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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson

    By BILL COATS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/10/2009

    Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops won't soon forget the day he first saw the rock-solid, laser-quick running back from Palestine (Texas) High on film.

    "Your jaw hits the floor," Stoops said. "The guy's just so explosive and so powerful, plays so hard. All the positive adjectives you can think of, he was every one of them. It's just exciting to see a guy like that."

    Adrian Peterson, the consensus national player of the year as a high school senior and a record-shattering All-American for Stoops at OU, continues to bring the excitement. On Sunday, his venue will be the Edwards Jones Dome, where the winless Rams meet the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings at noon. MORE RAMS


    Containing the 6-foot-1, 217-pound Peterson will be the top priority for a defense ranking 24th in the 32-team NFL against the run. Defensive end Chris Long called Peterson "a once-in-a-generation back. ... (He's) going to be our biggest focus."

    That was Green Bay's approach, too, on Monday night. It worked sort of.

    The Packers limited Peterson whose 412 rushing yards are second in the league to the 434 amassed by Tennessee's Chris Johnson to 55 yards on 22 carries. But quarterback Brett Favre exploited the openings on the outside left by the load-the-box scheme, passing for three touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.

    "It's kind of a two-headed monster," Rams defensive coordinator Ken Flajole said. "I'm hoping one of those guys misses the team charter."

    'A DIFFERENT BEAST'

    College talent scouts swarmed to Palestine, a hardscrabble town of about 18,000 about 110 miles southeast of Dallas, to try to woo this high school phenom, this workout warrior, to their campus. The trek to the Peterson trailer outside of town was challenging.

    "When I say I stayed out in the country, I'm talking about the regular street turns to gravel and that street turns to dirt," Peterson said in an interview with Muscle & Fitness magazine, which displayed his rippling physique on its cover.

    Peterson built that body despite lacking the money to buy weights. He improvised, using water-filled jugs, jerry-rigged barbells, and doing countless runs up the steepest hill he could find nearby.

    He developed his regimen by watching his father, Nelson Peterson, rise at 5:30 every morning to work out. Nelson played basketball at Idaho State; Adrian's mother, Bonita Jackson, was a sprinter at the University of Houston.

    Peterson also was steeled by misfortune. He was just 7 when his bicycle-riding brother, 8, was killed by a drunk driver. Adrian witnessed the accident. His step-brother was shot to death. His father spent eight years in prison on a money-laundering conviction.

    Still, Peterson kept rolling up yards and luring recruiters to the dusty trailer in the sticks.

    After visits to such powerhouse programs as Southern California, Miami, Louisiana State and Texas, Peterson chose Oklahoma in large part because he was impressed with how hard Stoops' players trained.

    His freshman year was his best. Peterson piled up a school-record 1,925 rushing yards in 2004, led the Sooners to a 12-0 regular-season record (they lost to USC in the national championship game), and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting. He became OU's first freshman All-American.

    Former Nebraska linebacker Jay Moore, a member of the Rams' practice squad, recalled slamming into Peterson on a tackle attempt. "I thought I got him pretty good, and he barely moved," Moore said. "He's just a different beast, a different type of player."

    Knee, ankle and collarbone injuries limited Peterson his sophomore and junior years. Still, he produced 4,045 yards in 31 games, averaging 5.4 years per carry, and 41 touchdowns after three seasons at Oklahoma, and decided to enter the NFL draft in 2007.

    After the Vikings grabbed him with the seventh selection, Peterson delivered an ominous message to the six teams Oakland, Detroit, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, Arizona and Washington that picked ahead of Minnesota.

    "To all the teams that passed on me ... no hard feelings," he said. "But you're going to sit back one day and be like, 'Man, how did we let this kid go?'"

    STRENGTH, CONFIDENCE

    San Diego must have wondered that, too, after Peterson lit up the Chargers for an NFL-record 296 yards in just the eighth game of his rookie year. Despite missing two games, Peterson rushed for 1,341 yards, earned the league's rookie of the year award, and was selected for the Pro Bowl.

    Last year, he topped the NFL with 1,760 yards on the ground, a Vikings record. He was named the Bert Bell Player of the Year and again spent a week in Hawaii with the league's all-stars.

