Vikings running back Adrian Peterson expects more receptions and potentially fewer carries in new offensive coordinator Norv Turner's diverse scheme, a trade he is willing to make at this stage of his career. "It's all about winning," Peterson said Thursday during Minnesota's minicamp. "I'm trying to win a championship. If that's taking less of a pounding, and being more productive in the passing game, I'm all in for it. Any way we can get that done, I'm all in for it." Peterson rushed for 1,266 yards last season, a 40 percent drop from his monumental 2,097-yard performance in 2012. Nagging injuries sidelined him two of the final three games. He has had three surgeries since December 2011 on his knee, abdomen and groin, respectively. Peterson, 29, is racing against Father Time and his medical chart, neither of which is kind to running backs approaching their 30th birthdays. His durability is paramount as the Vikings recalibrate under Turner, who wants to integrate Peterson more into the passing attack. "Any offense is based on getting its best players involved. Adrian is obviously our best player," Turner said. "The best offenses I've been with utilize everybody." Peterson has averaged 29 receptions and 242 yards in seven seasons. He caught that many passes in 2013, but his yardage dropped to 171 yards. He caught a career-high 43 passes for 436 yards in 2009, another weapon for quarterback Brett Favre in an explosive offense that was the second-most productive in franchise history. "That's something I look forward to," Peterson said. "When (Turner) was at San Diego and Cleveland, he always found a way to get the running back out in space. I knew once we hired him that would be something that would be new for me." Last season, Peterson averaged 4.5 yards on 279 carries, a half-yard below his career average. Peterson's first carry -- a 78-yard touchdown Week 1 against the Lions -- was his longest, and arguably most dynamic, run in a trying season in which the Vikings' 5-10-1 finish led to coach Leslie Frazier's firing. His dropoff was predictable, according to NFL history. The seven backs who rushed for 2,000 or more yards averaged 1.6 fewer yards per carry the following season, and none managed to cross the 1,500-yard threshold.
Vikings' Adrian Peterson ready to catch more, rush less
St. Paul Pioneer Press | May 2