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Frazier: Peterson Is Top RB In NFL, “Bar None”

Posted by Mike Wobschall on July 7, 2011 – 7:35 am

When you’re in the business of generating content to keep viewers/readers interested, there’s no better fail-safe option than lists. Top 10 plays of the year, top 5 free agents, top 10 draft busts, etc. These lists always generate great dialogue and debate and the best recent example is the NFL Network’s ranking of the Top 100 Players from 2010.

The series, which was very well done by NFL Network, concluded this week with the top 10 players and one of Minnesota’s very own was included. RB Adrian Peterson was ranked as the 3rd-best current NFL player in a poll of his peers according to NFL Network’s series.

I must admit that I was quite pleased to learn of Peterson’s ranking in this series. I typically don’t get too invested in these types of projects, but I do feel adamant about Peterson’s place among current NFL players. Although he plays perhaps the most fungible position in football, I think Peterson has tremendous value in today’s game because he is SO much better than the average player at his position. Peterson is a special, once-in-a-generation player in my view and I believe his ranking in NFL Network’s series is appropriate.

In a QB-dominant league, only Tom Brady (#1) and Peyton Manning (#2) were ranked ahead of Peterson. Again, RB can be a fungible position in the NFL, so I’ll hear arguments that Peterson is ranked too high. But I won’t agree with those arguments. Peterson is a true game-changer and is on pace to be a Hall of Famer as well. I don’t need to list his credentials or past results here because you are surely aware of them; he’s virtually re-written the Vikings rushing record book.

We’ve posted on the front page of vikings.com the 7-minute video segment that introduces Peterson as the #3 player in the Top 100 Players of 2010 series, but I wanted to point out just a few things from the clip right here on the vikings.com Blog. I recommend watching the video when you’re done reading this entry.

The segment begins by showing a few of Peterson’s highlight-caliber runs, with Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier speaking about his superstar RB. Frazier describes 2 particular runs that stand out to him and then has some flattering remarks about Peterson.

“He reminds me so much of a great running back that I played with. Arguably the greatest of all-time, Walter Payton,” Frazier said. “Just the way tacklers wince when Adrian comes. And this is the National Football League we’re talking about. Guys get paid to hit you. But when it’s Adrian Peterson barreling down, I mean you know it’s going to be a vicious moment for the defender.”

One of Peterson’s fellow NFL players, Saints LB Jonathan Vilma, is also part of the segment. Vilma is a top LB in the NFL who has played against Peterson a few times in recent seasons. He also had flattering comments for #28.

“Whew, man. He’s tough,” Vilma said. “He’s not going to go out of bounds, he’s not going to give you the easy out. He wants the contact, he’ll look for the contact and at the same time he’ll look for the home run. He can do both, that’s the thing that makes him special.

“I always worry about running backs that can run away from me. He’s one of those guys where I can be tracking him the whole way and all of a sudden he puts his foot in the ground and he’s out of the gate for 60 yards. You know, that worries me.”

The segment then moves on to point out that 6 teams passed on Peterson during the 2007 NFL Draft before the Vikings pounced on him at #7.

“When we drafted him, and just watched how he moved, how he attacked the line of scrimmage, and we’re not in pads, it’s our first practices for rookies, and he approached it like it’s a game,” Frazier recalled. “And I said, ‘this guy is different.’ And it’s never stopped. He’s trying to score every time he touches the football. What should be a two-yard run, could be a 98-yard gain.”

Vilma then goes on to talk about a defensive meeting he was in just before playing the Vikings in which a Saints defensive coach showed a film clip of a touchdown run by Peterson against the Tennessee Titans.

“When we were about to play him, about two years ago, our coach put one film of him, one cut up of him,” Vilma recalled. “And he said ‘I just want you guys to watch this so you understand who you’re playing.’ It was (the film clip) against the Tennessee Titans, (the Vikings offense) was on the far hash and he (Peterson) was cutting it back to the field. He must have been top speed in his third or fourth step and he wanted us to watch the safety, who couldn’t catch him who had the angle on him; (Peterson) burned the angle on him and scored the touchdown.”

