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Adrian Peterson focuses on taking care of himself, on and off the field

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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has a goal to break Emmitt Smith’s all-time rushing record. To do that, the 29-year-old Peterson will need to stay healthy well into his 30s. And Peterson says that’s his top priority.

Asked why he thinks he’ll still be going strong at an age when most running backs are done, Peterson told Dan Pompei of Sports on Earth, “Taking care of your body. Making sure your body is battle proof and able to withstand the punishment a running back goes though. It’s doing the small things — ice tub, cold tub, massages, making sure you help your body rejuvenate.”

But it’s more than just taking care of his body between games and during the offseason. Peterson says he is increasingly learning to avoid unnecessary hits on the field. As a young player Peterson might have put his head down and tried to run over a defender after picking up five yards on second-and-4, but now Peterson says that he won’t take an extra hit for an extra yard — unless his team really needs it.

“There comes a point in time when you know the extra yard really doesn’t matter if you already have the first down, and you know you aren’t going to get it,” he said. “Or I’m sprinting to the sideline and two guys are chasing me with an angle. I know I’m not going to get the corner on them. Earlier in my career, I would have dug in and have that contact for two extra yards, but now it depends on the situation. If I’m trying to get the first down, I’m dipping my shoulder and going for it. First down accomplished, I can step out.”

If that approach slightly reduces Peterson’s yardage totals while greatly increasing his chances of staying healthy, it’s the right way to play.

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76 Responses to “Adrian Peterson focuses on taking care of himself, on and off the field”
  1. footballfanrushradio says: Jun 26, 2014 10:50 AM

    He is truly maturing and this read proves it.

  2. shadowman1433 says: Jun 26, 2014 10:51 AM

    Good to hear the Peterson’s main goal is thinking about himself and not about the team winning.

  3. thestrategyexpert says: Jun 26, 2014 10:52 AM

    If it’s 2nd and 4 that means that 4 yards isn’t going to be a TD, so that extra yard does matter. To say that it “really doesn’t matter” is either a lie or a statement of ignorance.

  4. iman62 says: Jun 26, 2014 10:52 AM

    He would find a lot more running lanes if the vikings had a QB.

  5. 700levelvet says: Jun 26, 2014 10:54 AM

    Nothing about winning a Super Bowl… Go figure

  6. themeccalambeaufield says: Jun 26, 2014 10:55 AM

    Another way to look at it is he is getting soft while giving less effort and whats he going to be making this year 15 million? You gotta love the Minnesota mentality, no wonder they live in the cellar.

  7. theoriginalbvan says: Jun 26, 2014 10:56 AM


  8. hillbillyjim says: Jun 26, 2014 11:02 AM

    I can’t wait for the season to start so I can watch the Vikings drop another NFC North 4th place banner. So proud!

  9. purp1eone says: Jun 26, 2014 11:03 AM

    AD is the man.

    Just ask the packers defense.

  10. patfic5 says: Jun 26, 2014 11:03 AM

    What about his kids?

  11. tokyosandblaster says: Jun 26, 2014 11:04 AM

    He’s broken. Regression has already set in, and he won’t be in the top half of the running backs this year as far as production.


  12. kamthechancellor says: Jun 26, 2014 11:06 AM

    “It’s the right way to play?”

    Vince Lombardi is rolling in his grave.

  13. clashpoint says: Jun 26, 2014 11:09 AM

    Those guys who lower their heads every time are the ones you’re more likely to see with long term traumatic brain injuries. Playing harder doesn’t always mean playing better. Playing smarter almost always does.

