As an Oklahoma Sooner, Adrian Peterson became a familiar Big 12 football foe to Brian Robison, a Texas Longhorn.

Robison will need to tap into that experience to help Vikings defenders corral Peterson, the 2012 NFL MVP, after he signed a two-year deal with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday. Peterson's return to U.S. Bank Stadium will be immediate, as the Vikings open the regular season Sept. 11 against the Saints on a nationally televised "Monday Night Football" game.

"I've tackled him a lot," Robison recalled.

Not within the past decade, while Peterson established himself as the Vikings' career rushing leader and one of the NFL's best with 11,747 rushing yards. Peterson was basically treated like a starting quarterback during practices, made virtually untouchable as the franchise protected its top player.

"We never got to tackle Adrian in the time I've been here with the Vikings, so this will be different," Robison said. "Adrian always said he felt like he could run on our defense and our defense has always said you wouldn't run on us. Something has got to break on [Sept. 11]."

Robison expects an "electric atmosphere" for Peterson's return to Minnesota as Vikings defenders eagerly await the chance to take him down. The 32-year-old Peterson will be wearing a new uniform for the first time in his 11th NFL season.

"Adrian, to me since I've been here, is the greatest Minnesota Viking to ever put on that uniform," General Manager Rick Spielman said. "He's a Hall of Fame player. He'll go down in history as one of the greatest rushers in the NFL, if not the greatest."

Cornerback Xavier Rhodes admitted seeing Peterson on the other sideline will take some adjusting.

"It's going to be weird, first of all, seeing him in a different colored jersey and different logo," Rhodes said. "It's also going to be weird [for him] playing against us on our home field, but we have to do what we have to do. If he gets the ball, we have to tackle him."

Throughout years of practices, Vikings defenders and Peterson would jaw back and forth about what might be if they were allowed to hit each other. Now they'll find out. Everson Griffen, one of the Vikings' 2016 team captains along with Peterson, is looking forward to finally tackling Peterson.

"We always had to run by him and, you know, tag off," Griffen said. "But I think it's going to be a fun opportunity, because every time we did [in practice], it was 'Ooh, I can't wait, I can't wait.' But now we get the opportunity to go hit him."

The jovial Griffen also thought the NFL's schedule, released last week, was kind of fishy since the league sent the Saints to Minnesota right before Peterson signed in New Orleans.

"I don't know about the odds of that," Griffen pondered. "Saints, Week 1 and then all of a sudden they sign Adrian. I think the NFL had a little inside scoop on what was going on."

Tight end Kyle Rudolph said he expects a "warm welcome" for Peterson in his return to Minnesota. Rudolph is also just glad he will be watching from the sideline when Peterson enters the game.

"So I don't have to tackle him," Rudolph said.