Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
How does the NFL's top running back improve? By working on his receiving game, of course. That's what Minnesota's Adrian Peterson did over the offseason, hoping to smooth out the rough edges in his pass blocking and route running in hopes the Vikings would incorporate him more into the passing game.
We noted earlier this month that Peterson was dropping an inordinate number of passes in practice, but he said this week that he has taken a "giant step forward," according to Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.
Peterson: "I'm really just focusing on the little things -- getting my proper depth and recognizing the coverage that the defense presents better. I'm definitely moving forward and continuing to improve each day."
It's unlikely Peterson will get much of a chance to test his progress in Friday's preseason opener at Indianapolis. Coach Brad Childress limited his preseason snaps in 2008 and is likely to do the same this year.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Benny Sapp, Asher Allen and Marcus McCauley are all vying for the Vikings' nickel job, writes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.
Vikings rookie Percy Harvin is growing more comfortable as a kick returner, according to Rick Alonzo of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
There's no telling how long Green Bay's standoff with defensive lineman B.J. Raji will continue after Raji left town Tuesday night, writes Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Packers kicker Mason Crosby altered his pre-kick alignment after having some struggles early in training camp, writes Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Detroit is trying to figure out who will replace the injured Jared DeVries at left end, write Nicholas J. Cotsonika and Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.
A strong possibility for that role is former Packers end Jason Hunter, according to John Niyo of the Detroit News.
Chicago cornerback Nate Vasher has done little in training camp to allay fears that his best days are behind him, according to David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
The Bears are encouraged by the progress of defensive end Mark Anderson, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.