Q&A: Adrian Peterson

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 29, 2013 - 6:45 AM

Adrian Peterson isn’t shy with his opinions, from his goal of 2,500 yards, through his thoughts on HGH and to his reaction to the Percy Harvin trade.

hide

Back in Mankato for training camp, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has his sights sets on improving on his MVP-winning 2012 season.

Photo: Photos by CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Vikings will put the pads on at training camp for the first time Monday, continuing a lengthy stay in Mankato that they hope can propel another run to the playoffs. The linchpin for this season’s success: running back Adrian Peterson, who has vowed to better the 2,000-yard MVP season he delivered a year ago. Vikings beat writer Dan Wiederer sat down for a 1-on-1 interview with Peterson. Here are excerpts from that discussion:

Q: So 2,500 yards. How many times have people brought that number up to you in the last six months?

A: Too many. A thousand times.

Q: My sense from you is that people are getting fixated on the number itself and missing the crux of things and what that goal really means to you. Fair?

A: Completely. I set that goal because I’m always looking to improve and to challenge myself in a lot of different ways. So for me 2,500 is a new challenge. For me. Listen, if I don’t hear that number mentioned to me again, I’ll be all good. It’s like this. People hear that 2,500 and it’s “Oh wow. That’s not possible. What was he thinking?” They kind of focus on it too much. In my mind, I’m not looking at it like that at all.

Q: You talked Friday about the suspicions that are out there about you and human growth hormone and performance-enhancing drugs. Where have you personally picked up on those suspicions — fans, other players, where?

A: A lot of it’s on Twitter. And of course I’ve heard it on the field. One of the players from Detroit came up to me and said something funny. He didn’t say HGH specifically but he was like, “Man, whatever you’re on, let me know. I want to take some of that.” You hear all sorts of speculation. … But for me, I’ve always approached that and looked at that and it gives me a pump. To me, it makes me feel good to know that people think I perform to a level where it was so spectacular that they think I was taking HGH. I say to myself, “Wow! God has really blessed me with the talent and intangibles to perform at that level.” I don’t take it as an insult, I take it as a compliment.

Q: You have said that you understand the temptation and pressure for guys in this league to take HGH and other things. What is that dynamic and that temptation?

A: Not everybody can get by on natural ability. Not everybody is willing to put in the hard work. And there are a lot of guys who put in so much hard work and still don’t have that athletic ability to push them over that edge to keep them playing this game for a long time. So they’re always trying to find that supplement that can help them reach that next level. Look, I don’t know anything about HGH, ’roids, none of that. Because I have no use for it. But of course, in this world we’re living in, you hear about it. You know it’s being used. And taking HGH hasn’t been tested in the NFL. So I’m not stupid. I’m not blind to the fact that guys are using it. I can only control what I can control. And that’s me busting my butt and going out there and playing against those guys that are juiced up and still doing them in.

Q: For what you did to the timetable of ACL recovery, is that a good thing or a bad thing for the rest of the world?

A: I think it’s a good thing and a bad thing. Because you have a lot of guys who just don’t have that same mind-set, who aren’t going to work as hard as I did. So when they don’t come back around the time I did or a month or two after, they’re looked down upon. But on the positive side, it gives people something to shoot for. I get tweets every day from people telling me that ‘Hey, I’m going to overcome my injury or my illness. Cancer. Different diseases. I can beat it because Adrian Peterson showed me the determination and the willpower to be able to prosper and get through adversity whenever it comes.’

Q: From afar, have you followed Robert Griffin III’s recovery from his knee injury?

A: A little bit. I’ve turned to ESPN, the NFL Network to kind of see how things are going for him and whatnot. And I wish him the best.

Q: You seemed impressed with him when you guys played the Redskins last year. What was your initial impression?

A: I have a good feel for people. He’s a good-spirited guy. You could tell. Just good-spirited, man. You combine that with athletic ability and being humble, you have a special person right there. And then that ambition. You see that with how he plays. If you apply all that to rehab, he’ll come back no problem.

Q: The day Percy Harvin was traded away, you let it be known on Twitter that you weren’t happy at all with that. Can you explain that initial reaction?

