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NFL: Players buying message from Turner, Vikings

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NFL: Players buying message from Turner, Vikings
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MANKATO — If you are former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, now might be a good time to look away.

Earlier this week, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was asked a harmless opening question about the offense under new coordinator Norv Turner. Without prompting from reporters, Peterson turned it into a critical, honest and accurate assessment of the predictability of past offenses, including those of Turner’s predecessor, Musgrave.

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“This is what I’ve been looking for the past seven years,” Peterson said. “And now I feel like we have an offense that fits our talent and what we have as far as the players at their positions and what they’re able to do. I’m pretty excited for what Norv Turner is putting in for us. It’s putting guys in opportunities to make plays and be more versatile as an offense. So I’m stoked about that.”

Turner is Peterson’s third offensive coordinator. He went to the NFC Championship game with his first coordinator, Darrell Bevel, who had Brett Favre as the quarterback. Musgrave, the second offensive coordinator, contributed to a playoff season in 2012, but was mostly ridiculed for a simplistic offense that was highly predictable.

That was the media’s take. And now it’s also Peterson’s public stance.

“I just call it what it is,” Peterson said to a group of reporters. “I feel in the past, we were predictable. You guys wrote stories about being predictable in the past seven years. You won’t be able to write that story this year. That’s pretty much all that I’m saying. You won’t be able to do that because this offense is so versatile.”

As for Turner’s offense being successful, a lot depends on the quarterback position, obviously.

The Vikings have said there’s a three-man competition. But Christian Ponder is a distant third and sees little action — all with the third unit — during 11-on-11 drills.

That leaves veteran Matt Cassel, who has a tentative grip on the No. 1 job, and rookie first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater, who is gaining ground quickly because of his learning capacity, work ethic, poise and smooth, quick release.

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