Adrian Peterson won't be taking it easy on his time off
JUN 21, 2013 5:00a ET
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- With the conclusion of mandatory minicamp, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was looking forward to returning to his hometown, spending time in his new home and eating some good barbecue.
Don't mistake Peterson's desires for slacking off during the free month for he and his teammates. That's not the way the MVP running back rolls. He said he won't be taking things easy before returning on July 25 for training camp.
"Nah, nah, nah, I'm going to crank it up actually," Peterson said Thursday after the conclusion of Minnesota's minicamp. "Crank it up and really bust my tail and be ready for training camp."
Peterson's always been known for his work ethic and desire to be the best. After becoming the best -- the league's MVP last season after rushing for the second-highest, single-season total in NFL history -- Peterson's only been emboldened by the intense training program he went through last season in recovering from major knee surgery and returning as strong as ever less than a year out from surgery.
This year is different for Peterson, at least from the aspect that he's not trying to return from surgery.
He said he feels "100 percent" and has been able to concentrate on getting strong instead of rehabbing. The Vikings have given Peterson the occasional day off from practices during the team's offseason program, which Peterson usually spends inside doing conditioning and lifting anyway.
"A healthy Adrian Peterson makes us all smile," coach Leslie Frazier said. "We kind of know what he's capable of doing. He knows the offense so every now and then, we're going to pick our spots (to give him rest) and let the other guys handle it. We'll do that from time to time."
Peterson did have sports hernia surgery this offseason, but says he's fully recovered and hasn't been hampered by injury at all. He has practiced with the team, including two of the three days during minicamp. As Peterson noted, last season he only practiced a few times before returning to game action.
Peterson returns to his native Texas and Saturday marks the7th annual Adrian Peterson Day in his hometown of Palestine. He said he's called in a special caterer for barbecue for the special day.
Then he will be back home in Houston before training camp opens. Peterson's spent more time in Minnesota the past two offseasons and is anxious to spend time in his new home.
"I haven't really been there much with OTAs," Peterson said. "So, it was a hard pill to swallow, but I swallowed it. But yeah, I'll be in Houston relaxing in the new pad."
And how does the competitive Peterson relax?
"Just sitting around the house relaxing, watching TV," Peterson said. "You know, I find my time to kind of unwind and relax at times. But to be great, you got to put in a lot of work and I know that, that's why I work as hard as I do."
Peterson will be ready when training camp begins and he has high goals, as usual.
"Super Bowl, I know that's the goal as a group," Peterson said. "I feel like we've got the right pieces in place. Everyone has that vision in their mind, so that's the ultimate goal."
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