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Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson

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  • Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson


    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."


    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?'"


    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."

  • #2
    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
      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 Guest; -10-10-2009, 07:40 PM.


      • #4
        Re: Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson

        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?
        sigpicThis is for Randy! GO BRM!


        • #5
          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
            Re: Rams will focus on Vikings RB Peterson

            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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            • RamWraith
              Blackout unlikely, but players concerned about crowd's mood
              by RamWraith
              Fans to have say in finale

              BY DON SEEHOLZER
              Pioneer Press
              VIKINGS REPORT

              With fewer than 600 tickets remaining as of Tuesday afternoon, Vikings fans apparently won't have to worry about Sunday's season finale against St. Louis being blacked out locally.

              Out of the playoff picture at 6-9, the Vikings don't have much to play for, but the players said they're hoping for a positive reception from the home fans.

              "I hope they come out and show their support," linebacker Ben Leber said. "I know we have great fans here and not the typical fair-weather fans. They have some diehards up here. So I hope the diehards come out and still support us."

              The Vikings have a string of 93 consecutive home sellouts and are offering $25 gift certificates to the Vikings Locker Room Store with the purchase of two tickets to this game.

              The Rams (7-8), coached by former Vikings offensive coordinator Scott Linehan, have an outside chance at the playoffs and a potent offense led by running back Steven Jackson, who leads the team in rushing with 1,386 yards and receiving with 88 catches for 782 yards.

              "If you look at it, they get him the ball as many ways as they can," defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. "I'm pretty sure they're going to hand it off to him and throw to him. We'll just have to study the film and see how we can take the ball out of his hands."

              With the Vikings reduced to a spoiler role, Williams said: "It hurts to see a lot of teams that are still in the playoff hunt right now and we were so close in a lot of games. We just have to regroup and do better."

              Leber, who left San Diego to sign with the Vikings as a free agent, said he hasn't had much time to reflect on where this season went wrong.

              "It's definitely a different feel this week," he said. "I've been in this position before. You've just got to play for pride. You've got to finish the season strong. This is a week where you can look for next year and kind of get off on a good note with a win. That's what we're going to try to do."

              Good news/bad news: With one game to play, the Vikings rank No. 1 in the NFL in run defense, allowing 54.5 yards a game, and 32nd and last in pass defense (238.0).

              The Vikings' 817 yards rushing allowed are 358 fewer than No. 2 Baltimore, while their 3,570 yards passing allowed are 27 more than No. 31 Cincinnati.

              If the Vikings hold the Rams to less than 152 yards rushing, they will break the modern-day NFL record of 60.6 yards a game set by the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. Leber said that and finishing No. 1 against the run are goals.

              "I think as long as they're obtainable, they're right there in our grasp," he said. "I think you'd be hard-pressed to sit there and say it's not important....
              -12-27-2006, 10:33 AM
            • r8rh8rmike
              Thomas: Vikings' Peterson Poses Huge Threat To Rams
              by r8rh8rmike
              Vikings' Peterson poses huge threat to Rams

              13 hours ago • By Jim Thomas [email protected]

              The last time Adrian Peterson visited the Gateway to the West, he was totally shut down in the first quarter at the Edward Jones Dome.

              Five of his first eight carries that day went for negative yardage. Entering the second quarter, he had eight yards to show for those eight carries. The Rams’ defense was all over him, physically and verbally.

              “I think that’s the first time in eight years I’ve ever talked noise to players,” Peterson said on a conference call Wednesday with St. Louis reporters. “Those guys had me so hot — I haven’t ever been that mad playing football.

              “They were yapping at the mouth. I’m talking about from the defensive front, to the second level, to the secondary. Those guys were just yapping and they were doing pretty good initially.

              “And then when I gutted them that one time, it got real quiet. ... I hope they come in talking a lot of noise this time, too.”

              Peterson gutted them to the tune of an 82-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. Not only did it break a 7-7 tie, it broke the Rams’ backs, starting a run of 26 unanswered points for the Vikings, who went on to win 36-22 in 2012.

              By day’s end, Peterson had 212 yards rushing — his last carry of the day went for 52 — en route to a 2,097-yard season, the second-highest season total in NFL history.

              The mid-December loss ended any hopes of a playoff berth in Jeff Fisher’s inaugural Rams season; the team had been flirting with wild-card status at the time.

              Even though the Vikings were playing it ultra-conservative at the time with quarterback Christian Ponder, de facto Rams defensive coordinator Blake Williams called a blitz on the play — a strange call on a 1st-and-10 from the Vikings’ 18.

              Williams, the son of current defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, was not retained at the end of the season. At the Senior Bowl five weeks later, Blake told the Post-Dispatch that he thought that call may have led to his dismissal.

              “We were in the wrong defense, obviously, ” Fisher said after that game. “We were expecting pass ... and so I think as coaches we have to take that.”

              Exactly why the Rams were expecting pass remains a mystery because the Vikings were the league’s 32nd-ranked pass offense at the time.

              In any event, the Rams sent safety Quintin Mikell and linebacker Rocky McIntosh in from their right on a blitz. Compounding matters was the fact that defensive tackle Kendall Langford dropped off the line into coverage. All of that left Peterson with a huge hole once he reached the line of scrimmage — and he knew what to do with it.

              But back to the chirping. Did Peterson’s run quiet the Rams?

