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Stopping Peterson no easy task

Posted Sep 25, 2013

Stopping Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is never an easy thing.

One of the many challenges the Steelers will face this week against the Minnesota Vikings is stopping all-everything running back Adrian Peterson.

“He is unquestionably the best in football,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “Every time he touches it, he is capable of going the distance. He is an inside runner. He is an outside runner. He’s combative. He has great hands. He is a man for all situations.

“We have a great deal of respect for him and what he is capable of.”

Peterson, who racked up 2,097 yards last season, already has 281 yards rushing this year. In comparison the Steelers as a team only have 155 yards rushing through three games.

“He is the best in the business,” said defensive end Brett Keisel. “No one runs the ball like him. No one has the power or speed. He is one of those guys where everyone has to be gap sound or he will find the weak link and expose it.”

It’s going to take more than just sound tackling and physical toughness to stop him. The defense is going to have to be mentally sound as well because this is a player that can easily wear a defense down.

“Everybody has to run to the ball and try to match his intensity,” said cornerback William Gay. “He is going to have the same intensity from play one until the end of the game. That is going to be a goal of ours, to match his intensity and everybody run to the ball.”

If anyone knows the damage Peterson can do it’s Gay. When the two teams played in 2009 the Steelers held Peterson to just 69 yards rushing in the game, but he still did his damage, including running over Gay on a 29-yard reception. 

“He is a physical guy,” said Gay. “I’ve known that since 2009 when he ran me over. The mental part, he runs the ball the same way every play. If he rushes 20 -30 times, every time is going to be hard.

“You have to stop the run. He is just a superstar.”

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