NFL: Peterson hits ‘reset button’
By Chris TomassonSt. Paul Pioneer Press MINNEAPOLIS -- Adrian Peterson was smiling again Thursday. NFL players give themselves 24 hours to leave behind the euphoria of a victory or the deflation of a loss, but the Vikings running back was still r...
By Chris Tomasson
St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS - Adrian Peterson was smiling again Thursday.
NFL players give themselves 24 hours to leave behind the euphoria of a victory or the deflation of a loss, but the Vikings running back was still reeling Wednesday from Monday night’s 20-3 loss at San Francisco in the opener.
In his first game in a year, Peterson carried 10 times for 31 yards.
“I was walking around, I had a frown on my face,” Peterson said. “When I’m mad, you can see the wrinkles (on his forehead). I had those wrinkles all day, just mad for no reason. Because we had moved on, but I just couldn’t move on that quickly.
“So, yeah, the reset button has been pressed.”
Peterson said he’s now concentrating on Detroit, Minnesota’s foe in Sunday’s home opener at TCF Bank Stadium. Still, questions linger about Monday, Peterson’s first game since missing the final 15 games of 2014 after being suspended because of a child-abuse incident.
Peterson got about half the carries he has averaged in his nine-year NFL career against San Francisco. But, he said, now is not the time to complain about that.
“If it really got to that point, then I would,’’ Peterson said. “I have a lot of trust in (offensive coordinator Norv) Turner and what he’s going to ask of us, so I still voice my opinion to him, as well. So we’ll see how things flow this weekend.”
Former Minnesota running back Herschel Walker was among those watching Monday’s game. He believed the Vikings were too quick to abandon their running attack.
“I don’t think Minnesota went into that game with a game plan,” Walker said. “They got behind, and they didn’t go in with the idea of running the ball the whole game. They went away from their bread and butter. ... If they can’t control the ball and control the clock (with Peterson), they’re not going to win many games.”
Turner was in no mood Thursday to look back at the 49ers game. Echoing what head coach Mike Zimmer had said Wednesday, Turner said he has moved on.
“I’m not going to talk about last week,” Turner said. “We’re trying to get ready, and we’re going to put a game plan together that gives Adrian the best chance to be successful.”
After not playing in a game in more than a year, Peterson had wondered how his week of recovery might go. He said Thursday that with the exception of a slightly sore neck, he was feeling fine.
“It felt good to get out there and get some live action, get some full-speed looks, and things like that, when it comes to protection and run plays and out of the (shotgun),” Peterson said. “My body got broke in. Mentally, it was challenging and good for me as well.”
Throughout his career, Peterson has run with the quarterback behind center about eight yards deep in the backfield. That’s where he feels most comfortable, he said, adding that working out of a shotgun formation has been an adjustment.
That, he said, calls for “really, really being patient and then exploding.”
“So with that, it comes down to making sure that your alignment is right, you’re being patient, you’re reading it quickly and then you’re responding quickly,” he added.
Sunday will mark the first game Peterson has played at TCF Bank Stadium. The only time he suited up last season was on the road, and he was out with an injury when the Vikings played one game at TCF in December 2010 following the Metrodome roof collapsing because of heavy snowfall.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Peterson, who plans to leave more than a dozen tickets for family members. “It will be exciting, fun running out of that tunnel for the first time and having my family up in the box and some (others) out watching the game - just to have the experience of playing at home for the first time outside.”
The Vikings are hoping the time has come for Peterson to again break loose. The last time he played a game in Minnesota, he rushed for 211 yards and passed 10,000 for his career in a 23-20 overtime win over Chicago on Dec. 1, 2013, at the Metrodome.
“Adrian is going to make plays; everybody knows that,” said backup running back Jerick McKinnon. “I guess this is about him getting back in the groove and just getting comfortable with everything again. Everyone has faith in him.”
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Peterson hits ‘reset button’