Later the video shows a clip of QB Brett Favre telling Peterson that he’s never played with a player like Peterson. It’s a notable moment because Favre, one of the best QBs of all-time, is describing to Peterson how good he is, how good he could be and how he’s glad to finally play with him after playing against him for 2 seasons.

The clip also gets into the fumbling issues Peterson experienced early in his career, pointing out that Peterson fumbled 20 times in his first 3 seasons. But the clip also points out that he fumbled just once in 2010.

Ultimately, though, the entire segment can be summed up in one comment that Frazier made toward the end.

“He, in my mind, is the best running back in the National Football League today,” Frazier said. “Bar none.”


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 25 Comments »


25 Responses to “Frazier: Peterson Is Top RB In NFL, “Bar None””

  1. By Zach on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    This is a great wrap up the ranking of one of the greatest current Running Backs. But I feel that the Viking need to start looking at the future and look at his dominance his rookie year and his 2nd year in the league and then look at how he is just not the same when they are looking to resign him. We have to pay him for what he will do not what he did. I hope to see #28 in Purple for his whole career but at what cost

  2. By Mike Wobschall on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    Whatever the cost, I think he’s worth it. I understand what you’re saying and what you’re saying applies to most RBs, but not to Adrian in my opinion. With all due respect to these players, we’re not talking about DeAngelo Williams or or Marion Barber III or Ronnie Brown – guys who are Pro Bowl players but are at their peak for only a few seasons. This is a future Hall of Famer who has had 4 nearly unmatched seasons in NFL history and who is showing no signs of slowing down. To let Peterson walk away b/c of cost and then to watch him continue his Hall of Fame career in another city would be torturous for a franchise that has endured 50 seasons of torture.

  3. By DRS on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    This is from,

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/vikings/124829859.html

    The Vikings ownership, sympathetic to the state government shutdown because of the failure of the Legislature and governor to agree on a budget, has called a recess on their drive to get an Arden Hills stadium bill passed.

  4. By Parody on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    Ask and you shall receive…

  5. By vikingsfan1955 on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    zach u need brain surgery ap has always been on top of his game and even last yr he was dominate. What ur not looking at was the offensive line wasn’t as dominate as yr’s past but he still got way over 1000 yards..He also had no number 1 reciever that would keep the opposition from stacking the box.Ap is no where close to the end of his carearr he will be good to go 3 or 4 more yrs.Now that rice is healthy we just need to sign him and we also have a better coach. the pole was right he is the third best and to some the number one, so just wait till this yr u will see the team we have been waiting for. Ap has mt vote for the number 1 player thats why I have his jersey the first I ever paid for

  6. By Chilly4Life on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    I constantly thank the sweet Lord for Brad Childress. At night before I let my children sleep they must first pray to God then to Brad Childress. The man left a legacy behind that will surely be unmatched by any (sorry, Leslie) who follow after him. Among the great things he did was draft a running back out of Oklahoma named All Day Adrian Peterson. We continue to see the mark that Childress left on this franchise and the great fans of this state and Adrian Peterson himself owe it all to one man: The Lone Head of Coach Rushmore, Brad Childress.

  7. By Stoney on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    Chilly4, relax, taking Adrian was a no brainer. Even chilly couldn’t mess that up.

  8. By GMan on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    Seriously, you make your children pray to Childress? That’s just fu**ed up! You should probably go to the nearest pyschological center…immediately. They will put you in a straight jacket and maybe you’ll finally be put out of your misery.

  9. By Tim on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    Adrian Peterson is the most complete RB in the NFL he is fast strong and smart he had the problem with the fumbles fixed it and only had one fumble in 2010 the vikings need to keep ALL DAY in the purple for his entire career he is the vikings version of Emmit Smith at the end of Adrian Petersons career they will say he is the single greatest running back of all time

  10. By shukin on Jul 7, 2011 | Reply

    Hershal Walker

  11. By VikesFan on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    I love the debate between AP and CJ, one simple thing, U give AP that speed, I bet he’d avg 6-7 yards a carry, 20 tds, 2000+ yards every single season. Its like comparing, Chad Ocho to Andre Johnson. back to the subject, AP is a MONSTER, What other running back do you know that can possibly score EVERY time he touches the ball? CJ comes close but AP is just on his own level. U dont see CJ trucking and pushing defenders around like ragdolls.

