Adrian Peterson Named Vikings Community Man Of The Year

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 10, 2012 – 11:48 am

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is sure to collect many post-season awards following another record-breaking season on the field in 2012. On Monday, though, he was recognized for his efforts off the field and in the community. Peterson was named the 2012 Vikings Community Man of the Year.

“In my 20 years with the Vikings, I have never come across a player of Adrian’s stature who has been more kind, positive and humble to be around,” said Brad Madson, Vikings Executive Director of Community Relations. “I’m privileged to see the joy Adrian brings to others, whether congratulating a Special Olympic athlete, talking with a youngster whose one Make-A-Wish is to meet Adrian Peterson, or thanking veterans for their service to our nation. He’s a joy to work with.”

Peterson will be recognized as the Vikings Community Man of the Year on Tuesday at his annual “Shop With a Viking” event, which will be held at a local Sports Authority store. Teammates Brandon Burton, Chris Cook, Jerome Felton, Everson Griffen, Tyrone McKenzie, Mistral Raymond, D’Aundre Reed, Andrew Sendejo and Jamarca Sanford will join Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders to help athletes from Special Olympics Minnesota spend $200 gift cards for a holiday shopping spree, courtesy of the Sports Authority. Peterson and his teammates will offer shopping tips of what’s “in” for athletes–boys and girls–helping the youngsters pick out shoes, jerseys, and other athletic gear.

Prior to shopping with the players, the kids will enjoy dinner provided by Arby’s.

More on Adrian in the community
The Adrian Peterson “All Day” Foundation raises awareness and funds for programs that inspire hope and build a better future for at-risk youth. Highlights of Adrian’s giving this year include: pledging $1 million to the University of Oklahoma in support of student athletes, donating $50,000 to Team Rubicon’s Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, and providing meals to 400 families in need for Thanksgiving in Palestine, TX. Adrian is also one to support his teammates with their community outreach. Adrian Peterson believes it is our opportunity and responsibility to help children in need all day and every day.

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Immediate Impact: Robinson, Smith Making Plays For Defense

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 10, 2012 – 7:57 am

Lost in the shadow of Adrian Peterson’s historic season and the weekly hyper-analyzing of Christian Ponder’s performance is the drastic improvement the Vikings have made in pass defense. Under first-year coordinator Alan Williams, the Vikings rank 10th in yards per attempt allowed (6.8), 19th in yards per game allowed (237.0) and 21st in passer rating allowed (90.3).

Those rankings may seem modest at first glance, but considering the Vikings ranked 30th in yards per attempt, 26th in yards allowed and 32nd in passer rating allowed a season ago, the improvement is considerable. That begs the question: What has led to the improvement?

There are several factors that have contributed to the improvement, but perhaps none more important than the young talent the Vikings added during last year’s draft. The selection of S Harrison Smith in the 1st round and then CB Josh Robinson in the 3rd round has made a profound impact on the defense’s ability to defend the pass. The additions of Smith and Robinson will pay dividends for years to come because they both figure to be foundational players for the Vikings defense. But those additions are paying immediate dividends as well, and Sunday’s win over the Bears is just the latest illustration.

Both Smith and Robinson grabbed INTs on Sunday, and both led to scores for the Vikings. Robinson’s came in the 1st quarter, and he returned the INT 49 yards for a TD. The play was later overturned and Robinson was ruled out of bounds at the 5, but Adrian Peterson scored moments later to put the Vikings up 14-0. Smith’s INT came in the 3rd quarter, and he dodged and weaved his way to the end zone for a 56-yard score to give the Vikings a 21-7 lead that would prove insurmountable for the Bears. It’s the second INT-returned-for-TD by Smith of the season.

Both plays are certainly notable in the aftermath of the Vikings win because the directly led to points for the Vikings. That both plays were made by first-year Vikings is notable as well because one could argue that a season ago those plays would not have been made.

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