chicago 8:00 PM
Utah
Pittsburgh 1 2nd Prd
Boston 0
Philadelphia 0 2nd Prd
NY Islanders 0
Ottawa 1 1st Prd 11:55
Detroit 0
Minnesota 1 1st Prd 10:56
Florida 0
East Carolina 49 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Nevada 56 FINAL
Weber State 59
Evansville 58 FINAL
Fresno State 52
Purdue 79 FINAL
Kansas State 88
Dillard 73 FINAL
Alcorn State 95
Clemson 64 FINAL
LSU 61
Georgia State 69 FINAL
Chicago State 46
MD-Eastern Shore 55 FINAL
Detroit 69
Missouri 53 FINAL
Arizona 72
Austin Peay 57 FINAL
Indiana State 61
Milwaukee 49 2nd Half 2:54
Louisiana 49
Marist 41 2nd Half 3:14
Fla Gulf Coast 54
Gardner-Webb 32 2nd Half 13:10
Old Dominion 40
Hampton 32 1st Half 0:56
Appalachian St 41
Grambling St 22 2nd Half
Ball State 41
FIU 30 2nd Half
Ga Southern 34
Jacksonville 29 2nd Half
IUPU-Ft Wayne 49
Colgate 34 2nd Half
James Madison 39
Savannah State 7 1st Half 0:20
Louisville 39
Arizona State 39 2nd Half
Maryland 37
Santa Clara 14 1st Half 2:28
Michigan State 38
Western Carolina 42 2nd Half
Oakland 30
SE Louisiana 29 2nd Half
Tenn Tech 32
Bucknell 17 1st Half 0:21
Toledo 41
Villanova 25 1st Half 4:11
VA Commonwealth 24
Nicholls 20 1st Half 0:04
Wake Forest 47
East Tenn St 25 1st Half 2:16
Winthrop 30
Murray State 32 2nd Half
Xavier 52
Eastern Wash 19 1st Half 10:30
Indiana 19
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Baylor
Lipscomb 7:00 PM
Belmont
Brown 7:00 PM
Illinois
Pepperdine 7:00 PM
Iowa
Rider 7:00 PM
Kansas
Prairie View 7:00 PM
Memphis
Clayton State 7:00 PM
Miss State
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
TCU
TX A&M-Int 7:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Oregon State 7:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Hawaii 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Seton Hall 8:00 PM
Illinois State
NJIT 8:00 PM
Marquette
Stetson 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Pittsburgh 8:00 PM
Chaminade
Alabama 8:30 PM
Iowa State
Michigan 8:30 PM
Oregon
Colorado Christian 8:30 PM
Northern Colorado
Chadron State 8:30 PM
South Dakota St
Western Mich 9:00 PM
San Diego
SIU Edwardsville 9:05 PM
Portland State
Tulsa 10:00 PM
Auburn
BYU 10:30 PM
San Diego St
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
Montreal 24 FINAL
Hamilton 40
Edmonton 18 FINAL
Calgary 43
Grambling 51 FINAL
George Washington 89
Saint Louis 57 FINAL
Vanderbilt 75
NW Nazarene 69 FINAL
Idaho State 88
Millersville 60 FINAL
Delaware State 71
Harvard 43 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 97
Austin Peay 65 FINAL
Chattanooga 76
Brescia 68 FINAL
Morehead St 98
NC State 44 2nd Half 3:08
Tulane 52
Tennessee St 25 1st Half 1:06
(4) Tennessee 42
Troy 30 2nd Half
Florida A&M 33
Sam Houston St 17 2nd Half
South Dakota St 40
UNC Greensboro 32 2nd Half
Longwood 30
Rhode Island 25 2nd Half
Columbia 34
Western State 22 2nd Half
Northern Colorado 45
TX A&M-CC 25 2nd Half
Rice 30
Cornell 33 2nd Half
Fairfield 24
St Johns 22 2nd Half
Marist 18
Bradley 25 2nd Half
Stony Brook 39
Mount Ida 35 2nd Half
UMass Lowell 49
Thomas (GA) 27 2nd Half
Georgia State 52
Loyola-Maryland 26 2nd Half
(10) Maryland 38
Barton 8 1st Half 14:30
UNC-Asheville 8
Campbell 27 2nd Half
Western Carolina 35
North Florida 26 2nd Half
Samford 43
Prairie View 7:00 PM
(7) Texas A&M
Eastern Washington 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Cal-Irvine 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Quinnipiac 7:00 PM
Holy Cross
East Tenn St 7:05 PM
Indiana State
(5) Stanford 8:00 PM
New Mexico
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Cal State Fullerton 8:00 PM
Weber State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close