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Frazier Optimistic Peterson Will Be Ready For Season Opener

Posted by Mike Wobschall on June 19, 2012 – 5:02 pm

It’s easy to believe in Adrian Peterson.

Since entering the League in 2007, no one has rushed for more yards (6,752) or more TDs (64). And soon, no one in Vikings history will have more rushing yards because he’s just 66 yards behind current record-holder Robert Smith. Oh, and Peterson also holds the NFL’s single-game rushing record with a 296-yard performance against the San Diego Chargers during his rookie season.

There are many more superlatives to Peterson’s credit, but you get the point. It’s easy to believe in #28 because he’s the best RB in the NFL and he consistently does things on the football field that cause you to reach for your DVR remote and rewind so you can watch it again.

That’s why it’s easy to believe that somehow, someway, Peterson will be ready for the Vikings season opener on September 9 at Mall of America Field, approximately nine months after surgery to repair two ligaments in his knee. Pictures like the one below this paragraph and several others in the photo gallery we posted from Tuesday’s practice also support the thought that Peterson will be ready for Week 1.

Also supporting that thought, though, is optimism from Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier.

“It’s not that far out anymore but we’ve talked about some scenarios and gone through some what-ifs,” Frazier said while meeting with reporters on Tuesday. “But so far, he’s on pace with everything the doctors have asked him to do. Just in talking with (head trainer) Eric Sugarman that even yesterday in his examination, they were really pleased with some of the things they saw. We’re optimistic that things are still on course for him to play in that home opener.”

There are many reasons to believe Peterson will be ready to go when the season begins. But it’s not a guarantee, either. The Vikings, while remaining optimistic about Peterson’s recovery, have also stressed that they’ll be cautious in ushering Peterson back to the field so as to ensure A) Peterson follows proper rehab protocol and B) the injury heals sufficiently before Peterson returns to action.

It’s too early to know what course of action the team will take once training camp rolls around. Peterson could begin camp on the active roster as he would in a normal year. Or he could be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. There may be other options as well.

Wisely, Frazier wouldn’t commit to a course of action on Tuesday.

“What we do in training camp, we’ll wait and see when we get to that point,” Frazier said. “We have talked about different options.”

However it shakes out, no one will be surprised once Peterson is back on the field creating more “Did you see that?!” moments.


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Mind Games: Jared Allen Focuses On Mindset To Remain In Top Form

Posted by Mike Wobschall on June 19, 2012 – 12:53 pm

Every season has been a good season for Jared Allen. Since entering the NFL in 2004 with the Kansas City Chiefs, no player has more sacks than Allen’s 105.0. He had 9.0 sacks as a rookie, and his season-low total is 7.5 (2006), a number most pass rushers are lucky to have as a season-high.

Last year was Allen’s most productive, as he pursued and came excruciatingly close to breaking the NFL single-season sack record of 22.5, set by Michael Strahan in 2002. He tallied 22.0 sacks, giving him 62.0 sacks since joining the Vikings in 2008 and also providing for him more motivation to chase the record again in 2012.

While Allen’s physical ability is superior to the opponents who try to block him, it’s his mentality that Allen credits for his recent success on the field. A part of Allen’s mental approach to football is training during the offseason in Arizona, a strategy he honed during last offseason’s lockout and a strategy he’s duplicating this offseason.

“I’m just trying to keep that routine the same,” Allen said. “Trying to get all the extra work in with my trainers, you know heck I’m even going up to the altitude up in Tahoe. I’m thirty now, so I got to do whatever I can to keep up with these young guys!”

Allen’s training regimen keeps him away from the team’s voluntary work during the offseason program and Organized Team Activities (OTAs), but based on Allen’s body of work over nine seasons it clearly works.

“I’ve got a great (training) team in Arizona,” Allen said when asked about not being at OTAs. “It’s kind of one of those things where if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Coach (Frazier) was great, he understood why. One thing, too, is my mindset last year was so good. I was in a great mental state, even though we weren’t winning. But things were just real positive and coming off of that 2010 season where there was just a bunch of negativity around here. That’s what I told coach, too, I’ve got my trainers, everything is focused in the right direction down here (in Arizona) and that’s where I’m trying to stay.”

Allen went on to acknowledge that the team relies on him for veteran leadership and that he takes that role seriously, particularly when the team is down in Mankato for training camp.

“The best way I can lead is by being the best player I can be on the field,” Allen explained, “and for me that’s having a full offseason with my trainers and coming back [with a fresh mind].”

As for this week’s minicamp, a three-day event that began on Tuesday and concludes Thursday, Allen said he was excited to be back around his teammates and focusing on football.

 “It’s good to be back in town and try to get that offseason rust off or whatever,” Allen said. “I approach minicamp with the same mentality every year. I’ve got certain things I’m trying to work on…my stance, get-off and then you’re working on your block reaction. It’s a way to break up the offseason and get a little football in, and then get back to getting your mind ready for training camp.

“I’m excited to be here for minicamp. Get three days here laughing and joking, and then gear up for training camp when it really counts.”


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Stadium Authority Formed, Design Process Begins

Posted by Mike Wobschall on June 19, 2012 – 6:39 am

Ribbons weren’t cut and shovels didn’t enter the ground, but progress continues to be made in the quest to build a new football stadium in Minnesota.

The most recent step forward is a significant one and came last Thursday, as Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak appointed a five-person stadium authority. The new governmental body will be called the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), and it will oversee the construction and operation of the new stadium in Downtown East Minneapolis.

Comprised of three appointees by Governor Dayton and two selections by Mayor Rybak, the following five individuals will lead the largest public project in state history:

Governor Dayton’s Appointees
Chair – Michele Kelm-Helgen – Former Deputy Chief of Staff, Governor Dayton’s Office
John Griffith – Executive Vice President of Property Development, Target Corporation
Duane Benson – Former State Senator, business executive and NFL linebacker

Mayor Rybak’s Appointees
Dr. Barbara Butts Williams – Dean, Capella University
Bill McCarthy – President, Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation

The five-person Authority will immediately begin to meet with all stakeholders to ensure the new stadium is built to fit the needs of the State of Minnesota, the City of Minneapolis and the Vikings. The next step in the process is to establish a design and construction group made up of representatives of the MSFA and the team.


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