  14. themeccalambeaufield says: Jun 26, 2014 11:15 AM

    Is there a week that goes by were this egomaniac doesn’t talk about himself? Didn’t take long before he became the player you teach your children not to emulate, Play for the team not yourself. T.O. 2.0

  15. omniscientmoi says: Jun 26, 2014 11:18 AM

    Is it really so hard for you Packer fans to stop inventing nasty or quibbling things to say about Peterson, when YOU KNOW that Peterson is undoubtedly the game’s elite RB (perhaps ever; we’ll see when he hangs-up his cleats) and unquestionably a future first-ballot HOFer? I mean really. It just makes you look bad. As a Vikings fan, I have no problem saying that Rodgers is certainly one of top-5 QBs in the NFL, without taking any cheap shots at him.

  16. numba1wiscosportsfan says: Jun 26, 2014 11:19 AM

    Good player, good guy. I think the Vikes are poised to take a big step forward. Hope m’Packas are ready to step it up too!

  17. chris1cat says: Jun 26, 2014 11:23 AM

    Adrian you are so awesome man! We all know that you’re not stepping out of bounds for anyone at anytime at any distance. Just keep poundin’ that rock my man and the wins and Super Bowls will come for you and the Vikings!

  18. yourfavoriteteamstinks says: Jun 26, 2014 11:24 AM

    Adrian is the baddest dude in the league.

  19. Norseman says: Jun 26, 2014 11:26 AM

    I don’t know.

    I’m not sure we’ll see to much difference in AP’s running style. I could see running out of bounds when defenders have the angle after a long run, but delivering a blow is much better than taking one- for your body, your performance, and as a way of playing the game.

    It’s one thing to ponder things idly in the off-season, and another when you’re on the field competing.

  20. Spymaster Belichick says: Jun 26, 2014 11:29 AM

    If Peterson ran for 2 TDs and 150 yards in a loss, you’d see him smiling in the locker room.

  21. schmokes says: Jun 26, 2014 11:31 AM

    Can someone find at least one interview where AP has mentioned a desire to win without talking about his stats? I’d love to have this guy’s talent on my team, but I’m glad someone with his attitude isn’t.

  22. bobnelsonjr says: Jun 26, 2014 11:34 AM

    His motivations are to keep the “triple the market” paychecks coming and his eventual spot on a rushing yards career list.

    The team seems to have bought into it.

    For those who claim he doesn’t care about winning, remember he has been on the vikings for 7 years. In the last 10 years only one playoff game win (by Brett Favre) for the vikings. Only 24 wins total for the last 4 years.

    He knew what he was giving up when he signed that huge contract.

    In 20 years hardly anyone will remember the old timer in PFT’s prime numbers voting.

  23. cguy7 says: Jun 26, 2014 11:35 AM

    I, me, me, my. Sounds like AP is firmly wrapped in himself and doesn’t understand the team concept. Minnesota should have unloaded him when thay had a chance, and drafted somebody other than a converted former quarterback… Gonna be some long Winters for the next couple of years. Aw hell, somebody has to finish at the bottom of the division… (again)

  24. cguy7 says: Jun 26, 2014 11:37 AM

    Honestly would rather have Lynch or Charles. Just sayin! SKOL!

  25. ducksk says: Jun 26, 2014 11:39 AM

    “ADRIANnnnnnnn” says Rickey balboa. Please shut up. Let your legs do the talking.

  26. themeccalambeaufield says: Jun 26, 2014 11:42 AM

    Just look at the mentality of a team football player in Wilson in next article and Peterson who only talks about himself and now he is admitting to going soft. You could see that the mantle was going to get passed towards the end of last season to the tougher “hammer” Lacey when he steamrolled rhodes.

  27. vdogg says: Jun 26, 2014 11:43 AM

    Walter Payton and Jim Brown never pulled up short on a run and stepped out of bounds…just sayin.

  28. DitkasHair says: Jun 26, 2014 11:45 AM

    Sounds to me he’s learned some of Walter Peyton’s tricks…he was a master of this type of running, and lasted for years as a result.

  29. peoriaviking says: Jun 26, 2014 11:49 AM

    Best back ever. Period.

  30. purp1eone says: Jun 26, 2014 11:53 AM

    At least he is not talking about taking up yoga.

