There aren’t many things on the field that make Adrian Peterson look like an average football player.
Pass protection is one of those things.
Coach Mike Zimmer has said Peterson is taking that part of his job seriously and is working hard to improve in that area. Earlier today, Peterson was asked about his pass protection during his weekly press conference with reporters.
The question: What do you know about pass protection now that you didn’t know when you came into the league? What have you learned about its importance?
Peterson thought about it for a few seconds and then reflected on what it was like when he came into the league in 2007.
“It was a little different for me, to be honest with you,” he said. “You always hear coaches say, ‘If you don’t block, then you’re not going to play.’ I don’t think I was the guy who fit that. If I didn’t didn’t block, I was still going to play. It was kind of was what it was.
“But you definitely learn that you want to protect the quarterback. Those guys are your prized possession. So just making sure during the week that you’re doing your one-on-ones with your coach. That you’re understanding what the defense is going to present to you with their schemes, their looks, and you’re picking it up.”
Peterson also admitted that Teddy Bridgewater’s presence has helped him understand the importance of pass protection. Peterson and Bridgewater have played together for only the four games this season.
“With a guy like Teddy — and I’m not going to go back — but I have even more of an emphasis on making sure Teddy is protected when I’m out and getting it done,” Peterson said. “But it has always been important from my first year until now.”
Obviously, the Denver game was mentioned. It was Peterson’s missed block that allowed safety T.J. Ward’s strip sack that gave Denver the ball and clinched the Broncos’ 23-20 win with 29 seconds left in the game.
“I talked about it; I’ve addressed that several times,” Peterson said. “We’re playing Kansas City. Denver was two weeks ago. I’m going to leave it there.”
Peterson also talked about Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who is out for the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee in last week’s loss to Chicago.
“I was looking forward to [playing against him],” Peterson said. “Getting out there and seeing him run the ball as well. It’s very unfortunate. He’s a very hard worker. I know him personally. Just wish him well. I had the chance to talk to [Chiefs running backs coach and former Vikings running backs coach] EB, Eric Bieniemy, a little bit. Of course those guys are taking it hard. I just wish [Charles] well and hopefully I’m able to link up with him in the offseason. If God’s willing, we can work together and help him push back.”
Months ago, Charles called himself the “LeBron James of the NFL.” Peterson fired back that he was the LeBron James of the NFL. In a conference call with Kansas City reporters on Wednesday, Peterson either backed down or upped the ante, depending on your view of NBA history.
“I’ll say I’m the Michael Jordan,” Peterson said. “There’s always the debate, would LeBron be better than Michael? So I’ll say I’m the Michael Jordan of football.”
Today, Peterson joked that he’s “Just Adrian” today. He also said all the name comparisons are made in fun.
“To me, it’s all fun,” he said. “But when you get other people involved, they always have something to say. But that’s life. So I just enjoy it. Just for the conversation sake.”