Adrian Peterson says he’ll emphasize protecting the football in offseason work

Getty Images

Viking coach Mike Zimmer told his team that they outplayed the Seahawks in last Sunday’s Wild Card game, but the final score still said the Seahawks won the game 10-9.

Blair Walsh’s missed 27-yard field goal with under 30 seconds left to play in the game was certainly a big reason for that, but running back Adrian Peterson’s fumble earlier in the fourth quarter was a big turn of events as well. Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor ripped the ball from Peterson’s grasp, the Seahawks recovered and kicked a go-ahead field goal a short time later.

Peterson, who struggled to gain yards when he wasn’t fumbling, said after the game that he takes the blame for the loss. It’s not the first time Peterson has had issues with fumbles in a playoff game and he had seven fumbles during the 2015 regular season, which leaves him with a clear focus for the offseason.

“The first thing that comes to mind is making sure that I put emphasis on protecting the ball,” Peterson said, via the Pioneer Press. “That’s going to be my No. 1 objective going into this offseason. I’ve joked around and said, ‘Yeah, I done put the ball on the turf, but how many have I lost? There’s guys that have lost more fumbles than me this year.’ But when it comes back and it bites you in this type of way, it’s something I want to put an emphasis on.”

Peterson’s fumbles are problematic, but they aren’t likely to lessen his role in the Vikings offense after a year that saw him lead the league in rushing for a team that’s unlikely to shift their offensive approach too dramatically this offseason.

86 responses to “Adrian Peterson says he’ll emphasize protecting the football in offseason work

  1. I’m thinking a whole offseason like the movie The Program. He should walk around w/ a football anywhere he goes and everyone try to strip it.

  2. Hope AD gets a handle on it, he is a big part of this team.

    Look what Zimmer has done in a short time. I’m very optimistic in the future here. This team will only get better, and they are already young and darn good. Teddy puts up numbers indoors, bet we also dominate in our new palace next season. Playoffs should be expected in MN now.

  3. ““With my running style,” he said, “it will be something I think about as far as protecting and keeping the ball high. The way I run, the ball kind of gets low. I’ve got to be more cautious of that: Keeping the ball high. That will be something I’m more conscious of in the offseason.”” Adrian Peterson after the Saints loss in 2010.

    He will not get this fixed in the off-season.

  4. When defenses do a good job of gap control, and don’t start chasing Adrian, it seems that the Vikes have no answer to that. McKinnon gave them a different dimension on offense which led me to a thought for consideration. First, will the Vikes make the Superbowl in the next two or three years with Adrian and Teddy? I like Teddy but what if the Vikes picked up a healthy RG3 and paired him with Adrian in the backfield as the starting quarterback. Be pretty hard to run defense both of them and RG3 can be the passer that Teddy is. High risk, high reward – a Lombardi trophy. Just a thought.

  5. It’s good that’s he owning it. The “old” Peterson wouldn’t have. I really think he and McKinnon are a great 1-2 punch that could give defenses some MAJOR headaches for a few more years. McKinnon is the key factor here moving forward, though, due to AP’s age. Just sayin’…..

  6. AP seems to be a selfish player. He doesn’t appear to care about winning as much as he cares about getting his rushing yards. His comments after the season about winning the rushing title were comical. He also said something like all he needed was some Super Bowl wins. The fact it is a team sport is completely lost on the guy. A tremendous talent, but not a tremendous winner.

  7. The key to winning in the NFL is to put the team first. AP never does that. Teams with selfish superstars often look good, but they seldom win championships.

  8. It’s good that’s he owning it. The “old” Peterson wouldn’t have
    ————
    The “old” Peterson owned it and said he would change after fumbing away the NFCCG. You must be one of those bandwagon Vikes fans. I can’t stand those. Let the true fans talk football.

  9. LOL.

    Holding on to a football is the 1st requirement of being a running back after “is able to run.”

  10. Wow, not a fan but shouldn’t protecting the ball be paramount to a running back regardless. Saying he’ll emphasize protecting the ball in the off-season doesn’t sound good on Adrian’s part.

    My 2 cents

  11. .
    Seattle is probably the most unwelcome opponent for any team in the NFC North. I’m not sure what loss was more crushing, Green Bay’s last year or the Vikings this year.
    .

