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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Notebook: Adrian Peterson ‘itching to get a couple’ Super Bowls before calling it a career

By Andrew Krammer

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — On Saturday, the annual Adrian Peterson Day in his hometown of Palestine, Tex. will have a different feel just weeks after flooding claimed the lives of five people and uprooted more families.

Peterson, who lives near Houston and returns to Texas every offseason, donated $100,000 to relief efforts and partnered with the Salvation Army to raise more funds through the community. He also lobbied to sponsors to provide food, water and clothing to aid a community that saw significant damage to 35 homes.

He’ll return this weekend after the Vikings wrap up a three-day mandatory minicamp, which ends the offseason program and begins a six-week vacation before training camp opens July 28.

“For me, it’ll definitely be a little more emotional,” Peterson said Wednesday. “Just being involved and seeing how the community has stayed resilient. It’ll be good to see the people and the progress we’ve made. Not only that, but be able to present a good time to them, get away and relax and enjoy a great weekend.”

Peterson said the donations were important to give back to a town that has always supported him, fondly remembering the annual parade route during Adrian Peterson Day and the local bakery that fed his pie fix: “That’s the reason I give back for those people that have lost so much in the flood,” he said last month.

He’d like to have another parade in Minneapolis before his career is done. The 31-year-old Peterson has never been shy about the prospects of his upcoming season (2,500 yards!) or his team’s chances, but he doubled down on Wednesday when asked about the Vikings claiming the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 2016.

“I really can see it,” Peterson said. “We have a long way to go, but we have the pieces and what it takes to accomplish that. There’s nothing wrong with saying it. If any other guy on this team don’t feel that way, then we need to be trading them and bringing in somebody who feels that way as well. I feel like we have what it takes to accomplish that.”

Peterson’s confidence might be the only Mike Zimmer can’t keep below Super Bowl-declaring level as the Vikings head coach has continually praised work ethic while stating the most important part of last year’s NFC North title is that it was last year.

With a strong young core of defenders, including the newly-signed Harrison Smith, Peterson sees an extended window for the Vikings’ championship aspirations. Though personally, he’s starting to hear the clock tick entering his 10th NFL season.

“I don’t see an end on our future anywhere soon,” Peterson said. “Of course I’m coming around that last lap. I’m itching to get a couple before I’m done playing this game. We need to start immediately.”

Peterson is 1-4 in five career postseason games.

FB in the mix

By the look from offseason installations, the Vikings have continued to keep fullback Zach Line in the mix even as Peterson focuses on improving in shotgun scenarios.

As anticipated, the Vikings fullback position saw an uptick in work once Peterson returned to the offense last season. Line’s 220 snaps were about five percent more than his predecessor, Jerome Felton, saw in 2014 when Peterson was kept off the field for all but one game.

Line, 26, has served as a lead blocker and receiver out of the backfield during practices open to the media this spring. He’s also involved on special teams units.

“When they give you opportunities, you have to earn their trust,” Line said. “If you mess up once, you probably won’t get back in on that play. Opportunities come with knowing the playbook, that’s how you evolve in the offense.”

Peterson said he’s noticed the maturation of Line, the converted running back from Southern Methodist who went undrafted three years ago.

“Definitely taken giant steps forward,” Peterson said. “He’s taking everything serious. He’s always pulling me to the side telling me what he’s going to do. Even in the classroom, when he’s called upon he’s answering everything and helping the young guys as well. He’s becoming a leader in that room.”

Bulking up

As the NFL’s youngest player last season, Danielle Hunter already looked like one of the strongest players on the roster.

But one of the directives from position coach Andre Patterson this offseason was to add five pounds to his long frame. So he’s up to 257 after playing at 252 last year, bulking up nearly one pound per sack he wrangled in a standout rookie season.

“People say I had a good year,” Hunter said. “But if it wasn’t for my coaches and teammates, it wouldn’t be possible.”

Through offseason practices, Hunter’s role looks similar as he joins Brian Robison and Everson Griffen in a pass-rushing line. Among others, Hunter credits Patterson, who helped reshape a poor technique that only landed him 1.5 sacks as a junior at LSU. The Vikings drafted him in the third round (88th overall) last year and he finished second among all rookies with 6.0 sacks.

“I just have to keep building off that,” Hunter said.

Joint practices ahead

The Vikings annual training camp in Mankato, Minn. will be shorter this year as they’re planning joint practices in Cincinnati for the second week of August.

Only a day or two of joint Vikings-Bengals practices are expected with the teams playing an exhibition on Friday, Aug. 12. It’ll be the first time head coach Mike Zimmer returns to Cincinnati since he served as the Bengals defensive coordinator from 2008 to 2013.

The full schedule is expected to be announced on Thursday.

Late hits

Vikings president/owner Mark Wilf and former Vikings center Matt Birk took in Wednesday’s practice from the sideline.

Top pick Laquon Treadwell continues to work with the second-team offense behind receiver Charles Johnson: “I’ve been working with the twos, but in individuals I get a lot of work with [Bridgewater]. We’re getting our time in, but of course it’s not in team. I’ll continue to work for a spot.”

Cornerback Jabari Price had an active morning, deflecting a Shaun Hill pass intended for receiver Laquon Treadwell. He then made a diving interception off Hill later in the day. Cornerback Terence Newman dropped a would-be pick from Teddy Bridgewater. Linebacker Kentrell Brothers grabbed an interception off Taylor Heinicke.

The carousel continues at right tackle, where Phil Loadholt led the way a day after Andre Smith got the bulk of first-team work. Backup offensive linemen T.J. Clemmings and Willie Beavers are taking reps on both the left and right sides. The Vikings moved Clemmings to left tackle with the second team, though he’s being groomed as a swing tackle option with third-team reps at right tackle.

The same players were held out of Wednesday morning’s practice as defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, guard Alex Boone, tight end Rhett Ellison, defensive tackle Bruce Gaston, guard Mike Harris and linebacker Travis Lewis did not participate. Limited were linebacker Anthony Barr, nose tackle Linval Joseph and cornerback Mackensie Alexander.

The post Notebook: Adrian Peterson ‘itching to get a couple’ Super Bowls before calling it a career appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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