New Orleans Saints Running Back Adrian Peterson
Post Practice Media Availability
Did you know Mark Ingram at all before you came in and what's your impression of him so far?
"I've been pretty impressed with him. I didn't know him, but I ran into a couple times but he's a down to Earth young man and he's a hard worker and he's been helping me a lot trying to pick up this new terminology."
In what ways do you think you guys can help each other?
"I think there's a lot of advice that I can give him. I believe that each running back has their own style so there might be things that he sees that I might miss and vice versa. Of course, being able to compete against each other always makes you better."
I was gonna ask you that, do you feel like you guys are competing or do you have your own defined roles that you're gonna play regardless of what happens in practice?
"I really think it's too early to say all that but, right now we're competing to push each other and to get better. When we step on that field and we get our opportunities then we're able to execute and take advantage of those opportunities."
A lot of your teammates have been praising you so far but, obviously, you guys don't have pads on yet. How much of a next level do you think you have, are you gonna be be even better when those pads come on?
"I always look at it as this is the time to come in and you kind of knock the rust off and, for me, learning the system as well. It's a totally different ball game once you suit up and put the pads on. When I'm out here and I see guys wether their out here making a good run or a good catch, it's just different when you can go across the field and get hit and you have pads on. I'm just looking forward to training camp and seeing how we're gonna mesh as a team."
"It's too early for competition, but this is a different role for you to share the load with somebody who is used to being the main back too. Is that different?
"Yeah it's different, I've been that guy for ten years. I came into this situation with open arms. Everything was laid out to me as well and I made a decision to be a part of it. So I'm looking forward to seeing how things work out."
Obviously, there's not much you haven't seen in your career but is there something that Mark Ingram has shown you since you've been here?
"Not really, we haven't really gotten into the meat of anything yet. It's just been OTAs and today was our first Minicamp. I'm sure once we get to training camp, I'll be able to see some things then."
Have y'all spent a lot of time together or interacted?
"Really outside of the building no. I'm kind of a loner and I'm a homebody. Once I get done with work here, I go crash."
I know you've had eight different offensive coordinators in Minnesota but, this is obviously different with the way the offense is structured how challenging has that been for you to learn and, obviously, playing with Drew Brees is a perk to being within this offense?
"Yeah it's definitely a perk to play with Drew Brees. Just being able to watch him, I know why he's performed at such a high level for 15 years now. Yeah the offense has definitely been challenging but, I knew that coming in. I knew Coach Payton is a genius when it comes offense and offensive schemes. I knew it was gonna be a challenge for me and I've accepted that challenge. I know after Minicamp I'll be able to take that playbook home and I'm really gonna have to dedicate time to learning each and every thing. I don't want that to be a reason that I'm being slowed down at all. I'm gonna have to invest a lot of time into the playbook for sure."
Is that something that actually drew you here? The idea of a more versatile offense and maybe doing some things in the passing game that maybe you hadn't done before?
"Yeah that was one of the reasons I was so interested in coming. (Drew) Brees is kind of self-explanatory with him. A great offensive line that I really studied and looked up online and watched film on. Those guys, when those pads are on, they're grinding and they get after it. Then, like you said, the offensive scheme they present as well. It's something I feel like I can come in and be able to contribute."
What is your thought on yourself as a pass catcher out of the backfield? It's not something you've done a ton of in your career but is that just because they didn't use you that way?
"Yeah it's because they didn't use me that way. It's always funny to me because I've been playing this game since I was seven and a lot people say I can't catch the ball but I've been playing this game since I was seven so I can catch a football. You kind of look back at the two years I played with (Brett) Favre, Those were my best years as far as receiving yards. I had like 400 one year and 300 plus the other year. It's all about having a guy that's gonna get the ball to you and, without a doubt, I know (Drew) Brees will. We'll be doing that."
I don't know if you've thought about this but, in what ways is your situation now, coming in here and joining Drew Brees, similar to when (Brett) Favre came and joined you in Minnesota?
"Just taking a lot of pressure off my shoulders. Having a guy that's here and established, he (Drew Brees) is that guy here. Having a future Hall of Fame quarterback, by itself, right there is game changer."
The thought of teams not being able to just key on you having to deal with the weapons on the outside and (Drew Brees), just your thoughts on that?
