Football

Former Bears running back pens book about his 'abilities'

2013-10-25T17:00:00Z 2013-10-25T20:27:16Z Former Bears running back pens book about his 'abilities'John Burbridge john.burbridge@nwi.com, (219) 933-3371 nwitimes.com

GRIFFITH | The title shouts with the type of bravado that accompanies other sports-personality autobiographies such as "Bad As I Wanna Be", "They Call Me Assassin" and "Just Give Me the Damn Ball".

But former Bears running back Adrian Peterson's "Don't Dis My Abilities" derives more from a play on words as a means to inspire others who are facing the same challenges he faced and is facing.

Peterson appeared at Bridges' Scoreboard Restaurant and Sports Bar last Sunday. He signed copies of his book, which was released last month by Imprint Publishing.

"As you may be able to see here, I have a speech impediment," Peterson said. "Many people consider that a disability; but somehow I was able to graduate from high school and college, and went on to play eight seasons in the NFL.

"So with me not allowing this 'disability' to affect my abilities and stop me from reaching my goals, I came up with 'Don't Dis My Abilities'."

Peterson's first book came by accident.

"It started out as a hobby, writing down events in my life," he said. "Five years later, it turned into a book."

After a stint in the United Football League, Peterson officially retired from professional football last year.

"I have three little ones at home, so it has been nice to spend more time with them," said Peterson, a Georgia native who now lives in Gurnee, Ill. "I also have more time to do motivation speeches and help children who (also have speech impediments)."

Though not to be confused with the "other" Adrian Peterson -- the Minnesota Vikings' future Hall of Famer -- Peterson was a hard-running backup and reliable special teams player during his career with the Bears. In 2007, a season after playing in Super Bowl XLI, Peterson was second on the Bears in rushing yards (510) and caught 51 passes for 420 yards.

During his career at Georgia Southern, Peterson rushed for more than 7,500 yards, which included postseason games. His 6,559 regular-season yards remain a Division I record. As a sophomore, Peterson was the recipient of the Walter Payton Award, which is given to the most outstanding player in Division I-AA football.

Peterson and others at Bridges' viewed the Bears' loss against the Redskins, which saw Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Lance Briggs go down with major injuries.

As for Peterson, he managed to walk away from the game relatively unscathed.

"Only thing I really had were a couple of turned ankles," he said. "I guess I was lucky."

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