Peterson will be a curious case study on how Norv Turner will use RBs
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings offense is undergoing a facelift.
New offensive coordinator Norv Turner will oversee a unit that should look different from a year ago. The alterations being made by Turner and first-year head coach Mike Zimmer carry a substantial learning curve, but running back Adrian Peterson is embracing the changes.
"It's like performing heart surgery without a license to do so," Peterson joked Wednesday about trying to learn Turner's offense during a brief three-day minicamp. "It's going to take some time, but the last three days I was able to pick up some of the offensive terminology ... I'm excited to see what we're going to be able to do here in the future."
Less than four months since Zimmer was hired, the Vikings are still in the early stages of the adjustment process inherent with a coaching change. While Peterson admitted learning the new offense has been a "lot to take in," he had a sense of optimism about the direction in which the Vikings are headed.
Prior to this week's minicamp, Peterson had numerous conversations with Zimmer and Turner about their offensive philosophies, which helped provide him a layer of comfort heading into the team's first workouts of the offseason.
One change Peterson is anticipating is Turner's vow to open up the Vikings' passing game, with an emphasis on getting the ball to the star running back in different ways.
"I'm definitely going to be involved more in the pass game," Peterson said. "That's something that I look forward to. When he was at San Diego and Cleveland he was always finding a way to get the running back out in space. I knew once we hired him that would be something that would be new for me. I'm pretty excited about that."
An increased focus on the passing game would mean a role change for Peterson, who has averaged only 175.6 receiving yards and 29 receptions in the past three seasons.
It will be worth watching how that affects the wear and tear on the veteran running back. After running for 2,097 yards in 2012 less than a year removed from ACL surgery, Peterson put up 1,266 yards last season while battling groin and foot injuries.
Peterson is still on the mend from groin surgery he underwent in January. He said he feels about "80 percent."
His recent bouts with injuries have done nothing to lessen his confidence. However, at 29 years old, Peterson noted he has a heightened urgency to make a Super Bowl push at this juncture in his career.
Peterson is hoping Turner's offense can help him and the Vikings get there.
"It kind of balances out," Peterson said of his role in the new offense. "The rushing yards might not be as high, but it's not about that. It's all about winning, I'm trying to win a championship. If that means taking less of a pounding and being more productive in the pass game, I'm all for it."