A: To me, this is how I look at it. I don’t care what’s going on. I am not trading Percy Harvin. If anything, if he’s going to hold out, it’s this: “You’re going to sit right here and you’re just not going to play. I’m not going to trade you.” That’s me. That’s me. So I was upset. This is a guy that you’ve seen what he’s got. Best player I’ve played with. His athletic ability as a whole — fast, quick, elusive, strong as an ox. And it’s all compact in a little body. To me, he was a good guy. We all have our different ways, our personalities. And sometimes they don’t click with certain individuals. … But to me, his was a situation that went overboard and it didn’t really have to go there.

Q: Does that 2009 season and that NFC championship loss to the Saints still stick with you?

  • related content

  • MINNESOTA TOPICS: Adrian Peterson

    Find the latest news and information about Adrian Peterson.

  • Peterson on the 2,500-yard goal“I’m always looking to improve and to challenge myself in a lot of different ways.’’

  • Losing to the Saints in the 2009 NFC Championship Game still bothers Adrian Peterson. “I’m desperate to get back there,’’ he said.

  • Adrian Peterson took the handoff from Christian Ponder during training camp, an act that we’ll see plenty of this season.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Houston 6
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Miami 1
Baltimore 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
NY Yankees 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Chicago Cubs 6 FINAL
San Francisco 8
Los Angeles 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
San Diego 4 FINAL
Seattle 9
Cleveland 9 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
Milwaukee 2 FINAL
LA Angels 3
Oakland 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 2
Texas 4 FINAL
Kansas City 5
Colorado 3 FINAL
Arizona 4
NY Mets 4 FINAL
Washington 5
Boston 8 FINAL
Minnesota 9
Toronto 0 FINAL
Baltimore 5
Oklahoma City 105 FINAL
Chicago 108
Dallas 75 FINAL
Portland 94
Calgary 4 FINAL(SO)
Boston 3
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Philadelphia 3
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Washington 1
Toronto 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Dallas 4 FINAL(SO)
Florida 3
NY Islanders 4 FINAL
Nashville 3
Vancouver 2 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 3
Montreal 3 FINAL(SO)
Los Angeles 4
Morgan State 76 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 89
Niagara 54 FINAL
Siena 71
Holy Cross 83 FINAL
Bucknell 90
Western Ky 88 FINAL
Charlotte 84
Navy 62 FINAL
Colgate 72
Temple 70 FINAL
East Carolina 56
UAB 59 FINAL
Fla Atlantic 62
Boston Univ 64 FINAL
Lafayette 89
American Univ 68 FINAL
Lehigh 62
Wisconsin 76 FINAL
Minnesota 63
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Saint Peters 63
Arkansas 78 FINAL
South Carolina 74
Morehead State 76 FINAL
UT Martin 65
USC Upstate 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 62
Lipscomb 57 FINAL
North Florida 71
Southern Ill 55 FINAL
Missouri State 48
Texas State 64 FINAL
Appalachian St 67
SC State 62 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 72
Delaware State 104 FINAL
Coppin State 92
Middle Tennessee 54 FINAL
FIU 59
Texas-Arlington 64 FINAL
Ga Southern 76
Norfolk State 80 FINAL
Hampton 69
NC A&T 58 FINAL
NC Central 69
Savannah State 57 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Southern Miss 61 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 72
Marshall 50 FINAL
Old Dominion 67
Rice 76 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 74
South Alabama 81 FINAL
Arkansas State 76
Alabama State 70 FINAL
Grambling St 46
Alabama A&M 54 FINAL
Jackson State 72
Sam Houston St 67 FINAL
Lamar 61
Georgia State 58 FINAL
ULM 50
Central Arkansas 70 FINAL
Nicholls 77
Portland State 51 FINAL
Northern Ariz 58
Southern U 77 FINAL
Prairie View 73
Alcorn State 73 FINAL
Texas Southern 94
Houston Baptist 72 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 85
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Louisiana 75