"That was definitely something I thought about as well and having (Michael) Thomas and (Willie) Snead and all these guys out wide and just what (Drew) Brees is able to do. You can bring a mediocre receiver in and he can get him five or six-hundred yards. You see how much they respect him when you watch the Saints play offensively and I feel like to add what I'm able to do back in the mix, it'll be very challenging for an opposing defense."
You sat out last week, is that something you guys kind of mapped out? Is that something you wanna do to be smart at this stage of your career or is that something they're gonna have to impose on you to make you sit and rest?
"Yeah they're probably gonna have to impose that on me. I don't really like sitting out and I always feel like if I'm out then I'm leaving my guys out there to dry. I'll be working plenty when training camp comes around."
Do you intend to try to figure out an approach to limiting your workload or anything like that?
"Not really, I'll let the coaches do what they do."
Is 2015 possible again? I know you were adamant when you came here about 'hey I might be 32 years old but, I'm still one of the best players in this league' do you still feel like something like that is in the tank?
"Without a doubt. Of course. That's just the way that I'm built, programmed, I've always been that way. You kind of go back to the 2015 season and it was sort of the same thing that I was hearing 'oh he's over the hill' this that and other. I didn't change, I just continued to do what I do, put in work. My eyes are on winning a championship, being the best player, being the best running back. I was blessed to have a good season that year and lead the league in rushing. Nothing has changed, especially that mindset, win a championship and be the best player on the field. I've got so much respect for (Drew) Brees but that's just my mindset."
How long do you think you can play at that level?
"I feel like I can play at that level for a long time. Five or six more years."
Would you say you would be more inclined in this offense to judge your success by explosive plays, first down runs as opposed to overall yardage just because of the way the offense is designed or would you still look at 'I need 1,500 yards to be successful'?
"No. Getting to the playoffs and giving us a chance to compete for a championship. I'll be basing it off of that. Of course I'm a competitor so every year I want to get 2,000 yards but I'm far from a selfish player so any way we can accomplish the ultimate team goal and what the city wants to accomplish, whatever role I play in that, I'll be happy with it."
With the receiving thing, could you expand upon why you thought you were better at that with Favre? There are a lot of young quarterbacks that check down and it's still a good pass. Why is it better with Favre, is it trust?
"You have some guys like Drew Brees, (Brett) Favre, Aaron Rodgers, (Tom) Brady, (Ben) Roethlisberger, you have different quarterbacks that see the field differently and there's not a lot of quarterbacks that when they go through their progressions, they're stuck on one side They're not seeing the backside check down or looking out in the flat. You have guys like (Brett) Favre and Drew Brees and they're Hall of Famers for a reason. Not only because they can throw the ball but they have other qualities that make them top tier quarterbacks. That's all it is. You've got a guy that knows what's going and knows every guys positions and where they're supposed to be. You've got a guy that's not worried about a 60 or 70 yard throw every time. It's about moving the chains and making sure your offense is productive. That would be the big difference."
You seem to hint at it but how frustrating is it that that's been a knock throughout your career?
"I don't let it frustrate me too much but, I'd be lying to you to say it's not nerve wrecking to hear you guys, maybe not you guys, but I just here people say 'oh he can't catch the ball' and 'what is he gonna do because they pass the ball so much'. It is what it is, you just got to keep on pushing, keep moving forward. That's what I'm focused on doing."
Have you had a chance to get any good seafood?
"Yeah. Some really good food. Some oysters. I was trying to stay away because when I first got here, my body fat was about seven or eight and then about two week later it was closer to nine or ten so I wanted make sure I ate well but, it's so delicious. That was something I was looking forward to coming here. Just the food and the culture and the people. Great people here. It's been an amazing experience so far."
Have you had any interactions with fans so far?
"Oh yeah. I can't go too many places without someone saying Who Dat or welcoming me here. It's been a good transition for me so far."
What about the heat. I know you in high school one of the reasons you didn't go to LSU was because of the heat. How are you dealing with it?
"I'm dealing with it and the humidity. I'm from Texas so we're used to the heat and even in Houston, being close to Galveston, you kind of get the humidity but it's on a totally different level here but I'm staying hydrated and mentally I'm very tough so I'll be able to deal with it."