MANKATO, Minn. -- After weathering instability at quarterback for the better part of his seven seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson might be one of the more interested stakeholders in the Vikings' three-man quarterback competition during training camp. And as the Vikings reported to Minnesota State University on Thursday, Peterson had a simple message for coach Mike Zimmer: Pick a QB and stick with him.
"I felt like it was going to be very important for us [to stick with one quarterback]" he said Thursday. "Like I said, I feel like the coaching staff and the guys up top will evaluate and do what’s best for us. It feels good to know you have a couple guys to lean on, as well. It’s not a secret. The quarterback position really hasn’t played well, but that’s why you bring guys in, you improve as an individual and you try to take steps forward. From what I’ve been able to see from Christian [Ponder] and Matt [Cassel], those guys have done that and that’s the approach that they’re taking. That’s all you can really ask.”
The Vikings used three different starting quarterbacks during a tumultuous 2013 season, eventually settling on Cassel at the end of the season. Zimmer said on Thursday that Cassel enters camp as the No. 1 QB in his mind, but said on-field performance will determine the Vikings' eventual starter. Peterson also put Cassel at the head of the race, for now.
"I feel like we have three good quarterbacks right now," Peterson said. "Basing everything off OTAs and the minicamps, of course Matt Cassel is our guy. With Christian Ponder and [Teddy] Bridgewater, right there, I’m behind them, but those guys are looking good as well. I have confidence in our organization from the top to the bottom, the head coach. We’re going to do what’s best for our team and the best player will play at any position. I’m just excited to get started tomorrow.”
It's already been a busy month for the running back; he proposed to his girlfriend, Ashley Brown, on July 4 -- "an exciting and explosive night," Peterson called it -- and the two were married in a small ceremony on July 19.
"It was kind of funny because we were talking about going to the court and getting married and just did something more intimate at the house," Peterson said. "I only [had] like, 20 people and just the texts I’ve been getting from family members and my brothers, some of my brothers didn’t make it. It was supposed to be something small and do something later, but plans don’t always work out. I’m sure I’ll hear something from [teammates].”
As for a honeymoon? Peterson said that happened at the Starkey Hearing Foundation gala in St. Paul last Sunday.
"Met Forest Whitaker, Hillary Clinton," Peterson said. "John Legend performed, so it wasn’t bad at all.”