Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Adrian Peterson
Posted on: June 9, 2011 10:15 am
Edited on: June 9, 2011 10:42 am
 

Vikings have faith in Ponder but won't rush him

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Yesterday we mentioned that free agent Matt Hasselbeck might be a possible stopgap in Tennessee should Seattle choose not to re-sign him. Hasselbeck mentored rookie Titans quarterback Jack Locker when Locker was at the University of Washington, and Hasselback has ties to the Titans front office.

Plus, he's 35. Any stint in Tennessee would be a short one. Ideally, Hasselback would bridge the gap between broken dreams (Vince Young) and renewed hope (Locker), a gig Kerry Collins doesn't sound all that interested in.

We bring this up because Locker isn't the only rookie quarterback who could begin the season under center. First-overall pick Cam Newton seems a long shot to win a starting job out of training camp, but it's too early to rule out the Jaguars' Blaine Gabbert and the Vikings' Christian Ponder.

Players and coaches are forbidden from talking to each other during the lockout, but the lockout is giving Minnesota offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave plenty of time to plan for the upcoming season.

First up: keep it simple. Which means that whoever's the QB, he'll have to be proficient at taking the snap, pivoting, and handing the ball to No. 28. And there will be the occasional throw -- probably off rollouts and bootlegs -- to, you know, keep defenses honest.

"We'll major in giving the ball to Adrian (Peterson), and we'll need a quarterback that can keep defenses honest and can have a little bit of movement to himself," Musgrave, who once was a backup quarterback with Dallas, San Francisco and Denver, told the Star Tribune's Judd Zulag. "Not just be a statue back there because with the pieces that are in place we won't be just a drop-back, stay-in-the-pocket type team. We're going to really attack the defense on the edges both with Adrian and also our quarterback."

We have yet to hear from Titans coaches about their plans for Locker, but running back Chris Johnson was under the impression Monday that it was Locker's job to lose. "Everybody knows [Jake's] going to be the starting quarterback so he needs to be ready come Game 1," he said.

Musgrave isn't quite ready to commit to Ponder ... yet.

"…[I]t's hard to speculate at this stage. We just don't know. There are so many contingency plans because there are so many unknowns.

"I do know this," Musgrave added. "I know that Christian has a broad-based background on offensive football from Florida State, and he'll be able to jump in there and keep his head above water. We'll hope to do a good job and enable him to maintain his confidence and develop and get comfortable at the same time."

In the weeks and months leading up to the draft, the knock against Locker was that he struggled with accuracy. That's a huge problem in the NFL, where the defensive backs get faster and the windows get smaller. For Ponder, there were concerns about his ability to stay healthy and his arm strength. But he was the most consistent player at the Senior Bowl in January, and looked even better at the February combine. By late April, draft experts were saying things like, "Perhaps no quarterback in this draft class has a better command of the game's subtleties."

That is great news for a franchise that can focus on other things this summer than Brett Favre's annual un-retirement tour.

Musgrave and Ponder spent a few hours talking football when the lockout was briefly lifted in late April. It was enough time for Ponder to get a playbook, and later pass on what he learned to teammates at workouts he organized last week in Bradenton, Fla.
Vikes Offseason

Even in a normal offseason, it would be difficult for a rookie quarterback to win a starting job. We're currently 86 days into the lockout with no end in sight. Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier was noncommittal on whether the team would sign a veteran QB, although some fans think Donovan McNabb would be the perfect candidate (we disagree).

But even if Ponder is forced into duty it doesn't mean Minnesota's season is doomed; Musgrave came from Atlanta where he played a big role in Matt Ryan's development. The Falcons were 19-29 in the three years before Ryan arrived in 2008. They're 31-12 in the three years since, including two 11-plus win seasons. Ideally, rookie quarterbacks learn by watching, but surround them with a stout defense and playmakers at the skill positions (check and check, in Minnesota's case) and the results will occasionally surprise you.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 18, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Hillis a surprising finalist in Madden tourney

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Though this would have been unthinkable before last season (and if there wasn’t a lockout right now, I probably wouldn’t have even thought to think about it), Browns RB Peyton Hillis is in the finals of the Madden ’12 cover tournament.