    Peterson is a rare combination of power, speed and instinct. Ken Kanavy, the Vikings' strength and conditioning coach, said Peterson has above-average upper-body strength but "through the roof" strength in his legs.

    "I don't know if 'physical fitness nut' is the right expression, but he's a gym rat," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "He takes care of himself. He really works in the offseason."

    Peterson, 24, is comfortable declaring himself the best player in the game.

    "I play this game to be the best not only the best back but the best player," he said. "If I looked at it any other way, I'd be cheating myself."

    A burner who says he would give world-record sprinter Usain Bolt "a run for his money," Peterson slams into a hole without hesitation and punishes would-be tacklers.

    "He just refuses to go down," said Rams defensive end C.J. Ah You, a former teammate at Oklahoma. "He's relentless."

    Peterson explained that he enjoys "delivering the blow, setting the tempo. Then guys know what tempo the game is going to be. It's going to be a physical game, so ... get prepared for it."

    Will the Rams be prepared for Peterson on Sunday? They certainly know what they're in for.

    "He's got a mean stiff-arm, he does not want to come down, and he's going to find a hole somewhere," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I see big-time determination when he's running the football. ...

    "He is one productive back."

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
    bigredman Guest

    Re: Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson

    Wonderful, that leaves our secondary covering their receivers one on one. Favre will pick us apart all day.

  3. #3
    Quientus Guest

    Re: Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson

    First off, since this is my first post on these boards, - I'm not a Vikings Fan perce, - as I have a few select teams I root for actually, both in the NFC as well as the AFC ... Along with some "favourite" players heh, Steven Jackson being one for example, however Rams are not one of the teams I'm rooting for ...

    To be honest, my main concern at this time, is the possibility that the Vikings "may" already have their minds set on the game against the Ravens ... which could prove to be "fatal" against the Rams ...

    The Rams have absolutely ZERO to lose, regardless and that fact may make this game "dangerous" ...

    Having said that, I do, however, hope that the Vikings keep their minds set on the "task at hand" and get the "job done" against the Rams ... And that this game will prove that the Vikings this season is a "Choose your Poison" (pick whom you are opting to try to stop - AD or Favre) kind of team ...

    Here's to a good game from both sides !

    /Cheers !
    Last edited by Quientus; -10-10-2009 at 10:40 PM.

  4. #4
    MOM's Avatar
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    Re: Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson

    Quote Originally Posted by Quientus View Post
    First off, since this is my first post on these boards, - I'm not a Vikings Fan perce, - as I have a few select teams I root for actually, both in the NFC as well as the AFC ... Along with some "favourite" players heh, Steven Jackson being one for example, however Rams are not one of the teams I'm rooting for ...

    To be honest, my main concern at this time, is the possibility that the Vikings "may" already have their minds set on the game against the Ravens ... which could prove to be "fatal" against the Rams ...

    The Rams have absolutely ZERO to lose, regardless and that fact may make this game "dangerous" ...

    Having said that, I do, however, hope that the Vikings keep their minds set on the "task at hand" and get the "job done" against the Rams ... And that this game will prove that the Vikings this season is a "Choose your Poison" (pick whom you are opting to try to stop - AD or Favre) kind of team ...

    Here's to a good game from both sides !

    /Cheers !
    Hi hon!!!!!!!! Thanks for being classy! I am just hoping to come away from this game with our players still alive, seeing as how our receiving corp is looking like the walking dead. I look forward to tomorrow. I think I spelled tomorrow right....did I? Anyhoo, should be fun to watch! Our run D is getting better, so AP might have a hard time, and the red zone D is making some stops, so Brett might just have to rely on a long ball to get in the end zone.

    Oh, and I hope y'all's guys come out alive, too.

    P.S. On a side note: Do you know how much of a booger it is to backtrack and correct typos when REALLY intoxicated?
    [SIGPIC]http://www.stickershoppe.com/mm5/graphics/00000001/MLRPANCmini.jpg[/SIGPIC]This is for Randy! GO BRM!

  5. #5
    jcook is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson

    maybe the invisible man aka chris long will make a once in a generation tackle against the vikings.

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson

    Quote Originally Posted by jcook View Post
    maybe the invisible man aka chris long will make a once in a generation tackle against the vikings.
    he`s only invisible to you...try putting your baseball cards down when the game is on and you may just be able to see a few.

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