Quotes from New Orleans Saints running back Adrian Peterson’s August 5 media availability

New Orleans Saints Running Back Adrian Peterson
2017 Training Camp Presented By Verizon
Saturday, August 5, 2017

You picked the right day to not practice today right?
“That was the first thing I thought when I came out here. If there is a day, this might be the day. It was pretty humid today, but guys put some good work in and rode through it.”

Sean Payton says with veteran players you don’t have to see it every day, but you have to see it. Do you need to see it every day or how do you gauge where you are through a week?
“Even on these off days, you still take advantage of it mentally, staying in tune and preparing as well. I was up pretty late last night going over the two-minute offense, knowing that I wasn’t going to be a part of it. Today, I was able to come out and get some good recovery for my body, which is huge for me.”

You didn’t seem to have too many questions about where you would be in pads, but how do you feel? Are you where you want to be?
“I’m healthy without a doubt. I’m not exactly where I want to be, but I’m working towards that and I’m working extremely hard. In my mind, it’s just each day working on the little things that will make you better. That’s been my main focus throughout this grind and this training camp.”

Where exactly do you want to be?
“It is a combination of stuff. Having my legs underneath me and learning so much for the new offense and the new system. It is really a combination of those two things. Taking care of my body as well, but basically those two things.”

Do you need a preseason game to know exactly where you are or you already know where you are?
“Not when it comes to the physical part of it. I don’t think that’s going to be an issue. It is more the mental aspect of it because Drew Brees is a general back there and he talks so fast when he calls plays. That’s more so what I mean just locking in and that’s normal when you come into a new system. I’m just taking advantage of looking at the playbook and making sure I’ll be prepared when my number is called.”

Do you find yourself more eager to play in a preseason game that usual?
“In a sense, I do. Last year, I felt like I’d get out there a little bit. I had talked to coach (Mike) Zimmer about it, but it didn’t end up happening. Maybe I’m itching a little bit more this offseason plus I don’t know how they run things. If starters go out there and play no matter what I’m buckling up and going, but when that time comes we’ll talk more.”

Do you feel like there’s an adjustment between you and Drew Brees with the quarterback-running back hand off?
“Not really, we’ve practiced a few times together for a couple Pro Bowls and I’m always one tempo. It’s been good. I haven’t had any balls on the ground. Of course, with different runs, there’s different types handoffs and different marks. Just making sure you’re in sync with that.”

There was a story about you switching up your diet to a more vegan diet. How is that going and why did you want to do it?
“It’s been rough, but I think I’m just conscious of it. I take this protein called hydrogenics, which is basically like a meal replacement. I probably eat one meal and I’ll try to stick around salad. Sometimes I give in, like a couple days ago I was passing Church’s Chicken and that three-piece looked so good so I stopped and had it. I would say I’m 80/20 vegan. I’m really just being more conscious of what I put in my body.”

Does that change the size that you’re going to play at?
“No. I have been watching my weight because I have been on this diet for about four weeks now. My weight has been consistent between 217 and 220 (pounds). I have not lost any muscle. I actually came in and put in a couple more pounds of muscle. I have been pleased with it so far”

Is there anyone that persuaded you that it was a good idea to explore vegan specific meals?
“No, just me. I kind of like to get on Youtube sometimes or check social media so you’ll see certain things and it kind of gets you thinking about health. I just browse and search for different venues and see what I can learn about eating healthier. It didn’t last too long, but last year, I was drinking green juices going into camp. It was a little different, but I was still eating 80 percent of the foods then. I’ve just been trying to switch it up.”

Can you sense the fascination within the team but, also the public fascination with seeing what you can do in this offense? Just the whole fascination, how do you feel about that?
“I’m excited about it. It’s another opportunity, but I definitely feel it. I feel the energy. The fans here are different. This fanbase here is really serious. Like I said before, I got a taste of it in 2009, but since I’ve been here there’s been nothing but love. I’ve been feeling the energy. You look on social media and you see how people feel about me getting out there and being the two-headed monster with Mark Ingram and being behind Drew Brees. I’ve definitely been feeling the energy.”

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