  12. Peterson is overrated. Fumble machine, a nonfactor in the passing game, only runs well when the QB is under center.

  13. While he’s learning how to hold onto the ball (after he’s been in the league for almost a decade), maybe Teddy B can focus on learning how to throw a ball further than 13 yards in the air. Teddy B is a poor man’s Alex Smith.

  14. I think the Vikings could make a few really good improvements by unloading this guy, his baggage, and his over-inflated salary.

  15. I get the feeling this won’t be physical drills so much as having guys randomly stop him in the hallway. “Pop quiz, hotshot! Are you going to fumble in the next playoff game?” “Ye-no!” “…impressive.”

  16. This is awesome. Good thing the Vikes lost – now it gives AP more time offseason to work on ball security.

    I guess it didn’t occur to him that a 15 million dollar RB should already have this part of his game figured out already.

  17. I hope he takes here fumbling problem seriously, but as a Vikes fan, I hope he does it in another uniform. He’s worn out his welcome in Minnesota. Good riddance.

  18. You Vikings fans need to look in the mirror. I’ve seen so much hate for Walsh and Peterson since Sunday from Vikes fans. It was a hard-fought battle and you guys can hold your head high. Don’t turn on your players. They all played their hearts out trying to bring home a victory. There is plenty to look forward to for Vikings fans.

  19. Is it already Groundhogs Day? Curious how many times this headline or a HL like it has been written over the last 9 years. I swear I’ve read this at least 6 times.

  20. elimanningup says:
    Jan 12, 2016 11:03 AM
    Peterson is overrated. Fumble machine, a nonfactor in the passing game, only runs well when the QB is under center.
    =========================================
    He is the NFL rushing leader. Every defensive coordinator and player will tell you he is the focus in stopping the Vikings. Overrated? Some people just don’t know football…

  21. stellarperformance says:
    Jan 12, 2016 11:08 AM
    I think the Vikings could make a few really good improvements by unloading this guy, his baggage, and his over-inflated salary.

    ————————-

    He’s a non-QB that accounts for more than 10% of the cap. Simply ludicrous.

    His cap hit is 2X that of Antonio Brown’s. I know who I’d rather have on my team.

  22. It’s weird.

    You guys were saying Packers fans were ungrateful to Favre because we said he threw a lot of interceptions.

    And now you guys are doing the same thing with Peterson because of his fumbles.

    I’d call you hypocrites, but I’d sound like a broken record.

    Then again, facts are facts.

  23. Just like in Airborne school where WE had to walk around with our hands on our reserve, even when we weren’t wearing one, Adrian should have to walk around with a football in his hand.

  24. Peterson needs to work on ball protection, yes. And Walsh, I can’t even think about his missed FG, a disgrace. But the Vikings overall need to work on scoring TDs instead of FGs, that was the biggest reason of all for the playoff exit.

  25. While you’re working on things during the offseason, maybe you can also work on taking a handoff from the shotgun formation, pass blocking, catching passes, not running backwards, not tap dancing at the line of scrimmage, and not being a general embarrassment to the team.

  26. What terrible weather for a football game. There are not many teams that could score 10 points in that weather. Indeed, Minny wasn’t one of them.

    For 3o year old AP to focus on holding on to the ball is like asking Ray Rice to focus on not beating his wife. It is something a man his age should already know.

  27. The Vikings may have to trade AP for a 2nd/3rd rd pick to the idiot owner/GM who owns the Cowboys and seem to have the crush for the former Sooner RB.

  28. Little dang late now AP. Sure sucks having my team now being yesterday’s news. However, it does feel good to have now thawed out my toes.

  29. Zimmer just said he got rid of the offensive line coach. Don’t think Zimmer doesn’t know our problems, he will fix them!!!

  30. I’m really torn about AP. He’s the only thing we have on offense and if we get rid of him and make Teddy carry the team, it will end up a disaster. We went from the 20th ranked scoring offense to the 16th with the addition of AP. It will just get worse without him.

    We just need to live with him and accept him for his greatness and live with some of his minor flaws. Whatever it takes to stay relevant.

  31. First 11 games:
    237 carries, 1,164 yards, 4.9 ypc, 8 TDs.

    Last 6 games:
    113 carries, 366 yards, 3.2 ypc, 3 TDs.

