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.

76 responses to “Adrian Peterson focuses on taking care of himself, on and off the field

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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?”

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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….

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

  28. 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.

  29. 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?

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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…..

  37. 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.

  38. “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.

  39. 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.

  40. “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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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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