Peterson Continues To Improve In Pass Protection

Posted by Mike Wobschall on September 7, 2010 – 6:51 am

The Vikings took a look at several RBs over the offseason, training camp and preseason to come up with a plan to replace Chester Taylor, who left the team via free agency. Toby Gerhart, a 2nd round pick in this year’s draft, and Albert Young, a 2nd-year player who has worked his way up from the practice squad, will be relied upon to fulfill the role vacated by Taylor.

The primary role vacated by Taylor is that of the 3rd down back. Taylor was an excellent 3rd down back for the Vikings primarily because of his ability to pass protect and also because of his ability to catch passes out of the backfield.

But while Gerhart and Young will be relied upon to fulfill some of those duties, it sounds as if Peterson himself has also honed in on those important 3rd down skills.

“Each year I always find things to improve on,” Peterson said on Monday, “and with the absence of Chester Taylor, the great third-down back we had, I really overemphasized in the offseason doing those things. Running routes, protection, things like that. Really just focus on things, and as a team work on things that I’ve been working on. I just have improved.”

Since he entered the NFL as the 7th overall selection in the 2007 NFL Draft, Peterson has been a game-changer. He set the single-game rushing record as a rookie in ’07, led the NFL in rushing in 2008 and led the NFL in TDs in 2009. But great players always find things to work on and there’s no questioning the fact that Peterson and the Vikings have worked hard to improve the young superstar’s ability to contribute in the passing game and on 3rd down, specifically his ability to pick up pass rushers in the backfield to give the QB time to find an open receiver and pick up a crucial 3rd down.

“He’s come a long way, and I’d say he’s come a long way even in these last two weeks,” offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. “He’s been outstanding, in terms of going back to that San Francisco pickup, where he didn’t quite step in there with as much confidence and conviction, to the last game against [Seattle] where you could see him do it, where he was able to step up in there and you could see him hold his ground (against a blitzing pass rusher).

“I’ve seen him going to the right spot, where he’s supposed to be. I’ve seen him stand in there with conviction and pick it up. And then I’ve seen him do a good job of reading, ‘Is that guy really blitzing or is he rushing to cover me and I need to get out?’ He’s come a long way.”

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36 Responses to “Peterson Continues To Improve In Pass Protection”

  1. By Robins on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Adrain, you are a great player. If you can hold on to the ball and not fumble, I believe we will beat the Saints and go all the way to the Super Bowl. You are that important. Good luck! We are rooting for you and your great Vikings team. Beat the Saints!

  2. By Robins on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Adrian, I do know how to spell your name. Do great things!

  3. By NYViking on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    GO AP!!!!

  4. By Derek on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    I main thing that needs to happen is AP, you need to do what you did in last years opener at the Browns. Thursday night against the Saints you need 180 yds, and 3 Td’s. Go gettem Vikes!

  5. By AP on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Oh OK Derek, no problem, do you want 4 TD’s instead?

  6. By AP on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    by the way, we are not playing the Browns on Thursday.

  7. By Mark on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    AP we have faith in you. This will be the year that you make everyone stand up and say, ” AP IS THE MAN!!!”

  8. By VikingsDx3 on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Wow, Derek.. Comparing Browns, to the Saints.. Right. ^.- Any in case, GO “ALL DAY AP!!”

  9. By jjj on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    This is off topic – but what if Percy wakes up Thursday with a headache? I cannot imagine the Viking staff wouldn’t take this into consideration and would have kept Javon Walker.

    Brett is an excellent judge of receivers – and if he says Javon can contribute – what more needs to be said – he was very diplomtic in his press conference but it seemed obvious – he felt they would be a better team with Javon than without him.

  10. By Caspa on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    BERRIAN and SHIANCOE on NBC’s Minute to Win It tonight and tomorrow night (8/7 and 8/8) at 8/7c! Check it out!

  11. By Pat the Viking on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    AP, we know you can rush over 2,000+ yards this year -just keep running over defenders and it will come. Every great RB keeps improving their game and reading this blog and watching Viking’s practice highlights proves that you will be one of the greatest RB in the NFL.

    As for J. Walker even I can see that he can contribute on the field – don’t tell me that they cut him -

  12. By nola on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Derek your Team will have to score more than 21 points and a couple of field goals at best to win. Wilf’s should have fired Childress and Promoted Ironically New Orleans born Eric Bieniemy in the Off season he would have been a better fit as your head Coach.
    As for Adrian Peterson he has Raw Talent and Epitome of what a running back should be. Unfortunately he is not being coached up due to play selection calling and trust me Childress not Bieniemy is calling the plays when Favre isn’t calling audible’s at the line. Just our take in WHODATNATION.
    Oh and by the way Derek we will be the Team in Black & Gold…Not Orange.
    2 Days 6 Hours….Tick Tock, Tick Tock.

  13. By VikingsDx3 on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    By the way, my name is also Derek… Derek. So don’t be a presumptuous bone head.

  14. By kw on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    you know its not like the vikings have never avened themselves after an nfc championship loss, 1999 falcons anyone?

  15. By kw on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    and if childress is fired then they should give the job to frazier

  16. By Rogerthevikefan on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Ap destroy any who even comes with in veiw of Farve and you know what would be better breaking your single game record for rushing yards break 300 and break the single game record for tds 6 to tie so make it 7 we all know you can do it now make the saint beg for mercy then curb stomp them.

  17. By Woodboat on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    JJJ…. they cut Walker to trim down to 53 men. Who would you have cut to keep him? On the outside chance, and it is an outside chance, that Harvin goes down with a headache. You gotta fill all the spots, and have backups for most. I’d like to see McKinnie have a dude standing behind him than Walker behind Harvin.