  31. weepingjebus says: Jun 26, 2014 11:55 AM

    Thankfully they have a soft schedule against cream puff teams like the Packers. With other early games against teams like the Bills, Lions, Bucs, and Rams he could have 1,500 yards by bye week.

  32. rbirving says: Jun 26, 2014 11:59 AM

    he answers the questions that are asked him. For those who just read the lead line and skip the content, he was recently asked about going for 2500 yards and he stated, unequivocally that winning the Super Bowl was more important to him.

    Blowhards just want to hate the guy because he’s not on their team. He is a team first guy, winning it all with his team is his highest priority and whether he has 1200 yards or 2500 yards in the process he doesn’t really care, not if they can win that title, because that’s what he wants. He wants the ring, like all great players do.

    He’s willing to put the team on his shoulders, if that’s what it takes, but he just wants to win.

  33. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jun 26, 2014 12:01 PM

    Are people seriously ripping AD for talking about himself to an interviewer who was asking about him?

    Interviewer: “Adrian, why do you think you’ll still be going strong at an age when most running backs are done?”

    Adrian: “Let me answer that question by saying nothing about myself.”

    Interviewer: “Excellent. Wait, what?”

  34. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jun 26, 2014 12:03 PM

    When Robert Smith realized that discretion was the better part of valor, he transformed from an injury-prone running back who was hardly ever on the field to one of the best running backs in the NFL.

    Leave it to a Packer fan to rip a guy for using common sense.

  35. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jun 26, 2014 12:04 PM

    Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers refuses to return to the team even though they’re losing game after game because he “feels a little discomfort when handing off.”

  36. abninf says: Jun 26, 2014 12:10 PM

    He won’t break Smith’s record. More importantly, he won’t retire with three rings. Or any for that matter.

  37. tonyc920 says: Jun 26, 2014 12:20 PM

    He better be taking care of himself !!
    He’s all the Vikings have. The rest of your roster is nothing more than overpaid under performers.

  38. stellarperformance says: Jun 26, 2014 12:38 PM

    Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson have both been practicing yoga for years. Documented fact.

    Wait, shouldn’t their names be changed to Adriana and Calvina now? I am asking the idiots….

  39. wheezerswin says: Jun 26, 2014 12:40 PM

    This is why AP can recover from a shredded knee in 5 minutes. The 30 year old running back done rule simply does not apply to AP. He will be in the league 10 more years at least.

  40. seatownballers says: Jun 26, 2014 12:41 PM

    His last year as a Viking

  41. gotdressedinabooth says: Jun 26, 2014 12:42 PM

    i can bet that NONE of you calling Adrian Peterson soft would say it to his face.

  42. tootitan says: Jun 26, 2014 12:47 PM

    So let me get this straight.

    A multi-million dollar running back who was signed (and who legitimately has become one of the best ever at his position) because of his “take-no-prisoners” running style has decided to change his fundamental approach to the game, to alter the very style that got him the multi-million dollar contract in the first place?

    Apart from the ethical & contract implications (if he does what he says he’ll do, you could argue that he’s behaving fraudulently and taking money under false pretenses) this is a dangerous precedent from a team standpoint, and it sets up some scary possible scenarios. Especially with his O-line, who could then legitimately say “What the hell, AP’s not giving it his best shot, why should we? Why should we sacrifice our bodies and go that a extra mile (yard) just to add to his yardage totals?”. He won’t come within miles of that record, and his career will be severely shortened if everybody on the team follows his example.

    I’d love to hear some feedback about this attitude from guys like Earl Campbell and Emmett Smith.

  43. Aaron Rodgers Has Tiny Hands says: Jun 26, 2014 12:49 PM

    I just googled “Adrian Peterson yoga” and nothing came up. I think that officially makes it an undocumented “fact.”

