Monday, October 5, 2015

adrian peterson

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Arguably, the most anticipated player arriving at Vikings training camp Saturday morning was running back Adrian Peterson. After missing an entire year on the field and sparking plenty of drama off the field, things seem to finally be returning to order as No. 28 will be back in purple on Sundays.

Hundreds of fans welcomed Peterson in Mankato with “MVP” chants, and he addressed the media shortly after arriving. Peterson said the following about returning to the field:

I feel pretty good. It feels good to be out here with the fellas and get back into the swing of things and open my mind back to the playbook and what Coach is asking us to do. It’s been pleasant.

Peterson referred to the happenings of the last year as “curve balls” and credited the coaching staff for helping everything come together to the point that it has.

There’s no denying Peterson’s natural athletic ability, and he assured the media and fans alike that he hasn’t taken a step back after missing the 2014 season. He said a few days of practice brought everything back, and he’s been mentally and physically preparing to be back on the field.

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Minnesota Vikings Training Camp kicked off Saturday at Minnesota State University in Mankato, and lots of interviews took place with coaches and players alike. Head coach Mike Zimmer, entering his second season at the helm of the Viking ship, addressed the media in the afternoon.

Zimmer echoed plenty of fans’ sentiments by expressing his excitement to have the players back together and getting ready for the 2015 season.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Zimmer said, with his always-business-like demeanor. “We have a tough schedule. Hopefully we can come together as a team and accomplish some things that we want to get done.”

The sophomore coach acknowledged the benefit of having one year under his belt and an increased level of comfort not only with being a head coach but also with communication and understanding between himself and general manager Rick Spielman.

Naturally, one of the first questions directed toward Zimmer surrounded running back Adrian Peterson and his feelings on being back with the team. Zimmer met the questions with a faint air of impatience, which isn’t surprising considering the drawn-out situation.

You’d have to ask [Adrian] those questions yourself,” Zimmer said, “but as far as myself, I think it’s great for both sides. I think we’ve both expressed our opinions on everything, and like I’ve said a million times, Adrian’s always been great with me, and that’s all I care about—trying to do the best for him, and I think he feels the same way about me.

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Teddy Bridgewater, QB – Minnesota Vikings

I’m going to take a page out of Teddy Bridgewater’s book and cool the hype on Minnesota’s favorite quarterback. While I believe Bridgewater will improve his game in 2015— both on the stat sheet and on film — he’s not going to light up fantasy football leagues week-in and week-out. If anything, Bridgewater is a solid choice as your backup quarterback, and a safety net if QB1 is injured or cannot play.

Earlier today, Brett joked he’d take Bridgewater first overall in his league, no matter what I wrote tonight. Though it’s not necessarily true, Brett’s joke is a sign of the optimism surrounding Bridgewater as training camp nears. After a Week 13-17 stretch that saw the rookie quarterback complete 72.1 percent of his passes and throw six touchdowns, that positive feeling is warranted.

Though Bridgewater’s the center of attention in Minnesota, he’s not letting the spotlight skew his opinion of the team, per USA Today’s Tom Pelissero:

“Right now, we’re not as good as what we think,” he said. “We know that the ceiling is very high and the expectation level is very high — not only for the players, but from a coaching staff also. We know what’s being asked of us, but we have a long way to go.”

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It’s time! It is time for the only camping that Andy actually likes to do. The Minnesota Fightin’ Vikings report to Mankato on Saturday to begin the hopefully fruitful 2015 campaign. Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) – Vikings writer at 1500 ESPN as well as BAWS on their Purple Podcast – joins the show to drop some knowledge on us before the Vikings Nation descends on the Jewel of South Central Minnesota that is Mankato.

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After yesterday’s surprise contract restructure, Adrian Peterson likely woke up today the happiest member of the Minnesota Vikings. He’ll earn $13 million guaranteed in 2015 and another $7 million guaranteed in 2016, bringing his guaranteed total to $20 million through 2017. It’s an exceptional deal for a player nearing the twilight of his career, and a deal that will keep one of the Vikings’ most important players in Minnesota for at least two more years.

Like Peterson, Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner has to be excited for the start of the season. When he joined Mike Zimmer’s staff, Turner envisioned “getting the field spread” for Peterson and creating more opportunities in the passing game and running game for the veteran. In 2009, Peterson hauled in a career-high 43 receptions, and Turner’s system will likely help the nine-year veteran eclipse that mark in 2015.

Without Peterson for the majority of the 2014 season, Turner relied on Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata to carry the load. The two combined for 1,108 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on the year, with each providing a different element to the running attack. Asiata is a straight-line runner and goal line specialist, while McKinnon is the prototypical change-of-pace back, able to make plays on quick hitting run plays and passes out of the backfield.

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