StarTribune.com

January 2008


Peterson earns another honor

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Mark Craig just called from Arizona with the news that Adrian Peterson has been selected the Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year. Fans voted for the award. The other finalists were Kansas City receiver Dwayne Bowe; Buffalo running back Marshawn Lynch; Cleveland left tackle Joe Thomas; and San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis.

Moss rips the Pack

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Randy Moss took a swipe at the Packers during the Patriots’ media session this morning.

When Moss was asked about the Packers’ pursuit of him during the past offseason, he said Green Bay was “talking about all the wrong things. Asked to elaborate, Moss said:

“They were just talking about their team concept and the wide receivers and Donald Driver. It was like they were telling me that they were going to somewhat take a chance on me but only, `If you do come here, these are the things you have to watch out, and be on your best behavior, and Donald Driver is the top receiver here, so don’t come in and try to step on his toes.’

“I didn’t think that was right because my whole career I’ve been taken out of context sometimes, but at the end of the day all I wanted to do was win games. … I didn’t really feel they wanted me. I felt that Brett Favre wanted me, but I didn’t really feel the Packers wanted me.”

Taylor earns honor

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Jacksonville running back Fred Taylor has been named the FedEx Ground NFL Player of the Year. Taylor, who rushed for 1,202 yards (ninth in the NFL) on 223 carries and five touchdowns, won the award over the Vikings Adrian Peterson and San Diego’s LaDainian Tomlinson.

Packers quarterback Brett Favre was named the FedEx Express NFL Player of the Year, ediging out New England quarterback Tom Brady and Dallas quarterback Tony Romo. Green Bay’s Mike McCarthy is the Motorola NFL Coach of the Year.

Moss: 1998 Vikes just played `street ball’

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Former Vikings receiver Randy Moss was a popular player with reporters this morning as he spoke for the first time this week during the Patriots’ one-hour portion of Super Bowl XLII media day.

Here are a few nuggets:

. On how this Patriots team compares to the 1998 team that went 15-1 before losing the NFC title game: “I think the Minnesota Vikings my rookie year had a lot of athletes out there. We were just out there basically playing a lot of street ball, and just going out there and making things happen. I think this year, the Patriots have come together, and we rely on our preparation and game-planning and our practicing to go out there and win games for us. I think that us being an athletic team like we are, that’s just something extra on the cake.”

. On why he has spoken more to the media this season than in recent years: “The league sent me a note saying they’d fine me if I didn’t talk.”

. More on his overall memories of Minnesota and the Vikings: “I have great memories of Minnesota … I did want to retire a Viking.”

As Super Bowl media day goes, it was rather tame around Moss’ interview platform. But Entertainment Tonight did butt in for a brief moment to award him the “Jennifer Garner” trophy for “Best Performance by Someone from West Virginia.”

Not only was Moss cordial throughout the entire 60 minutes, he actually seemed to enjoy himself. At one point, former NFL cornerback and now NFL network analyst Deion Sanders asked a questions. Moss smiled and said, “First of all, what’s up Prime Time!?”

AD’s in the Super Bowl house

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Hello from the desert, where we actually experienced a flood watch last night. But, hey, it’s above zero, so it’s not that bad.

The Vikings aren’t here collectively — even though they did beat the NFC champion by 24 — but Adrian Peterson is in the convention center as I blog. He just finished a promotional event for Visa and is making the stops along Radio Row.

Earlier today, Peterson said the knee that slowed him toward the end of the season is “fine.” He has rehabbing it in his native Texas since the end of the season. He also said the 8- and 9-man fronts that stuffed him toward the end of the season wouldn’t have been as effective if “I was just a little more patient on certain plays … so those are things I’ll definitely have to work on.”

Peterson also said he will wear his knee brace when he plays in the Pro Bowl a week from Sunday. “Better safe than sorry,” he said.

Speaking of the Pro Bowl, Peterson said the final tally of teammates he’s taking with him to Hawaii is 10. He also will be taking 25 family members with him, said his father, Nelson, who is making the rounds with Adrian this week.

Peterson will be here all week for promotional events. He’ll leave for the Pro Bowl on Monday.

Asked if he envisions himself making it to a Super Bowl as a player, Peterson smiled and said, “Definitely. Yeah. Definitely, definitely, definitely.”

Vikings to pursue Suggs?

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

The Vikings have been mentioned as one of the teams that could make a run at Ravens free agent defensive end Terrell Suggs, according to Scout.com. There is no doubt the Vikings need to get more pressure on the quarterback from their end positions.

Suggs, who will be eligible to be an urestricted free agent on Feb. 29, had a career-low five sacks last season but has 45 in 80 games in his five-year career. Suggs, who was born in Minneapolis but grew up in Arizona, was the 10th overall pick by the Ravens in the 2003 draft out of Arizona State. Getting Suggs to come to Minnesota likely wouldn’t be easy.

The East Valley Tribune recently reported that Suggs told an Arizona television station that he would love to play for the Cardinals. The Baltimore Sun reports the Ravens are expected to keep Suggs by either using the franchise tag on him or giving him a long-term contract.

The Vikings could have had Suggs in the 2003 draft but instead took defensive tackle Kevin Williams, who has turned into a Pro Bowl player. That was the draft in which the Vikings claimed they thought they had a trade worked out with the Ravens. The deal would have sent the No. 7 pick to Baltimore and given Minnesota the 10th selection in the first round and the Ravens’ fourth- and sixth-round picks. The Vikings planned to take Williams at No. 10.

The Vikings reported the trade to the NFL office, but Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said the league’s phone line was busy when he called to do the same. The Vikings’ time expired enabling Jacksonville and Carolina to jump ahead with their selections before the Vikings took Williams.

– In case you didn’t see it, Mike Smith is the Falcons choice to be their head coach. That means Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier most likely will be staying put.

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