And with the way his fan base is performing, he’ll have an awfully good shot of defeating Eagles QB Michael Vick to win the cover.

Hillis, a No. 10 seed, easily beat Packers QB Aaron Rodgers 61-39 to advance to the finals, and he will face Vick – a No. 3 seed who knocked off Vikings RB Adrian Peterson 59-41.

With the exception of his 51-49 second-round victory against Falcons QB Matt Ryan, Hillis has cruised through the tournament, compiling at least 60 percent of the vote against each of his opponents.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: April 14, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Top 15 selling jerseys in NFL

Posted by Andy Benoit

USA Today has published a list of the top 15 most popular NFL player jerseys from the past year. Without further ado:

1) Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
2) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
3) Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
4) Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
5) Tim Tebow, Denver Broncos
6) Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
7) Tom Brady, New England Patriots
8) Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
9) Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
10) Eli Manning, New York Giants
11) DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia Eagles
12) Mark Sanchez, New York Jets
13) Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys
14) Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings
15) Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings

The data is based on sales from NFLShop.com.

Last year, Favre ranked No. 1 in jersey sales. Vick ranked 20th. Matthews wasn't even in the top 25.

Posted on: April 11, 2011 7:50 pm
 

Madden 12 cover voting down to 4 players

Posted by Will Brinson

The Madden 12 cover voting has moved on to another round, and now there are only four athletes remaining as possible jinx cover candidates.

Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, Peyton Hillis and Aaron Rodgers remain with two rounds of voting to be held. (You can vote on Facebook should you be so inclined.)

Vick, who defeated Patrick Willis last round, and Rodgers, who took out Danny Woodhead, are the biggest favorites to make the cover.

Hillis is the definition of a darkhorse, as before the season started, the idea of him gracing America's favorite football game seemed, well, it didn't seem like anything, because it wasn't even a possibility.

Peterson could certainly win, although it's interesting that he reportedly turned down a chance to appear on the cover previously.

If I've got to guess, based on popularity, I think that Vick ends up netting his second cover -- he was on as an Atlanta Falcon -- by squeaking past Rodgers in the final.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: April 10, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 4:43 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Minnesota Vikings

Posted by Andy Benoit



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups .



The Vikings’ perils couldn’t have been any worse for Minnesotans and any better for bloggers. Brett Favre drama took on a whole new tenor. Added to the cacophony of “Will he play?” questions was “Do you think it was him?” speculation.

Favre’s acrimonious relationship with Brad Childress did not improve, either, which was part of the reason the head coach was unable to survive through November.

Things didn’t pick up once Childress was fired. Symbolically, and fortunately for Zygi Wilf and his cadre of business cohorts seeking a new stadium, also literally, the Metrodome roof collapsed, leaving this team homeless for the holidays. The novelty of relocated Monday night games distracted from the fact that the Vikings finished the season in the same way they started it: with a thud.



Fullbacks

There is no reason to keep Naufahu Tahi on the roster. Even if the 29-year-old fullback had played well in 2010 (and he did not), his presence would be a hindrance. Adrian Peterson is a violent, decisive runner who does not have good patience when it comes to setting up his blocks. Peterson’s natural tendency is to get the ball and explode.

When there is a fullback in front of him, he’s forced to slow down and wait for the play to develop. Tahi, like most fullbacks, can’t hit the hole as quickly as Peterson can, even when he’s starting out two yards closer to the hole.

Peterson is better in an empty backfield. And, with a plethora of tight ends already on the roster, including blocking specialists Jeff Dugan and Jim Kleinsasser, the Vikings are better running out of dual tight end formations anyway. Save a roster spot; dump the fullback.




1. Quarterback
Favre is really gone this time (*) and, with Childress gone, the front office has realized it is finally free to admit that Tarvaris Jackson is not the answer.

2. Offensive Tackle
The Vikings won’t draft someone at this position because that’d be admitting it was a mistake to sign Bryant McKinnie to a long-term deal and invest a second-round draft pick in Phil Loadholt. The reality is, the 6’8” 350-pound McKinnie’s heart is the size of a dwarf’s. The 6’8”, 335-pound Loadholt is still developing but is yet to show any signs of ferocity.

