Found May 23, 2012 on Fox Sports North:
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The familiar refrain coming from Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier and general manager Rick Spielman whenever discussion inevitably comes to the running back position and rehabbing Adrian Peterson has always been, "We have confidence in Toby." Toby Gerhart, who seemed like a luxury pick two years ago, has been Minnesota's security blanket when injuries have hit Peterson, such as the torn knee ligaments that required Peterson's December surgery. Gerhart, a second-round pick in 2010, showed last season why the Vikings have confidence in him. While Peterson missed three weeks with a high ankle sprain, Gerhart rushed for 225 yards and added 13 catches. When Peterson went down early in the second half at Washington with torn knee ligaments, Gerhart stepped in and produced his best game as a pro with 109 yards, including a career-long 67-yarder on his first carry after Peterson went down. Now, given a normal offseason for the first time in his NFL career, Gerhart says he's been preparing as he always has, except this time he might be needed for a full-time role from Week 1 if Peterson isn't ready. Like always, Gerhart will be ready if called upon. "I'm just preparing to be the guy," Gerhart said earlier this month during the team's offseason workouts. "I try to do that every year, but this year it's a little more prevalent. I'm doing everything I can to be here, work hard, work with the new guys we have coming in, pushing everybody and getting pushed by other guys. Preparing to be the guy, depending on whether Adrian comes back." For a second-round pick and a former Heisman Trophy runner-up, Gerhart's NFL life has been understated. That's what happens when you're drafted as a backup to one of the league's top rushers. The 6-foot, 231-pound Gerhart had just 81 carries his rookie season. He had just 17 carries last year before Peterson's ankle sprain in Week 10. Gerhart's first big chance might have come when Peterson limped off the field in Washington. But Peterson's recuperative powers he's on pace to be ready for the regular-season opener this season has again put Gerhart in wait-and-see mode. He was also dealing with his own knee injury, a sprained medial collateral ligament suffered in the season-finale last year. Unlike Peterson, Gerhart didn't need surgery and he's been able to settle into an offseason routine. "I feel I've been able to work through it pretty nicely," Gerhart said. "Coming back, it's getting better and better, just rehabbing the last few months. Got out here for a little bit; being back out here taking care of it, and its feeling good running around." And a healthy Gerhart is participating in all the workouts in a regular offseason for the first time. He had the typically hectic rookie offseason and training camp in 2010 and then went through last year when the lockout shut down offseason programs. The full offseason also gives Gerhart the chance to work on specific areas of his game. One emphasis and one of the biggest differences between him and Peterson is the ability to make defenders miss and turn modest gains into big ones. He's averaged a decent 4.5 yards per carry in his career, but feels there's more yardage left on the field. "There are things you learn from last year that you want to improve last year," Gerhart said. "For me, I'd like to be a little more agile in the second level. There were a couple of times coming through, about six to seven yards, if I can make a safety miss, it can be a bigger gain. Working on my feet a little bit, getting a little quicker, little shiftier left to right." Anything he needs to do to be ready when his number is called. Follow Brian Hall on Twitter

Video: Adrian Peterson On Track for Start of 2012 Season

If the video of Minnesota Vikings star RB Adrian Peterson‘s rehab workout is any indication, it looks like he’s going to be back and ready to play the 2012-13 NFL season and he’ll be in tip-top shape. Josina Anderson of ESPN had a chance to sit down with Peterson at his rehab facility and Peterson said that he’s currently on schedule to be back for the start of the upcoming...

Vikings sign fourth-round pick Ellison

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. The Minnesota Vikings signed their other fourth-round pick, Rhett Ellison, on Wednesday leaving just the team's top three selections unsigned. Ellison, a fullbacktight end out of Southern California, is the seventh of the team's 10 draft picks to agree to terms, officially signing a day after Minnesota signed fourth-round receivers Jarius Wright and...

Vikings sign six of 10 2012 draft selections

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. One week away from their first organized team activities of the offseason, the Minnesota Vikings are starting to get their 2012 draft picks signed. Minnesota signed six of its 10 picks from April's draft on Tuesday, coming to terms with fourth-round receivers Jarius Wright and Greg Childs, fifth-round defensive back Robert Blanton, sixth-round kicker Blair...

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Vikings sign 4th-round draft pick Rhett Ellison

The Minnesota Vikings have signed tight end Rhett Ellison and now have seven of their 10 draft picks under contract. The Vikings announced the deal Wednesday. Ellison was one of the team's three fourth-round selections. He was chosen 128th overall out of USC and could eventually take the place of longtime battering ram Jim Kleinsasser, who retired after last season. The Vikings...

Vikings get contracts done for 6 of 10 draft picks

The Minnesota Vikings have six of their 10 draft picks under contract. The team announced Tuesday that wide receiver Jarius Wright, wide receiver Greg Childs, safety Robert Blanton, kicker Blair Walsh, linebacker Audie Cole and defensive tackle Trevor Guyton signed their rookie deals. Wright and Childs were taken in the fourth round. Blanton went in the fifth round, Walsh in the...

Historical look at Vikings’ drafted QBs

Christian Ponder is only the fifth quarterback drafted by the Vikings to enter a season as the starter. The others have had mixed results, but Ponder has more starting experience than all but one of them when they were getting their first shot to begin a season as the starter.

Greenway taking on leadership among young LBs

Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway is now the old man of his position group. With that comes some leadership expectations. He talked about that and the unit as whole.

Great Moments in Vikings History: Moe Williams Scores Against the Packers in the Playoffs

PJD is on vacation (again!) so for the next several days we are going down the old memory lane and looking at great moments in Vikings history, which have stood out to me for no reason in particular. First, we'll give you some type of media to interact with to form your own remembrances and opinions, and then share ours after the jump. Today, we highlight former running back...

Vikings getting draft picks signed

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