SE Louisiana 79 FINAL
New Orleans 85
California 60 FINAL
Arizona 99
Memphis 54 FINAL
Connecticut 53
VA Commonwealth 55 FINAL
Davidson 82
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Sacramento St 65 FINAL
Southern Utah 69
Northwestern St 66 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 92
North Texas 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 83
Colorado 64 FINAL
Washington 47
Idaho 63 FINAL
Weber State 74
Abilene Christian 52 FINAL
Incarnate Word 64
Eastern Wash 85 FINAL
Idaho State 81
Marist 80 FINAL
Quinnipiac 74
Eastern Ill 64 FINAL
Belmont 97
Bradley 52 FINAL
Drake 50
Cal State Fullerton 62 FINAL
UC Irvine 68
CS-Northridge 58 FINAL
Long Beach State 69
UC Riverside 59 FINAL
UC Davis 61
Stanford 62 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Utah 67 FINAL
Washington St 59
Monmouth 68 FINAL
Canisius 56
Wake Forest 85 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 79
Saint Louis 65 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 58
Saint Peters 62 FINAL
Rider 54
UNC-Asheville 51 FINAL
Liberty 59
UNC Greensboro 44 FINAL
(17) Chattanooga 78
Michigan State 69 FINAL
Michigan 49
Arkansas 72 FINAL
Ole Miss 61
Manhattan 51 FINAL
Niagara 57
Massachusetts 63 FINAL
Richmond 67
Virginia 52 FINAL
Miami-Florida 62
Jacksonville St 45 FINAL
Belmont 55
Morgan State 65 FINAL
MD-Eastern Shore 50
Campbell 65 FINAL
Winthrop 52
Furman 65 FINAL
Samford 54
Oregon 64 FINAL
Washington St 66
Indiana 52 FINAL
(23) Rutgers 63
Pepperdine 67 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 68
Auburn 47 FINAL
(18) Texas A&M 57
Morehead St 66 FINAL
Tennessee St 81
George Mason 43 FINAL
Saint Josephs 71
Western Carolina 53 FINAL
East Tenn St 73
Arizona 62 FINAL
UCLA 80
FIU 30 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 79
Texas State 55 FINAL
Appalachian St 61
TX-Arlington 66 FINAL
Georgia Southern 41
SC State 57 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 56
Delaware State 51 FINAL
Coppin State 80
Portland 58 FINAL
Santa Clara 66
Norfolk State 49 FINAL
Hampton 64
Florida Atlantic 56 FINAL
UAB 59
NC A&T 67 FINAL
NC Central 46
Savannah State 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 51
Virginia Tech 51 FINAL
Pittsburgh 45
Central Arkansas 43 FINAL
Nicholls 53
Houston Baptist 48 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 73
Gardner-Webb 70 FINAL
Radford 56
Georgia 75 FINAL
Missouri 64
Old Dominion 67 FINAL
Marshall 55
Ark-Little Rock 68 FINAL
Louisiana 66
South Alabama 60 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
Georgia State 66 FINAL
ULM 61
Sam Houston St 73 FINAL
Lamar 92
SE Louisiana 75 FINAL
New Orleans 84
Northwestern St 45 FINAL
Stephen F Austin 56
Alabama A&M 58 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Alabama State 68 FINAL
Grambling 62
Southern U 78 FINAL
Prairie View 50
Alcorn State 55 FINAL
Texas Southern 73
Ark-Pine Bluff 0 Postponed
Miss Valley St 0
Wofford 54 FINAL
Mercer 75
Abilene Christian 72 FINAL
Incarnate Word 62
La Salle 60 FINAL
Rhode Island 65
Illinois 71 FINAL
Nebraska 86
TX-San Antonio 60 FINAL
Rice 49
Valparaiso 55 FINAL
Oakland 70
Missouri State 65 FINAL
Indiana State 56
Georgia Tech 64 FINAL
(15) North Carolina 84
Charlotte 72 FINAL
Western Ky 80
Texas-El Paso 69 FINAL
North Texas 61
Wichita State 77 FINAL
Evansville 63
Loyola-Chicago 64 FINAL
Northern Iowa 69
Bradley 70 FINAL
Drake 86
Presbyterian 62 FINAL
High Point 75
Vanderbilt 61 FINAL
(12) Kentucky 67
Colorado 75 FINAL
USC 63
San Francisco 74 FINAL
Pacific 64
Idaho State 58 FINAL
Eastern Washington 62
Weber State 42 FINAL
Idaho 71
Purdue 78 FINAL
Minnesota 82
Cal-Irvine 54 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 66
Long Beach St 60 FINAL
CS-Northridge 77
UC Davis 56 FINAL
UC-Riverside 61
Northern Ariz 79 FINAL
Portland State 62
Southern Utah 73 FINAL
Sacramento St 107
Hawaii 60 2nd Half
UC Santa Barbara 36
Utah 64 FINAL
Washington 75
BYU 65 FINAL
St Marys-CA 64
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 NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close