Adrian “All Day” Peterson is coming to town Monday night and Bart Scott plans on laying out the welcome mat for the Vikings’ talented running back.
“These are the type of games I live for,” Scott told me this week during our latest installment of “Four Quarters” on newyorkjets.com.
Scott, now 30 and in his ninth professional season, remembers a poignant conversation he had with his father while playing collegiately at Southern Illinois.
“My dad asked me, ‘Do you think you can tackle Ricky Williams?’ And this is my dad and I’m like, ‘Dad, you’re insulting me right now,” Scott said. “I’m like ‘I’m not afraid of anybody.’ ”
The 5’10”, 230-pound Williams was the total package coming out of Texas many moons ago, possessing game-breaking speed but also the willingness to drop his helmet to run you over. Scott, who signed on as an undrafted free agent with the Baltimore Ravens in 2002, didn’t become a defensive regular until ’05 and has produced five consecutive seasons of 100 or more tackles since then. He can still recall how it felt when he and Williams collided for the first time.
“I got the opportunity about three or four years into my career to do it and I got the tackle,” he said. “I tasted Ricky’s power — I tasted it and I loved it and that’s football.”
Peterson (6’1”, 217) is another back who relishes contact. He probably doesn’t even know where the boundary is because “All Day” brings a defensive approach on offense.
“There are only a very few violent runners in this game. Adrian Peterson I would say is a bigger version of Ahmad Bradshaw. He is going to scrap and fight for every inch and that’s what you love because I know I have to bring my ‘A’ game and I can’t wait to taste his power,” Scott said. “I’ve been waiting for this matchup my entire career. It will be great to see how I measure up and meet him in the hole and let’s see whose feet can keep chomping.”
The Vikings had a bye in Week 4, but Peterson’s 392 yards paced the NFC through three games. He also has become more of a receiving threat, catching 13 balls out of the backfield. And Peterson, who turned the ball over on six of seven fumbles last year, has not yet put the ball on the floor.
Brett Favre and Randy Moss will receive plenty of headlines this week, but if you’re a purist, keep your eye on No. 57 in green and No. 28 in white. Scott was asked to describe that moment of impact that is only days away.
“There comes a point where you have to say, ‘Is it worth it?’ I’m always going to say it’s worth it and I’m always going to embrace it,” he said. “I’m not going to slow down — you’re going to have to carry me off the field before I slow down. If you knock me on my butt, I’m going to come even harder the next time.
“I’m not going to come in there timid. Some players may slow down and go timid, but I’m not. I’m going to go in there the next time, you can spin me around and I’m going to say, ‘We can do this all day, baby.’ I love it.”
Before the interview commenced, Scott talked about his latest project of paying for a new set of bleachers that were stolen from Southeastern High School, his alma matter, in Detroit. It was in that city that Scott learned to play a physical, Midwestern brand of ball.
“You really have to be a man in there. If you’re not a physical guy, a violent guy, people are going to exploit that. Even at a young age, we didn’t have the screen passes and things,” he said. “It was 24 Power, 45 Power, you had a sweep to both sides and most teams had a trap play.”
The weather forecast looks good for Monday night at the NMS, but Detroit’s Scott doesn’t worry about it. There’s a 100 percent chance of him meeting Adrian Peterson and that’s a beautiful outlook.
“You have the elements anyway, the snow, the rain, the cold weather, so you had to be tough mentally and I think that’s what helped me develop into the type of player I am now,” he said. “At the base and root of things, all I know is physical football. I am not going to shy or run away from any type of contact.”
Next week Santonio Holmes will join the “Four Quarters” rotation. LaDainian Tomlinson, Jim Leonhard, Bart Scott and Holmes are all scheduled to appear on the Web program four times throughout the season, once a month. Encouraging fan interaction as well, the Jets have created a new email address —firstname.lastname@example.org — so viewers can write in and select comments and questions that will be read and answered on air.
Tags: Adrian Peterson, Bart Scott, Minnesota Vikings, Monday Night Football, New York Jets
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