    He was a nonfactor in each of the last 6 games. The one game he had 100 yards in, against the Giants, he had a meaningless 39-yard run after the game was well out of hand. It’s clear that he can’t handle the workload he demands at his age.

    If you want a championship-caliber offense, you can’t build it around giving an old running back the ball 25 times a game in hopes that he’ll break one. This is the 21st century. You’ll never develop Teddy as a passing quarterback if the only time he gets to throw it is on 3rd and long. Let’s put this offense in Teddy’s hands and build it around what he does well. If he can’t handle it, at least we’ll know.

  32. Seems obvious to me that this guy is always going to hold this team back. Too easy for top teams to neutralize AP, so he is going to continue feasting on garbage teams and then laying an egg in the playoffs. Great to have a guy that can be entertaining when the team is otherwise crappy, but now the Vikings have a chance to really be something, so maybe it is time to let him go. If he had been out for the game on Sunday, Vikings probably would have won by two scores.

    Glad it went down this way though, as I am a Seahawks fan.

  33. minnescrotums says:
    Jan 12, 2016 11:21 AM

    It’s weird.

    You guys were saying Packers fans were ungrateful to Favre because we said he threw a lot of interceptions.

    And now you guys are doing the same thing with Peterson because of his fumbles.

    I’d call you hypocrites, but I’d sound like a broken record.

    Then again, facts are facts.
    _________

    That’s fair, but let me add another fact to consider. Before Favre arrived, the Packers had gone 25 years as the most embarrassing franchise in the league. They made the playoffs less often than a kicker misses a 27-yard field goal. Favre is the reason the Packers ended that quarter century of futility and won a championship. Then you hated him because he wanted to play for your biggest rival.

    Last I checked, Adrian Peterson didn’t lead the Vikings to any championships.

  34. pervyspankspackfans says:
    Jan 12, 2016 11:17 AM
    elimanningup says:
    Jan 12, 2016 11:03 AM
    Peterson is overrated. Fumble machine, a nonfactor in the passing game, only runs well when the QB is under center.
    =========================================
    He is the NFL rushing leader. Every defensive coordinator and player will tell you he is the focus in stopping the Vikings. Overrated? Some people just don’t know football…

    ====================================
    Rushing titles and being named all-pro is all well a and good, but if he seems to fumble during the important games, i.e. playoff games. all the time what is he really worth?? Might as well not give him the ball AT ALL during a playoff game.

    – frustrated and fed up fan

  35. Last I checked, Adrian Peterson didn’t lead the Vikings to any championships.
    ————
    To be fair, no player has ever led us to any championships. 😦 I wish we had just 1 so Packer fans couldn’t keep rubbing it in our face. 50 years without one is embarrassing. Get it done Zimmer!

  36. Cut ties now, thanks for the decade of hard work and true professionalism Adrian, but it’s time to go. It’s been a treat watching you in the regular seasons and I’m sure you’ll find your way to Canton one day…….Vikes need to make a deal with the Cowboys while Peterson still has some value.

  37. Long time Vikes fan here. Bye Adrian. This team doesn’t need the best handoff out of the Power I RB(and that’s it) in the NFL. We can win other ways. Naturally, we can find other ways to lose as well, but it won’t be from your fumbling. You’ll never be a champion because you’re too concerned with your stats and your status among the all-time greats. You’ve never been about the team and how you play shows that. You caught that ball on Sunday and got past the first down marker, but you tried turning it into a 60 yard touchdown catch and forgot that you have to end the play with the ball to keep it. You’ve cashed your last check from here. Peace out.

  38. While the Vikings did improve their number of wins, they stunted the growth of Theodore. They were too worried about making sure he got his touches, because everyone knows what happens when he doesn’t.

    I have said this numerous times before AP is a LUXURY, His Cap number is at 11 Mil for that you could pick up a FA to pair with McKinnon and spend the rest of that money on a solid starting Olinemen.

    Elite RBs are dandy but then you have all your eggs in one basket and we all know how much the Vikings complained when he missed last season. They PROOVED they didn’t need him, they were almost .500. AP is a great athlete, but the RB position isn’t what it use to be, there are so many specialists. AP is a 2 down back, and no 2 down back is worth that kind of money.

