Adrian Peterson spoke to his 4-year-old son for the first time in five months this week. He also spoke at length to USA Today's Tom Pelissero in his most expansive comments in months.
Peterson, who was suspended by the NFL this week until April 15, 2015, says he's learned to be a better parent.
"I won't ever use a switch again," Peterson said. "There's different situations where a child needs to be disciplined as far as timeout, taking their toys away, making them take a nap. There's so many different ways to discipline your kids.
"You can look down on me and say, 'You have six kids. You should not be at this, you should not be at that.' This is the cards I've been dealt based off my decisions. I make the best of it by spending time with my kids, any and every opportunity that I have."
Peterson's felony indictment on a charge of injury to a child came only days after video surfaced of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée. Peterson doesn't believe that he should be grouped together with Rice.
"I take full responsibility, because I spanked my child, and no matter what my intentions were, I end up leaving those marks on his legs," Peterson said. "That's the bottom line. That's not what I tried to do, but that's what ended up happening. Don't put me in the same (category as Rice)."
Peterson also admitted that "maybe it's best" for him to get a fresh start with another team, but he didn't rule out returning to the Minnesota Vikings.
"I would love to go back and play in Minnesota to get a feel and just see if my family still feels comfortable there," Peterson said. "But if there's word out that hey, they might release me, then so be it. I would feel good knowing that I've given everything I had in me."
For now, Peterson waits. The NFL Players Association officially appealed Peterson's suspension Thursday. Peterson remains on the Commissioner's Exempt List during the appeal process. If the suspension is not overturned upon appeal, the running back cannot be considered for reinstatement before April 15, 2015.