"He hasn't seen the myriad looks an NFL defense can give you," Childress explains. "While he's doing well, it's the oddball looks that are tough. If you go the wrong way and get your quarterback hit, bad things happen. It's a process."
Still, Peterson has begun standing behind running backs coach Eric Bieniemy on the sideline, tapping him on his back pocket to let him know he's ready to go back in. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be on the field every snap," the rookie says. "I'm a competitive person, but Chester is a good running back too. I just handle my business when called upon."
Part of that workload includes runs to Kentucky Fried Chicken or Popeyes for the veterans during road trips. But it hasn't been all tedium and teasing. After a Sept. 23 game in Kansas City, the Vikings flew home, and Peterson hosted a birthday cookout for left tackle Bryant McKinnie. "We had fish and grits and a house full of people," Peterson says, ticking off the guest list of rap and R&B guests that included Trina, Slim Thug and Pleasure from the group Pretty Ricky. "It was maximum capacity."
What more can he ask for in his rookie season? "I want Brett Favre's autograph," Peterson says with a smile.