3. Cornerback
Antoine Winfield is creeping up in age but can still play, especially if asked to man the slot. Problem is, Minnesota doesn’t have any stability outside. Cedric Griffin tore both ACL’s at different times in 2010. Asher Allen has become every quarterback’s favorite opponent. Last year’s second-round pick, Chris Cook, has character concerns and just six games to his name, thanks to injuries as a rookie.




This team’s window of opportunity has closed. The Vikings knew this was coming – why do you think they were so desperate in their pursuit of Favre last summer? Now they must develop a new green quarterback behind an offensive line that is much, much worse than people realize (Favre’s quick decision making masked many pass protection deficiencies last season).

The defense, which already needs help in the secondary given that the pass-rush has tailed off, will take a step back if nose tackle Pat Williams does not return (he’s an unrestricted free agent).

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed

Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:13 pm
 

Rodgers the favorite for Madden '12 cover

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

And from the “why shouldn’t Bodog.com put out odds for who will be voted as the Madden ’12 cover?” department, here are the odds for who will win the honor (and perhaps the vaunted curse).

Aaron Rodgers               2/3

Michael Vick                   3/2

Adrian Peterson             12/1

Jamaal Charles              12/1

Peyton Hillis                   12/1

Danny Woodhead           14/1

Drew Brees                     25/1

Patrick Willis                   30/1

If it’s me, I, of course, would go with Rodgers, because that seems so freakin’ obvious. Plus, you have to discount the PETA influence on Vick’s voters (that’s sarcasm, people). But if I was to go with a darkhouse, I’d go with Woodhead. His run in the past year has simply been outstanding (from the outhouse with the Jets to a major star with the Patriots), so why wouldn’t it continue?

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: April 4, 2011 2:21 pm
 

Woodhead, Hillis advance in Madden tourney

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Patriots RB Danny Woodhead continued his remarkable run in the Madden ’12 cover vote, but considering he’s matched up against Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in the third round, his streak is probably about to end.

Woodhead, a dark-horse candidate at the beginning of the 16-man tournament, knocked off Giants WR Hakeem Nicks 57 percent-43 percent, but he’ll face a tough candidate in Rogers, who blasted Lions DT Ndamukong Suh 72-28 in the first round and Rams QB Sam Bradford 76-24 in the second round and appears only to be growing stronger.

In the other half of that side of bracket, Browns RB Peyton Hillis – originally a No. 10 seed as compared to Woodhead’s No. 4 – surprisingly edged Falcons QB Matt Ryan 51-49 and will meet Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles.

On the other side of the bracket, 49ers LB Patrick Willis – who upset Steelers WR Hines Ward in the second round – will meet PETA favorite/Eagles QB Michael Vick.

The final quarterfinals matchup between Saints QB Drew Brees and Vikings RB Adrian Peterson might be the most intriguing vote of the third round.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: March 23, 2011 6:50 pm
 

Leonard Weaver sorry for agreeing with Peterson

Posted by Andy BenoitL. Weaver (US Presswire)

One of the perks of being a decent NFL player but not a household name is that when you find yourself apologizing for something you said, chances are good that most people hearing the apology will not be familiar with your gaffe in the first place.

Did you know Leonard Weaver spoke out in agreement to Adrian Peterson’s slavery comment? Tuesday night, in rhapsodizing about the labor situation, the Eagles fullback said to on CSN Philly, “We as players want to make a statement that you know what, we love playing for you all, we love your owners, you know? We love you guys very much, but at the same time we need to see some equal opportunity here and stop treating us basically like Adrian Peterson said, like slaves. . . .

“We as players, we are an important part of this agreement here and an important part of this league.  We care about our benefits and who we are.  It’s not just about money, but it’s about our livelihood after the game of football.

“I want people to understand that we as players are gonna stand strong in our opinion and we’re gonna really fight this thing until it gets solved.”

On Wednesday, Weaver apparently felt pangs of regret. He tweeted, “Now, that I have seen it, I will say that it was hard for me to watch and after thinking about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that I represented my family, friends and organization the wrong way. I’m sorry for those words I used and if I offend anyone, please forgive me. To all my fans whom I’ve disappointed I’m sorry.”

No harm, no foul.

While we’re thinking of it, isn’t it odd that we haven’t heard anything from Peterson since his slavery comment?

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com