Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Peterson, feeling urgency, is excited for new role

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated: May 1, 2014 - 1:45 PM

The Vikings just wrapped up their three-day volunteer minicamp here at Winter Park, and we got a chance to chat with running back Adrian Peterson, who as he was recovering from groin surgery had no doubt that he would be back in town to participate in the offseason program.

“I wanted to come in and get a good feel for things,” said Peterson, who apparently popped into town for a day a week or two to get into the offense and be around his teammates and coaches.

Peterson guesstimated that he was at 80 percent as he tries to regain his strength and balance, but he said that he is feeling good and expects to be at full strength by the start of the season.

Peterson had good things to say about new coach Mike Zimmer and coordinator Norv Turner.

“I was pretty excited when they hired Zimmer and him bringing in Turner,” said the 29-year-old running back, who looks a little slimmer than he did at the end of last season. “And then actually being around those guys and listening to their philosophy. And now being able to participate. It’s a lot to take in. We have a long way to go but I’m excited about the direction we’re headed.”

Peterson is trying to learn Turner’s offense, which had one veteran’s head spinning yesterday, and he said trying to execute the plays on the field this week was “like performing heart surgery without having a license to do so.” But he is excited about one particular aspect of the offense.

“I’m definitely going to be involved more in the passing game,” said Peterson, who caught 29 passes last season. “That’s something that I look forward to. When he was at San Diego and Cleveland, they would always find a way to get the running back out in space. So I knew once we hired him that would be something that would be new for me. So I’m pretty excited about that.”

Peterson acknowledged being more of a dual threat could cut into his carries and subsequently his rushing yards, but he isn’t worried about it. He’s feeling urgency to win as he approaches 30.

“It’s all about winning,” Peterson said. “And I’m trying to win a championship, so if that’s taking less of a pounding and being more productive in the passing game, I’m all in for it.”

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