Even a guy with 10,067 yards rushing can be a work in progress.
Reigning NFL MVP Adrian Peterson, even in Year 7, needs patience. Now enjoying the second season of a close relationship with fullback and fellow All-Pro Jerome Felton, Peterson was asked Wednesday why he used to resist the use of fullbacks.
“I still kind of don’t like it now, at times,” Peterson said. “It all depends on the play call. … It varies.”
Peterson appreciates Felton’s lead blocks and the multiple pulling blocks of the linemen and tight ends in front of him. The Vikings leaned heavily on those types of power-play calls as Peterson ran for 211 yards on 35 carries in Sunday’s 23-20 overtime win over the Bears.
Asked how difficult it is to match up the timing with a fullback and pulling linemen and tight ends, Peterson smiled.
“Based off last week, I wouldn’t say it’s difficult,” he said. “But I can say for myself, I’m just so quick to shoot the gun sometimes. When you have two pullers or three pullers in front of you, you have to be more patient. I haven’t had a lot of time over my career being patient. That’s why sometimes, I don’t like the fullback in front of me.
“When I work on myself and try to be more patient, you see what happens last week. Allowing those guys to get in front of me, you see how effective it can be in the running game.”
Asked for favorite Metrodome memories, Peterson mentioned his first NFL regular-season game, when he scored on a 60-yard reception against the Falcons in 2007. He mentioned clinching the playoffs in Week 17 against the Packers last season.
Oh yeah, he also mentioned “296,” a number that needed no introduction. Peterson ran for that many yards to set the NFL rushing record against the Chargers as a rookie.
Asked if he’s sad to see the Dome down to its final season, Peterson said: “Sad? I wouldn’t say sad. What I’ve seen that we have to look forward to, I’m not sad at all. I’m excited. It’s been here for a long time and it’s got a lot of history. So from that sense, it’s good times, good memories. But it’s time to move forward.”
A very high number
After rushing a career-high 35 times, Peterson said he could have kept going.
Well, that’s not happening. Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said 35 was too much.
“I do; Adrian doesn’t,” Musgrave said. “Like he said, he would prefer 50 or 55. But I do have concern. I don’t want to go over and beyond what’s smart with him.”
Why kick it to Hester?
Someone close to special teams coach Mike Priefer thinks she knows why the Vikings elected to kick the ball to Devin Hester, the best return man in NFL history, with the score tied 20-20 with 20 seconds left in regulation. Hester nearly broke free for a touchdown, going 57 yards to the 50.
“I thought we would cover it better,” Priefer said. “We didn’t cover it very well. My wife told me it’s my ego, that’s why we kicked it. … Probably in retrospect I would swallow my pride a little bit and kick it short.”
Priefer said he had a “heart-to-heart” meeting with rookie punter Jeff Locke after the Seahawks game on Nov. 17. It appears to have helped Locke’s consistency the past two games.
“I honestly told him he is the dumbest smart guy I’ve ever met in my life,” Priefer said. “All he did was think. He was overthinking, overanalyzing everything. He just wasn’t going out there and doing what he does.”
• Quarterback Christian Ponder still has not passed NFL protocol for returning from a concussion.
• The Vikings have to make a decision next week on whether to add receiver Greg Childs to the active roster or place him on injured reserve. Childs is trying to come back from tearing the patellar tendons in both knees in training camp last year. He’s making progress but is expected to be placed on IR next week.