Bud Grant & Adrian Peterson (Adam Bettcher/Getty)
Adrian Peterson is making Super Bowl appearances after his groin surgery last week, saying he is “getting around pretty good now” and gave his view on the shaping of the Vikings’ coaching staff. That coaching staff may have added a defensive line coach to the mix, too. Plus, the son of Bud Grant is honored as the NFL’s High School Coach of the Year.
Adrian Peterson’s offseason routine will be delayed only slightly because of the groin surgery he had last week, the Minnesota Vikings running back told ESPN radio Friday morning.
Peterson was making his rounds around Radio Row and on television programs Friday morning at the Super Bowl. He will be this year’s presenter of the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year.
“I’m getting around pretty good now,” Peterson said eight days after surgery on his adductor muscle.
It is considered a minor procedure that could be related to the sports hernia he had in 2012. The recovery period is expected to be four to six weeks.
Peterson said he normally would be doing a little bit of conditioning by now, “but it’s not going to interfere.” It’s the third straight offseason Peterson will be recovering from surgery. He had sports hernia surgery last year and knee reconstruction surgery in December 2011.
Although Peterson said in another interview he hasn’t talked with Norv Turner yet, he likes the hiring of the Vikings’ new offensive coordinator under new head coach Mike Zimmer.
“I feel like we’re putting the pieces in the right places, so I’m just excited to see who all we bring in for other positions and see which direction we go with other pieces as far as players to help us accomplish our ultimate goal to win a championship,” Peterson told ESPN.
Although unfounded rumors of the Vikings being in a position to trade Peterson persist – something general manager Rick Spielman denies – Peterson took those in stride, calling the NFL “a business first and foremost.”
He also said he appreciated the results of an ESPN poll of NFL players that picked him as the colleague they would most like to see win a Super Bowl.
“It really feels good to hear my peers pick me as the player they would love to see win a Super Bowl,” he said. “It goes to show they recognize the passion I play with.”
DEFENSIVE LINE COACH HIRED?
As the Vikings continue to delay confirming the hires they have obviously made under Zimmer, including their offensive and defensive coordinators, another position coach is rumored to be on his way.
Dave Cotton of KHQ-TV in Spokane, Wash., post on Facebook that Robb Akey, the former head coach of the Idaho Vandals, is going to be the defensive line coach for the Vikings.
The Vikings fired Brendan Daly, their defensive line coach the last two seasons, and he was hired as an assistant for the New England Patriots earlier this week.
Akey was a defensive line coach and special teams coach at Weber State in 1988, when Zimmer was the defensive coordinator there. Akey was also a defensive lineman at Weber State for the previous four years under Zimmer, and Akey ended his playing career as Weber State’s career sacks leader.
Akey was fired as the Idaho’s head coach with four games left in 2012 after compiling a 20-50 record.
Most of the Vikings’ assistant coaching positions appear to be filled, with Jerry Gray expected to take over the defensive backs and Akey apparently coaching the defensive line. Mike Zimmer’s son, Adam, is expected to have a role on defense, too, but linebackers coach Fred Pagac is reportedly on his way to the Buffalo Bills, meaning that could be Adam Zimmer’s role. On offense, Scott Turner, son of Norv Turner, is expected to be the quarterbacks coach, Kirby Wilson the running backs coach, and Jeff Davidson and George Stewart are expected to remain as offensive line and wide receivers coaches, respectively. Tight end coach Jimmie Johnson isn’t expected to return, but a replacement there hasn’t been publicly identified yet.
MIKE GRANT HONORED
Mike Grant, the son of legendary Vikings coach Bud Grant, was named the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year Friday at Super Bowl festivities. Grant, who is the head football coach at Eden Prairie High School, will receive $25,000 – $15,000 of which will go to his football program.
Grant was nominated for the award by the Vikings and one of three finalists.
The award was created to honor “exemplary high school football coaches who demonstrate a commitment to player health and safety, and to the integrity, achievement, and leadership exemplified by the winningest coach in NFL history, Don Shula,” according to a release from the Vikings.
“We talk about thoughtfully deciding who you are going to run with in your group of friends,” Grant wrote as part of his nomination. “What is your story going to be when you are done here? Will people think of you as an outstanding person or as someone who never achieved what they could have?”
“The Vikings have enjoyed a strong connection to the Grant family over several decades,” Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf said in a statement. “Like his father Bud, Mike has been an outstanding representative of the state of Minnesota. His advocacy for the Vikings youth football efforts is appreciated and we are extremely proud of Mike’s well-deserved accomplishment.”
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.