  39. Everyone knows that Peterson fumbles, so why on earth did the coaches put the ball in his hands when all that mattered was ball security? Adrian is too dense to realize that a few extra yards at that point in the game was far less important than keeping the ball, but the coaches should have know better. Do not give him the ball if the game depends on it. Every Viking’s fan knows this, why didn’t Zimmer?

  40. In Teddy We Trust says:
    Jan 12, 2016 11:39 AM

    Favre is the reason the Packers ended that quarter century of futility and won a championship. Then you hated him because he wanted to play for your biggest rival.
    _______________________

    Why did he want to play for a rival? So he could “stick it” to Green Bay… so maybe that’s why he got so unpopular in Wisconsin at that stage in his career.

    I have always cheered for the Packers and always booed the Vikings.

  41. If I were the Vikings GM, I trade Peterson now. Between the cap hit, his age, his penchant for fumbling, poor attitude and past non-football history, I move on in a heartbeat. Aim high, but be realistic with draft picks. McKinnon looks good, Asiata can be a battering ram and Bridgewater is, at worse, an average QB. Pair that with a great defense plus a better OL and you may have the makings of a great team.

    But, I doubt that happens and AP probably fumbles away the Vikes 2016 chances as well.

  42. As a Vikings fan, I would be totally OK with moving on from AD. At times, he seems like he is holding the offense back. It’s like the play calling is designed to get the ball into his hands as much as possible just because his name is Adrian Peterson and the Vikings are paying him piles of money. The run and pass games are not very complimentary. I would gladly trade him for a bigger number 1 type receiver and roll with McKinnon, Asiata, and Line.

  43. securb2013 says:
    Jan 12, 2016 12:04 PM

    …and Charlie Sheen is going to start wearing condoms. Sometimes good intentions come too latte.
    _______

    Actually, that would be another good point of emphasis for Adrian.

  44. So, after an entire season of supporting Adrian Peterson and pretending nothing is wrong with him….

    …..We find out that it’s fumbles, NOT beating children, that will get Vikings fans to turn on him in an instant and want him shipped out immediately.

    Interesting…..

  45. bambam4 says:
    Jan 12, 2016 12:43 PM

    Everyone knows that Peterson fumbles, so why on earth did the coaches put the ball in his hands when all that mattered was ball security? Adrian is too dense to realize that a few extra yards at that point in the game was far less important than keeping the ball, but the coaches should have know better. Do not give him the ball if the game depends on it. Every Viking’s fan knows this, why didn’t Zimmer?

    ———————————————-

    And they the ball back to him once they got down to 18, to kill the clock and gain a few more meaningless yards!!!! I know it’s good to show some confidence in your players, but this was just a flat out dumb move by Zimmer.

  46. Seeing how the Vikings were caught attempting to alter the PSI of footballs by heating them, my advice:

    Just go with the fully inflated footballs

    It’s a fact that when playing with fully inflated footballs the Patriots had the lowest fumble rate in the league

    Of course that’s what they had in 2014 as well, when those who don’t think the Laws of Physics applies to the NFL assert the Patriots were deflating footballs

    The bottom line is that it’s just pointless for the Vikings to continue to put footballs in front of a sideline heater (which of course barely prompted a response from the League)

  47. Just looked at some of the cap numbers for the Vikes next year… They could open up $30+mil by unloading Peterson, Kalil and Wallace in cap friendly ways. That’s a lot of money wrapped up in declining talent!

    Diggs > Wallace and McKinnon > Peterson at this point.

    Kalil showed improvement, but he aint worth $11mil!!

  48. Division Titles Since NFL-AFL Merger:

    Minnesota – 17
    Green Bay – 9
    Chicago – 9
    Detroit – 3

  49. ” Adrian Peterson’s eighth fumble of the season (and 41st of his career), in the fourth quarter, with the Vikings trying to hold on to a 9-7 lead. Inexcusable.” Absolutely! AP should kiss Walsh’s b__t since the missed FG takes the focus off the real reason the Vikes LOST!! AP FUMBLED!! But, hey, if you can carry a football like AP who cares if you beat your four-year-old with a switch!! Disgusting!! Give Walsh a break!!

  50. “Division Champs” looks cool on a T-shirt doesn’t it? It appears you may have a closet full of them.

    Don’t you think it would be cool to see a real Super Bowl trophy? But that would require that you physically leave your mom’s basement.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!