Adrian Peterson trusts Vikings' Norv Turner despite lackluster Week 1

ByBen Goessling ESPN logo
Thursday, September 17, 2015

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Adrian Peterson voiced his trust in Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner on Thursday, days after his long-awaited return to the NFL turned into a letdown with just 10 carries for 31 yards in the Monday night loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Peterson took four of those carries out of the shotgun, gaining just seven yards on those handoffs as he tried to adjust to a Vikings offense that changed when Teddy Bridgewater became the starting quarterback while Peterson was suspended last year.

But while the running back admitted he's more comfortable taking handoffs from a quarterback under center, he said he trusts his offensive coordinator.

"If it ever got to that point [where I needed to talk to the coaching staff about my role], I would," Peterson said. "But I have a lot of trust in coach Turner and what he's going to ask of us. I still voice my opinion to him, as well. We'll see how things flow this weekend."

Peterson carried the ball only four times in the first half, and didn't have a carry until the Vikings' second offensive series, after Bridgewater checked out of a run play on the Vikings' first drive. He also showed some awkwardness while taking handoffs in the shotgun, where he lined up next to Bridgewater four or five yards behind the line of scrimmage, rather than lining up seven yards deep and hitting the line close to full speed.

The running back said a week ago, before his first game in 53 weeks, that he'd need to remind himself to relax, and not get to the point of attack on a play before his blockers. On Thursday, Peterson said he could have been more patient.

"I try to get [to the line quickly]. Even when I don't try to get there, I get there," Peterson said. "It's just being patient, with angles, with the offensive line, making sure they're able to handle their responsibilities in the run play, depending what run is called. It's really, really being patient, and then exploding. ... We've been getting a lot of reps in the gun since OTAs [organized team activities], and I think we'll continue to get these looks in the game, in live action. So we'll just be able to improve as a unit, being on the same page."

Peterson said last week the biggest test of his return might be his recovery after the game, when he'd need to get ready for the Detroit Lions just six days after the late game of ESPN's Monday Night Football doubleheader and a long flight back from the West Coast. On Thursday, though, he felt fine physically.

"My neck is still a little sore, which I assumed [would happen]," he said. "But overall, my legs, my body, it recovered pretty well. It felt good to get out there and get some live action."

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