Minnesota Viking head coach Leslie Frazier has his hands full managing a young team. At 6-4, the Vikings are vying for a playoff spot, but a bigger story could be the return of Adrian Peterson.
After a severe knee injury that looked to be career threatening, Peterson has shocked the NFL world by not only coming back in less that a year, but being able to start the season. Furthermore, his recovery would be enough for a nice story, but leading the league in rushing commands headlines. Peterson is as explosive as ever, and even better, he’s contributing to his team in major fashion. Frazier spoke at his Monday press conference about the amazing Peterson, and how he has inspired the entire team.
“I think Adrian is an inspiration for our entire squad, our entire organization. What he has accomplished, in a lot of ways, is mind boggling. To come back from major knee surgery when most guys, when they do come back, they’re a shadow of themselves if they do come back and usually the second year it kicks in and they’re closer than where they were before. For Adrian to be leading the League in rushing right now and doing it in such dominant fashion, it is an inspiration to our entire team. It does lift up, not only our offense, but our entire team. It’s great to see. No one deserves it more than he. He’s worked extremely hard, put in a lot of time to get back to where he is and credit to a lot of hard work by Adrian. He’s an inspiration to all of us.”
“To be as dominant as he is at this point in the season, the 10 week point, to rush back-to-back weeks close to 200 yards, that’s pretty impressive. We’re all familiar with stories of guys who’ve had this injury, some make it back and some don’t make it back, and if they do come back, it’s not very many that were as good as they were before. There are some things that he’s doing that makes you scratch your head and say, ‘Maybe he will be better than he was before the injury.’ I’m looking at some things that he’s doing and he has improved. His hands are better, some of his cuts, his burst, he’s staying more true to his reads, these are some things he hadn’t done before the injury. He’d always look to hit the home run and sometimes that would create negative plays. Now he’s truer to his reads and it’s helping our offensive line to be better at what they do. He’s a joy to watch. I think all of us should cherish having the chance to watch him live.”
“I know how focused he can be and how great he has been at being able to name it and claim it, but I also know that there are a lot of guys who, including myself, had not come back from that injury and some who had come back weren’t quite as good as they were before. I wanted him to approach it the right way, just how he wanted to approach it, but also let him know that there was a lot of hard work ahead. Not that he couldn’t achieve his goal, but there was a lot of hard work ahead and he understood that and he hasn’t blinked and look at where he is now.”