              “I guess that’s his opinion,” linebacker...
              -09-04-2014, 11:18 AM
            • Curly Horns
              Two carries are enough for Peterson
              by Curly Horns

              Adrian Peterson looked up from his Sunday afternoon against the St. Louis Rams and reflected on what he had just accomplished. The greatest back of this or maybe any other season recalled the 212-yard gash he left in a previously solid rush defense and asserted, “I could have had over 300.”

              He very well might be right.

              When the Rams saw the Minnesota Vikings at the Edward Jones Dome, they could be accused of looking at themselves across the line.

              With the Vikings absent injured feature receiver Percy Harvin, both teams seek to pair playmakers with young quarterbacks. Both teams are more defense than offense. Both teams required tortured math to describe their playoff hopes. But only the Vikings have Peterson, who makes X-Box football resemble a reality show.

              Because of him the 6-7-1 Rams no longer need concern themselves with such postseason calculus.

              For 22 of his 24 carries Peterson resembled a mere mortal as the Rams stacked him for 76 yards, a measly 3.55-yard average. However, Peterson used his remaining two carries to crush their playoff aspirations, if not their will, in a game that rarely seemed as close as its 36-22 final.

              Peterson did to the Rams what he has impossibly done to the rest of the NFL a year after requiring surgery to repair a shredded anterior cruciate ligament. He prods and he slams. He reverses field. He slips two tackles within a 3-yard gain. Then Peterson breaks away, too powerful to muscle, too fast to catch.

              Peterson amassed 134 yards in two runs, one an 82-yard touchdown and two momentum shifts. On those plays he turned a defense into mere props.

              “Today came down to two runs and maybe three or four plays,” said Rams strong safety Quintin Mikell. “But that’s life in the NFL. That’s what it usually comes down to.”

              Peterson pushed his season rushing total at 1,812 yards with two games remaining and is 293 yards shy of matching Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record set in 1984.

              “It’s been in my sights,” Peterson remarked when asked about the record Dickerson set a year before Peterson was born. “It’s in the back of my head. I definitely want to accomplish that. I’m going to let the chips fall where they may. I look at today’s game and I could have had over 300. It wasn’t meant to happen.”

              On a day when the Rams treated Steven Jackson’s 10,000th career rushing yard as little more than a footnote, Peterson stole the show, or at least the last three quarters.

              “We were prepared for him to make some plays,” said defensive end Chris Long. “Clearly, 83 yards is not in the game plan. But he’s that good. He’s going to break a long run. You just try to contain him.”

              This is what the Rams did to Peterson during Sunday’s first quarter:
              -12-18-2012, 06:31 PM
            • RamWraith
              Rams' Jackson could stymie record bid
              by RamWraith
              A handful for the defense

              BY SEAN JENSEN
              Pioneer Press

              VIKINGS REPORT

              The Vikings' defense has handled premium running backs such as Frank Gore, Ronnie Brown and Willis McGahee en route to a potential record-breaking season.

              But linebacker Napoleon Harris said Sunday's test will be the biggest this season.

              "He's a guy who rushed for (1,386) yards and (782) yards receiving," said Harris of St. Louis Rams Pro Bowl running back Steven Jackson. "He's the guy that makes that offense go."

              Asked what he does well, Harris said, "Everything. Big. Strong. Fast. Quick. Shifty. Good hands."

              Harris accidentally repeated Jackson's speed, not surprising because Jackson has a rare combination of size (6 feet 2, 231 pounds) and explosive speed.

              Jackson is fifth in the NFL with 88 catches and tied for 32nd in receiving yards. Last week, he topped 100 yards in rushing and in receiving in a 37-31 overtime victory over the Washington Redskins.

              Harris said that is why Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt both have more than 1,000 yards receiving.

              "You have to stack the box to defend the run first, so those guys benefit," Harris said of Holt and Bruce. "They're all being productive because of everything Steven has been able to do for that offense."

              Because the playoffs are out of the question, Vikings linebacker Ben Leber said setting the record for fewest rushing yards allowed for a season since the 1969 AFL-NFL merger would be special.

              That record, 60.6 yards a game, set by the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, could fall if the Vikings hold the Rams to fewer than 152 yards rushing.

              "That's something we take pride," Leber said. "That's something nobody really came into the season saying, 'We're going to be one of the best run defenses in this era, in this modern day.' But this is something obtainable, and we certainly want to go after it."

              But Harris insisted the Vikings have another goal above all else.

              "I definitely want to do it. But I don't want to compromise the record over the victory," Harris said.

              Second helpings: With the loss of Fred Smoot and Cedric Griffin, the Vikings are particularly vulnerable in the secondary. That's not ideal with the Rams' fourth-ranked passing offense coming to the Metrodome against the league's worst pass defense.

              "They are very explosive," Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin said. "The quarterback has (4,053) yards passing, has only had eight interceptions. They've got two 1,000-yard receivers.

              "They are capable of ringing up the scoreboard, and we are excited about meeting those challenges."

              Undrafted rookie Charles Gordon will start opposite...
              -12-30-2006, 04:46 AM
            • RamWraith
              Vikings get the sleeper of 2004
              by RamWraith
              Vikings have just signed Brock Lessner. This will be an interesting signing and fun to watch.
              -07-27-2004, 10:39 AM