By: Louis Puissegur IV, NewOrleansSaints.com
Sporting a white T-shirt with a fleur-de-lis outlined in gold, running back Adrian Peterson addressed the New Orleans media corps following Tuesday's minicamp, the first time he met with the massive group as a Saint. The former league MVP spoke for more than a dozen minutes on a host of subjects – with occasional interruptions from roaring airplanes taking off from nearby Louis Armstrong International Airport – but with most of the queries circling back to the same issue: how will the league's dominant running back for the past decade fit into the Saints offense.
"I came into the situation with open arms," Peterson said. "Everything was laid out to me and I made a decision to be a part of that. I'm looking forward to seeing how things work out."
The four-time first-team All-Pro has rushed for 11,747 yards and collected 102 touchdowns. With 565 rushing yards this season, the seven-time Pro Bowler will move into the top 10 for career rushing yards. But the Saints also have Mark Ingram in the backfield and the former Heisman Trophy winner is coming off of his first 1,000-yard season in the NFL.
Peterson said he has been "impressed" with Ingram and his "down-to-earth" personality. Peterson, who played with the Vikings for 10 seasons, said both running backs know that they both cannot be "the guy" in the Saints system but that "competing against one another makes you better."
Peterson also touched upon how the chance to play with quarterback Drew Brees influenced his decision to sign with the Saints. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back knows the benefits of having a guy like Brees or Brett Favre under center.
"It's a game-changer," Peterson said. "He's a Hall of Famer for a reason. ... He is amazing. I see why he has perforned at such a high level for 15, 16 years."
Ultimately, the 11-year veteran's "eye is on winning a championship." Peterson made it to the NFC championship game in 2009 with Favre as his quarterback before losing in overtime to the Saints and Brees. The Saints are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2013 season after stringing together three consecutive 7-9 marks.
A few of Peterson's new teammates, including offensive lineman Andrus Peat and safety Kenny Vaccaro, spoke highly of the team's new running back Tuesday.
"It makes my job easier," said Peat, the team's starting left guard. "You really want to block for a guy like that."
Vaccaro said Peterson's "power, strength and agility is crazy."
Vaccaro, a former first-round pick out of Texas, said he "does not fear anyone, but he is the last person I'd want to tackle in this league."
Peterson said he is using the minicamp and OTAs to "knock the rust off" and is looking forward to next month's training camp "to see how we're going to be able to mesh as a team."