“This past year has been emotional for both parties involved,” Peterson said when he addressed the media Tuesday. “I’ve learned a lot from my mistake and I’m moving forward. I’m focused on what’s in front of me.”
Peterson admitted there were days in which he wasn’t sure he’d ever be back with the Vikings. Or back in the NFL at all.
“I’m gonna be absolutely 100 percent with you. With everything going on in my life during that time, I really didn’t know what I wanted,” Peterson said. “I didn’t know if I wanted to play somewhere else, if I wanted to retire, and if I wanted to go off, you know, get into track, just change it up, differently, do something different. That’s where, you know, receiving advice from my parents and my advisors really played a big role.”
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer couldn’t hide his happiness.
“There’s not a prettier sight than when (Peterson’s) got the ball in his hands,” coach Mike Zimmer said upon Peterson’s return to OTAs.
This was Peterson’s first open session with the media since he was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List last September and subsequently suspended for the remainder of the 2014 season.
The conflict between Peterson and the Vikings was never between Peterson and the coaching staff. Peterson professed “love” for his teammates, and Zimmer echoed the sentiment.
“I’m proud of Adrian in that all he had to go through last year. We’re ready to get back to football,” Zimmer said. “I love this kid.”
Some other notes from the media session:
» Asked about wanting to play somewhere else, Peterson said the following: “(My agent) has a job to do, he was doing his job.”
» Zimmer said there were never any trade talks regarding Peterson and that ownership always stood behind the running back.
» Zimmer confirmed the team didn’t adjust Peterson’s contract. But Zimmer also said: “I’ll always fight for my player.”
» Peterson repeatedly said how much he loved all his kids, and that the first person he apologized to was his son. He said he has “been doing a pretty good job” in therapy, relying on parenting methods like timeouts, and taking snacks away.