Vikings All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson did not have to be reminded of the only other time he has faced the 49ers. In fact, he said, he reminds himself of that game all the time.
On a conference call with Bay Area reporters, Peterson was not shy about admitting that this game hold special significance for him. In 2007, he gained 3 yards on 14 carries against the 49ers. He said he walked off the field that day thinking, “I can’t wait until we play the 49ers again.”
He gets his chance. Peterson said the 49ers’ defense was like a swarm of bees, and he said they’re even better now. “This is what coaches want their defenses to play like,” he said.
Peterson said the Vikings offensive line did a good job that day, but he took the blame for lacking patience with his running. He was stymied by Patrick Willis in the middle, and Nate Clements coming off the corner in run support.
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Peterson said the 49ers have two players that he loves to watch play: Willis and running back Frank Gore. Obviously, he spoke highly of both players. Willis and Peterson entered the league together in 2007. Peterson was the No. 7 pick; while Willis was No. 11.
Peterson said if there was a do-over of the ’07 draft, he would go No. 1 overall (Raiders) and Willis would go No. 2 (Lions). He has a point, though Browns tackle Joe Thomas and Lions receiver Calvin Johnson also might warrant consideration with top-2 picks.
–Peterson was drafted later than many expected in 2007. I asked him for his thoughts on Michael Crabtree.
“I don’t know too much about the situation, but he went 10th overall . . . I don’t know . . . I guess he’s feeling like he’s a better receiver and he should get paid that type of money,” Peterson said. “I kind of feel him in a way, but then I don’t.
“It’s all about how he handles the situation. If he’s handling it well and keeping himself in tip-top shape while he’s in his holdout to get more money, then maybe it’ll work out for him. But I’d hate for it to be a situation like Mike Williams. He had to wait a whole year to get drafted again, and I think when you’re not in the flow of things and not going through training and practices and not playing football, you don’t come back the same.”
–49ers coach Mike Singletary has a simple solution for dealing with Vikings running back Adrian Peterson: “We just got to tackle.” He said the team missed too many tackles last week against the Seahawks.
–The area where the 49ers can improve the most, Singletary said, is taking ownership of the offense. He said timing and trust have been issues for the 49ers’ offense. He said part of the reason the 49ers have allowed eight sacks in two games is because Hill has yet to get a good field for the offense and when to step up, step back or make other adjustments in the pocket. Shaun Hill has rightfully taken blame for some of those sacks. He said the protection Sunday against the Seahawks was unbelievable.
–Singletary actually played against Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. Singletary said he’s always been a “huge fan” of Favre. He loves his gunslinger mentality.
–The 49ers’ coach is also a fan of Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams (listed at 6-3, 317) and Kevin Williams (6-5, 311). “Those guys are wow!” Singletary said. “They’re huge and they’re athletic.”
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