  44. fwippel says: Jun 26, 2014 12:51 PM

    We’ll see what happens when AP takes the field this year. Peterson knows he wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near 2000 yards in 2012 running like he’s suggesting now.

    I don’t think he’ll be able to hold back.

  45. conormacleod says: Jun 26, 2014 12:53 PM

    Packer fans are calling him soft. Packer d-backs and safeties are hoping he was serious about running out of bounds, instead of running them over….again.

  46. sonofad says: Jun 26, 2014 1:08 PM

    Adrian Peterson hasn’t even been able to finish the season in 2 of the past 3 years.

  47. ariani1985 says: Jun 26, 2014 1:08 PM

    And packers are skipping mandatory mini camps for yoga! Good grief!

  48. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Jun 26, 2014 1:08 PM

    At his age, he can’t be too careful…

  49. themeccalambeaufield says: Jun 26, 2014 1:14 PM

    Packer fans are calling him soft. Packer d-backs and safeties are hoping he was serious about running out of bounds, instead of running them over….again”

    How has that faired for the queens in the past? 1 win yes 1 win in 4 years vs the Pack and they are now scared when the guy says he is going soft. Wow! Only in Minnehaha

  50. teal379 says: Jun 26, 2014 1:15 PM

    Those calling AP the best ever are delusional.

    He can’t carry Barry’s cleats.

    AP also uses Rolfing which is basically a tissue massage. Not so sure on the yoga part. But one who gets massages can’t talk about how hard core that is over yoga.

  51. ragnarthemagnificent says: Jun 26, 2014 1:24 PM

    More greatness from the best running back in the league. I can’t wait until AP carries us right through to a superbowl victory. Meanwhile drunksconsin RB’s are retiring after one year. Who’s soft again?

  52. ducksk says: Jun 26, 2014 1:30 PM

    Good, not great. Times changed since
    Brown, smith and Payton carried the ball. I’m sick of AP’s big mouth. It’s a character thing, including his family issues. He maybe really good, but vikes fans are desperate as always. All your pro teams have always sucked.

  53. tokyofilthblaster says: Jun 26, 2014 1:44 PM


    What’s so great about finishing in last place every year?

  54. Kevin Lanflisi's Rosebud says: Jun 26, 2014 1:52 PM

    Adrian Peterson hasn’t even been able to finish the season in 2 of the past 3 years.


    And yet, he missed less games, in that time, than either Aaron Rodgers or Clay Matthews.

  55. tokyofilthblaster says: Jun 26, 2014 1:56 PM

    The Vikings are a sub .500 team since drafting Adrian Peterson.

    So he’s basically the nicest trailer home in the Viking trailer park.

    Nothing more.

  56. sonofad says: Jun 26, 2014 2:11 PM

    When it’s all said and done, I think the guy will primarily be remembered for 4 things:

    1) Losing.
    2) Choking in the clutch with all those fumbles against New Orleans.
    3) Coming up 9 yards short against the Packer defense.
    4) Losing.

  57. cheeseisfattening says: Jun 26, 2014 2:13 PM

    Now that Johnathan Franklin was released,. Packer fans think he was a 5th string tailback even though teams only carry 3 tailbacks anymore.

    It makes you wonder sometimes if they even understand football.

  58. RegisHawk says: Jun 26, 2014 2:15 PM

    When a RB starts making these kinds of noises, the clock has started. I suspect he’ll either be a backup on some other team or out of the league altogether in 2 years.

  59. kmossg says: Jun 26, 2014 2:26 PM

    Its not like AP brings this stuff up out of the blue, he simply responds to the questions asked of him by the media. Being one of the premier players in the NFL brings that attention. If the media asked him how he is planning to play long into his 30’s and he responded with something about winning the superbowl, people would just bash the Vikings anyway and talk about the 0 for 4, not to mention it wouldn’t make sense.

