Adrian Peterson (Mike McCarn/AP)
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson couldn’t get away from the questions about fumbling when attending an event at Oklahoma, his alma mater. He has watched film of his fumbles and believes he sees a trend among them.
Adrian Peterson answered numerous questions from the Minnesota media about his issues with fumbling throughout the last two years.
However, just because it’s the offseason and Peterson isn’t in Minnesota doesn’t mean the questions have stopped. During an interview with OKBlitz.com, Peterson was asked about his upcoming trip to Uganda, his opinion on Brett Favre … and, of course, dealing with questions about his fumbles.
“It is (overdone). I definitely think it is, but when you’re in the spotlight like me it’s definitely something that they’re going to point out. I’ll take it for what it is,” Peterson said. “I run hard every play. Every play I’m trying to get to the end zone. I’ve noticed when I watch film, there’s not guys hitting me, taking the big hits and fumbling the ball. It’s me scratching for the extra yard.”
Peterson has talked about that in the past. During the 2009 regular season, his seven fumbles led all running backs, and he lost six of them. In the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints, a game the Vikings lost 31-28 in overtime, Peterson was credited with two fumbles, each of which the Vikings recovered. But they did lose a fumble that was credited to Favre when he and Peterson didn’t get a clean exchange on a handoff. That likely cost the Vikings at least a field goal and possibly a touchdown as they were inside the 10-yard line at the time.
Peterson continues to say that he will focus on the fumbling.
“Definitely that’s something I’ve got to do. I told myself at the end of the season I’ve got to correct that and get that out of my game,” he said. “What I’ve noticed is when I’m going down, it’s letting the ball get away from me. These guys in the league, they study that. … It’s something that’s definitely going to be corrected.”
At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last week, Brad Childress indicated he may address the issue with Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who is credited with helping turn around the fumbling problems former running back Tiki Barber had early in his career.
Coughlin said he might not be inclined to help an NFC opponent.
But Childress said he has confidence that running backs coach Eric Bieniemy, who also played the position at the NFL level, will be the primary person to help Peterson with ball security.
“The guy with a part in it would be Eric Bieniemy. In my mind, he’s as good of a running back coach as there is in the National Football League,” Childress said. “I feel like he’s the best, hands down, bar none. That would be the guy that would end up implementing that, whatever it is we decide needs to be implemented. It may be nothing. It may just be a mental process.”
Peterson, meanwhile said the NFC Championship loss has him re-focused on bigger things ahead, and that includes having the best season of his career.
“Right now I feel like it’s alright,” he told OKBlitz.com when asked about his career. “As far as individuals, I feel like I had an OK season. … With that loss in the NFC Championship, it’s like a totally different mindset. It’s a mindset that I’ve always had, but just being in that position, one game away from the Super Bowl and losing by three, it kind of opens your eyes up a little more. I definitely plan on coming back to have my best season of my career.”
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.