The NFL's reigning rushing leader was plenty beat up by the end of last season, and he wants to play the 2009 season with 225 to 230 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame. He's currently at 217 pounds, and his plan is to bulk up during the spring and summer as a test.
"Just to see how I feel," Peterson said. "Before the season starts, I look forward to having my weight up so I'll be able to see how it is when I run and cut and do things like that."
"Well, you know what? 230 is awful big," Childress said Wednesday. "From 17 to 30, just put a 10-pound sack of potatoes on your back and think of how that works for you."
Peterson first talked about gaining weight at the Pro Bowl in February, tossing a challenge toward Minnesota's NFC North opponents: "I don't think too many guys would be excited to see me at 230 two times a year."
Speaking to reporters Tuesday night in St. Paul, where the Minnesota Wild played the Dallas Stars in the first hockey game he has ever attended, Peterson expressed excitement about the beginning of the Vikings' offseason strength and conditioning program this week. It's not contractually required, but typically about 90 percent of the players on the roster are present.
"I'm going to continue to work out," Peterson said. "Now is the time of year to really get down and dirty and really start pumping it, so that's what I'm focusing on right now."
Childress wasn't trying to discourage his star running back from getting stronger, but the coach expressed concern about Peterson losing stamina by becoming heavier.
"I think naturally he'll add good weight as he goes through his career, but I think just adding weight to say, 'I'm going to get 10 pounds heavier,' probably doesn't have a lot of merit to it," Childress said, adding: "I'm thinking he's probably not going to get to 230, nor does he want to be at 230, and I would have no trouble telling him that."
The Vikings are working out in three groups, and the early morning gang was made available to the media inside the team's practice facility after conditioning drills. Defensive tackle Kevin Williams was among them, and he briefly addressed his still-pending four-game suspension under the NFL's anti-doping policy. His case, along with that of teammate Pat Williams, will be heard in court in June.
"I just hope the right thing is done," Kevin Williams said. "That's all we can do. We'll take it from there. ... Our mind-set is we'll be ready when the season kicks off."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press