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?

A: It does. That turnover at the goal line, man. I’ll take that one. I’ll take it. It was critical. … That would have put us up [21-14]. Man. Man. … So I’ll never be like, ‘Oh, [Brett] Favre threw that interception that cost us the game.’ I don’t say that. Because we as a team, especially offensively, we gave that one away. And it [stinks] so much. Because we should have beat the [tar] out of them. We should have. We should have shattered New Orleans that day. If you want to look at it on paper, you’d be like, “God! Dog! This game wasn’t close. How much did Minnesota win by?” Well, they lost.

Q: Do you have the appreciation for how close you were to the Super Bowl and how hard it is to get back?

A: It’s funny. I was talking the other day about it. Man, that feeling. Being down there in New Orleans, getting ready for that game, one game away from the Super Bowl. It can’t be described, man. You have to be in that moment and experience it. And it feels like it’s been so long. I’m desperate, man. I’m desperate to get back there.





 

  • 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

Philadelphia 24 FINAL
Washington 27
San Diego 38 FINAL
San Francisco 35
Minnesota 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 2:30 PM
Toronto
Memphis 3:30 PM
Cleveland
Boston 5:00 PM
Miami
Detroit 5:00 PM
Brooklyn
LA Lakers 5:00 PM
Sacramento
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Orlando
Phoenix 5:00 PM
Washington
Indiana 6:00 PM
Minnesota
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Colorado 5:00 PM
Detroit
Dallas 5:00 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Boston
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Winnipeg
Harvard 11:00 AM
Virginia
Maine 12:00 PM
Army
Ferris State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
San Francisco 12:00 PM
Cleveland State
Oregon State 12:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Coastal Carolina 12:30 PM
Central Arkansas
Holy Cross 1:00 PM
Canisius
Southern Miss 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Western Carolina 1:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
Creighton 1:00 PM
North Texas
Maryland 1:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Cornell 1:00 PM
Radford
Vermont 1:00 PM
Saint Louis
Loyola-Maryland 1:00 PM
Stony Brook
Reinhardt 1:00 PM
Winthrop
Ark-Little Rock 1:00 PM
Green Bay
TX-Pan American 1:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Alabama State 1:05 PM
Evansville
FIU 1:30 PM
Hartford
Goshen 1:35 PM
Valparaiso
Bryant 2:00 PM
Denver
Austin Peay 2:00 PM
Lipscomb
Tennessee St 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
South Dakota 2:00 PM
Montana
ULM 2:00 PM
Samford
Coker 2:30 PM
South Carolina
USC 3:00 PM
Boston College
Northern Ariz 3:00 PM
Hampton
SD Christian 3:00 PM
San Diego
UC Irvine 3:30 PM
Bradley
Troy 3:30 PM
Nicholls
Seton Hall 5:00 PM
Georgia
Appalachian St 5:30 PM
Alabama
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Kent State
San Jose St 6:00 PM
Washington St
Alcorn State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Seattle
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 11:00 AM
Denver
St Marys-CA 11:00 AM
George Washington
TX-San Antonio 11:00 AM
Nicholls
Portland State 11:00 AM
Columbia
Tenn Tech 11:00 AM
Morgan State
SMU 11:00 AM
Auburn
Quinnipiac 11:00 AM
Hartford
Hofstra 11:00 AM
Boston College
Eastern Washington 11:00 AM
Georgia Southern
Rhode Island 12:00 PM
Bryant
Liberty 12:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
Fairleigh Dickinson 12:00 PM
Brown
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Long Island
Bucknell 12:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Stony Brook 12:00 PM
Wagner
FIU 12:00 PM
Wofford
Duquesne 12:00 PM
Providence
Maine 12:00 PM
William & Mary
Alabama State 12:00 PM
Samford
TX-Pan American 12:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
South Dakota St 12:00 PM
Marist
Saint Josephs 12:00 PM
(5) Notre Dame
Radford 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(3) Texas 12:30 PM
(4) Texas A&M
South Florida 1:00 PM
Penn State
Sam Houston St 1:00 PM
TCU
Evansville 1:00 PM
IUPUI
(14) Maryland 1:00 PM
Coppin State
Mercer 1:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
NC A&T 1:00 PM
Chattanooga
Princeton 1:00 PM
Monmouth
Eastern Illinois 1:00 PM
Lehigh
Rider 1:00 PM
Binghamton
SC State 1:00 PM
Clemson
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Iowa State
Richmond 1:00 PM
Eastern Kentucky
Cleveland State 1:00 PM
Morehead St
Kent State 1:00 PM
Colgate
South Alabama 1:00 PM
UAB
Saint Peters 1:00 PM
Navy
Youngstown St 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
NJIT 1:00 PM
Lafayette
Davidson 1:00 PM
Charlotte
Indiana State 1:30 PM
St Johns
Southern U 1:30 PM
Florida
Wright State 1:30 PM
Purdue
(19) Oklahoma St 2:00 PM
USC
Houston 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
Ark-Little Rock 2:00 PM
Tulsa
Dayton 2:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Northern Ariz 2:00 PM
New Mexico
UNC-Asheville 2:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Dakota 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Western Ill 2:00 PM
Marquette
Elon 2:00 PM
(6) North Carolina
Ball State 2:00 PM
Western Ky
(8) Kentucky 2:00 PM
(13) Duke
New Orleans 2:00 PM
Alabama
Chicago State 2:00 PM
Milwaukee
Bowling Green 2:00 PM
Bradley
Ill-Springfield 2:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Northern Ill 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
(23) Iowa 2:05 PM
Drake
Central Michigan 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Western Carolina 2:30 PM
North Florida
Wyoming 3:00 PM
Colorado
Portland 3:00 PM
Boise State
Cal Poly 3:00 PM
Colorado State
No Dakota State 3:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Albany 3:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Oklahoma 3:00 PM
Arkansas
Idaho State 3:00 PM
Seattle
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(19) Syracuse
Northwestern 3:30 PM
Arizona State
TX-Arlington 3:30 PM
North Texas
Fresno State 4:00 PM
Oregon
St Francis-PA 4:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
UNLV 4:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
UCLA 4:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
(10) Louisville 4:00 PM
(24) California
Howard 5:00 PM
Virginia
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
(21) Miss State
Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
Old Dominion
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 Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Sunday against Miami?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close