It was a busy Monday morning for Adrian Peterson. The Vikings’ first-round pick went through his first practice, then spent about 15 minutes signing autographs for fans in the Vikings’ autograph tent and finally conducted a news conference.
Peterson, who missed the first five practices while his contract was being worked out, made it clear he has high expectations for his rookie season.”I’m the type of person who sets his bar high,” Peterson said. “I’m not right now just going to throw out any numbers, but [I can sit here and tell you I would] like to get rookie of the year and MVP. That’s just how I set my bar. Some people might tell you it’s crazy but I give myself a challenge every year.”
As he talked to the media, Peterson was wearing an undershirt that had a small protective device that covered the left collarbone he broke last season while playing at Oklahoma. Peterson said the collarbone injury is “behind” him. “I’ve been keeping positive in my head, as far as mentally, that everything with my body is healed and everything is healthy,” he said.
Peterson also said there would be “no restrictions” on contact. He was, however, kept away from any heavy contact in Monday’s practice. During the last period, which featured plenty of hitting, Peterson stood well behind the line of scrimmage talking to running backs coach Eric Bieniemy.
Peterson participated in all the other portions of practice, getting work with the first and second units. He appeared to have no problems in a pass catching drill, only failing to hold onto the ball once. That was more the result of a poorly thrown pass by quarterback Tyler Thigpen.
Other notes from today’s first workout:
– Linebacker Ben Leber (strained calf), defensive end Brian Robison (hamstring) and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe (ankle) all returned after missing time.
– Left tackle Bryant McKinnie (hamstring) remains on the non-football injury list. Artis Hicks continues to work at the left tacke spot. Safety Darren Sharper (shoulder) also remains sidelined and it looks as if he might not be back until the end of the week.
– Linebacker Jason Glenn intercepted a Thigpen pass in seven-on-seven drills. Glenn, returning from a season-ending knee injury, has looked very sharp early in camp.
– Shiancoe took a big hit from safety Mike Doss as he went over the middle for a ball during the seven-on-seven period.
– Rookie cornerback Marcus McCauley, a standout so far in camp, nearly intercepted a Brooks Bollinger pass that was thrown about 22 yards down the sideline for Aundrae Allison. Allison, though, was able to break up the play. McCauley had two interceptions on Saturday and another in Sunday’s lone practice.
– Shiancoe struggled at times to catch the ball in OTAs and minicamp but he made a few nice grabs today and appears to be getting more comfortable in the offense.
– Tarvaris Jackson and Troy Williamson connected on a play during team drills that drew cheers from the stands. Williamson went over the middle and made a nice diving grab, beating cornerback Cedric Griffin on the play.
– The fans weren’t pleased with everything. At one point Bollinger threw a ball that forced the receiver to stop and turn to make the catch. “How about you lead the receivers,” a fan yelled loud enough to be heard by everyone.