  60. ftomasic1961 says: Jun 26, 2014 2:29 PM

    franco harris, a true team player and HOF’er himself, was criticized for running out of bounds (not that he really did that much), but i will take him, over AP anyday…

    franco had a long career, hof’er, and the greatest post season running back in nfl history…four rings…..

    something AP will nvr know…..

  61. becjasl says: Jun 26, 2014 3:07 PM

    Hes better than Ponder, anyone who says different doesn’t know anything!

  62. bordner says: Jun 26, 2014 3:13 PM

    Does this guy ever stop talking about himself?

  63. whatjusthapped says: Jun 26, 2014 3:40 PM

    If Peterson takes care of himself and actually plays in all 16 games, I think the Vikings have a chance to finish higher than last place, overtake the Lions for 3rd place or if he really has a big season, finish .500.

  64. djvh2 says: Jun 26, 2014 3:48 PM

    “Good to hear the Peterson’s main goal is thinking about himself and not about the team winning.”

    Peterson was the best RB for a while and still is very good, but what’s the point of thinking about his team winning? He plays for the Vikings.

  65. tavisteelersfan says: Jun 26, 2014 3:53 PM

    It’s fascinating. There is a reason I watch football, and it isn’t to see Brady or Manning pop a bunch of passes. I respect what they do and they win games, but there is nothing I like better than watching a good runner. Walter Payton was the dude.
    I am not a Vikings Fan, but I am a Peterson fan. The Steelers have this young fella, Bell. He runs like Adrian, not saying he is as good, but same style. I love it.
    Good luck Adrian. While the whole league seems to be headed to the passing game, I am a fan of the talented power runner.

  66. ariani1985 says: Jun 26, 2014 4:12 PM

    And just think the Packers could have had Bell but they settled for a short lazy out out of shaped dwarf!

  67. hawksfan99 says: Jun 26, 2014 4:23 PM

    Trent Richardson > Adrian Peterson

  68. tokyofilthblaster says: Jun 26, 2014 4:23 PM

    Peterson’s legacy is severely tainted with the rancid stench of losing.

  69. summitmech says: Jun 26, 2014 4:46 PM

    “Asked why he thinks he’ll still be going strong at an age when most running backs are done, Peterson told Dan Pompei of Sports on Earth….”

    Why is it people call a player an egomaniac when they answer a question asked of them about themselves? Seriously, if someone asks you a question about yourself, are you going to give an answer regarding someone else?

    Any excuse you can find to badmouth a good player.

  70. sonofad says: Jun 26, 2014 4:49 PM

    Winning is not much of a priority in some cultures. And that’s why Peterson is so highly thought of in MN.

  71. taintedsaints2009 says: Jun 26, 2014 5:49 PM

    vikings usually don’t keep superstars as long as they have had peterson. vikings fans should enjoy the time they get with this kind of player. a true rarity. he is not a typical running back who will peak at 28. he could go until 32, 33 all out.

  72. stellarperformance says: Jun 26, 2014 9:00 PM

    In all honesty I can say I wish he had beaten the record, and had done it against the Packers. From the perspective of a Viking player, it would have been poetic justice. He earned it and deserved it.

    Having said that, as a man and a person, I have no respect for this self-indulgent narcissist. He is very irresponsible. And I’m not holding the death of the young boy against him, that’s a bit radical. But the flagrant disregard for the health and well-being of his one-night stands is nothing to cheer about. There is a lot of fallout with behavior like that, and it affects a lot of people.

  73. singisking says: Jun 26, 2014 10:55 PM

    Age has turned AP into Beanie Wells..ultra-soft

  74. swaggerville1 says: Jun 27, 2014 1:18 AM

    AP, me me me me. Good for you

  75. awareness18 says: Jun 27, 2014 4:53 AM

    Emmitt did the same thing…. Worked for him.

  76. RegisHawk says: Jun 27, 2014 11:49 AM

    Emmit had a better o-line and a better running-style. He also spent a couple years padding his stats in AZ.

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