    I remember when favre first came here he had what 1300 yards? and ppl were saying he was having a “bad” year. I laugh at that..1300 yards is a bad year? most running backs dream to even break 1000.

  12. By Kyle O on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    I agree, AP is the real deal and the purple and gold need to treat his as such. Look at what he has done as well as what he WILL do. He has been able to to show that he can and will change a game. I mean look at what happened, Chester Taylor who is a great back in his own right left because I think he also knew that he would be forever overshadowed by AP.

  13. By Frederick Jones on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t care how great the back is, he could be the strongest man in the NFL, and run faster, and have better moves than anyone else. That actually describes Jim Brown in the 1960s. EVEN JIM BROWN NEEDED AN OFFENSIVE LINE. LOOK IT UP…TWO OF THE MEN WHO BLOCKED FOR HIM ARE ALSO IN THE HALL OF FAME.

    If you are comfortable with AD rushing for 1200 yards per season, then don’t worry about it. If you expect him to do more than that, Ima prette sho’ raht na, ya’ll betta git sum o linemen ! ! !

  14. By Frederick Jones on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    Gene Hickerson, Guard
    Mike McCormack, Tackle

    Both made the Hall of Fame

  15. By Frederick Jones on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    Hickerson and McCormack played on the same team with Jim Brown during the majority of his career.

  16. By Frederick Jones on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    YES, you do need a good offensive line to have a run-oriented team.

    I can’t believe I even have to answer the question ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  17. By Frederick Jones on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    This is BORING?

  18. By Frederick Jones on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    So is losing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. By Wisconsinvikesfan on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    Awesome video I watched it twice. I can’t wait for next season. Hopefully there is a season this year.

  20. By purplehorn on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    AP is an awesome running back. If the Vikings line heals up and gels he should have another great season. The Vikings made a huge mistake when they let Matt Birk go. Sullivan is a little undersized to deal with nose tackles in the NFL. Looking forward to the possibility of a season, but if they don’t get into camp, it will be ugly looking football.

  21. By sigg07 on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    AP deserves the ranking of #3 of the top 100 players.I also think several other viking players should be in there also,Persey Harvins and sidney Rice just to name a few . Oh lets not forget Jared allen and the Williams boys lets just get going on the start of football NO LOCKOUTS GO VIKINGS I BLEED PURPLE

  22. By Frederick Jones on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    @WisconsinVikesFan:

    Yes, the video was impressive. Did you notice that almost all of the guys
    he ran over, or tossed aside were defensive backs?

    That’s what we want for AD, to have a chance to wrestle the Dbs.

    Do you really want him to try to run over 300 pound guys?

    That’s why we need another top Offensive Lineman for the Vikings.

    Let AD shake and bake ! ! !

  23. By Frederick Jones on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    How many times did you see AD bottled up at the line of scrimmage, or even behind the LOS ?

    The Vikings number one priority was to draft a top offensive lineman, and we didn’t get it done.

    Talk about BETTING ON THE WRONG HORSE ! The Vikings need some horses on that offensive line ! If not, we’re looking a 8-8 at best.

    Let AD shake and bake ! (No wonder he’s claiming slavery. His own Offensive Line is leaving him captive.)

  24. By Frederick Jones on Jul 8, 2011 | Reply

    Boring?

    So is losing bro !

  25. By paul on Jul 12, 2011 | Reply

    Nobody in the NFL wants to win more or tries harder on every touch than Adrian Peterson and to me, thats what makes him my favorite running back. With his natural talents and gifts, there is just noone else I would want to give the ball to with the game on the line. The fumbles make me wince, but its easy to forgive.

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