  18. By rodney on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    AP take care of yourself..and Brett..You guys are going to win.Tell your team.Mississippi.and montana supports you guys.I played ball with Brett years ago he don’t stop.GOOD LUCK AP. you are the best RB in the NFL.

  19. By OLDSCHOOL on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    AP needs to 160 and 2 TD’s on Thurs. night for us to win! I think he will get 170 and 3 TD’s! The Saints can blitz, but they got their a#$%$ handed to them all season long last year when it came to rush D…..and they have some key injuries to the D!

  20. By WTF on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Agreed OLDSCHOOL – Their starting MLB is out, so we need to poünd the bàll up the middle right at his replacement. If Gerhart is as powerful as advertised he can be used in this effect as well. Once they start compensating by blitzing the middle, just switch to dúmp-pâsses to Harvin and Camarillo. We don’t need big plays, or even lots of rushing yards, just ball control. A wounded defense will be making the mistakes to give us the win if we can keep on working the sore spots.

  21. By jjj on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Woodboat, good question – definitely not from the offensive line. I was thinking perhaps Shuler – unless he is an invaluable special teams player. Making cuts are difficult.

    The other thought without Reynaud – they will now be putting their recievers in harms way returning kick so another player in that position might be advisable – Shuler will never be a J. Finley – four tight ends seems generous in that position.

  22. By vikingsfreak225 on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    AP you have nothing to worry about. If you can hold the ball and make touchdowns we are gonna kick butt this year

  23. By Woodboat on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Its funny that you mentioned TEs, jjj – I was listening to Childress’ presser from yesterday. It sounded like one of the reporters asked him about his 3rd down back, and Childress said basically that he wasn’t required to have one. Do you think he may be saving the extra TEs as blockers?

    I think that the Saints are gonna have a bunch of guys up by the line ready to blitz and hit Brett 2 or 3 seconds after he delivers the ball. After one of their lineman grabs him late and does a crocodile roll with his bad ankle, Tavaris Jackson will get his chance to do what he does. Seriously, though, I think with our O Line being a bit shakey, I think there are gonna be a lot of check downs and quick outs early and not much room to run for AP. If its close late, AP will get his shots.

  24. By Wade French on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    AP! 2,500 rushing this season and no fumbles I believe you can and now with pass blocking, route running, and being able to pick up the blitz no one will say CJ is better.

  25. By Vy-King on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    He better pick it up, he was horrible against the 49ers! The Saints Defense isn’t to be disregarded those guys put a beating on the old general. AP’s fumbelitus and block headed mistakes in protection can be costly. We need Bret healthy for the North not a pride game. The Saints beat us last year i’ve moved on. The Packers are picked to win the division.

  26. By VikingsDx3 on Sep 7, 2010 | Reply

    Vy-King…? Our team, doesn’t base season assumptions off of pre-season presumptions.

  27. By Spencer Carlsgaard on Sep 8, 2010 | Reply

    AP this year can only get better, I can’t wait for the victory we get on Thursday and I bet like always you will be a big reason for that victory…..SKOL VIKINGS

  28. By Alan on Sep 8, 2010 | Reply

    Be patient and(boom!)go for the big play

  29. By Alan on Sep 8, 2010 | Reply

    I hope.

  30. By mark mortensen on Sep 8, 2010 | Reply

    I am somewhat amused by the Chille bashers. I’ve taken a wait and see approach since chille was hired. He has shown improvement every year. He has shown he is a judge of talent taking unknowns (chester Taylor, Shencoe) turning them into solid players through patient coaching. When to go after big names and get production ( Allen,Hutchenson and Farve ). I think Thursdays game will come down to defensive coordinators, Frazier Vs Williams. By the way Chille’s drafting hasn’t been to shabby either. AP,Harvin, Greenway,Rice,Loadhose,Webb, TJ(although he’s yet to prove he’s a starting QB). Let’s keep in mind the team Chille inheirtited wasn’t exactly stockpiled with talent.

  31. By nola on Sep 8, 2010 | Reply

    Good Point Mark Mortensen…But why did the 12th man on the field happen in the 4th quarter ? I would say the culprit would be your Block Headed Coach Childress. Have you watched any game film on Sound FX? They zoomed in on Childress’s Face and he was dumb founded as to what was going on when our coach Payton brought to the Referee’s attention that your Offense had too many players on the field.
    Result; putting your Field Goal Kicker out of range / Favre throwing that Interception. Gee… And now I am being facetious, That was some heads up coaching. WHODATNATION Tick Tock, Tick Tock. 1 Day 5 hours and 24 minutes.

  32. By Jon on Sep 8, 2010 | Reply

    Mark. funny. u dont even know how to spell anybodys name right… wow. lol shencoe? realy? its shiancoe. and farve? either u hit the r too soon. or u rele dont pay attention. lol

  33. By EricDuluth on Sep 8, 2010 | Reply

    AP is the MAN and everyone out there knows it he will get even better this year improving his all around game will he rush for 2000? probably not but he will do what everyone thinks he wont BLOCK and HOLD the BALL!!!!!!!

  34. By Purplenurple on Sep 8, 2010 | Reply

    Nola.Gregg Williams and the whodat nation taught Brett & the Vikings a lesson not soon forgotten.Any thug defense can take out an elite opposing QB ( Warner/Favre)and significantly increase your odds of winning( if officials look the other way ).Problem:Falcons,Bucs,and Panthers don’t have an elite QB—-you do! Gregg Williams-genius or A@%hole? Update:NFL just added Stevie Wonder & Ronnie Milshap to their NFC officiating staff.Whodat

  35. By burythebook on Sep 9, 2010 | Reply

    check out – – for tonight’s free NFL winner

  36. By Richard (Purple Elephant) on Sep 9, 2010 | Reply

    Yeah yeah yeah, its gonna be a vikings sack fest, the saints aint any good.

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