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Perhaps just as important for Peterson against the Saints, or against any team for that matter, are his blitz pickups in pass protection. Peterson has struggled in that area in the past, a major reason why Chester Taylor took the majority of third-down snaps over the past three years, but Bevell praised Peterson’s progress.

“I’d say he’s come a long way even in these last two weeks,” Bevell said.

So Peterson will take the field at the Superdome later this week, eager to deliver some helmet-jarring hits on the Saints defense to pay back their treatment of Favre in the playoffs.

“I always work hard, but it felt different this offseason,” Peterson said, adding: “It just made me even hungrier.”

The taste of that bitter overtime loss is still there for Peterson as much as it is for anyone else wearing purple.

“We’ve got to go out there and stay focused and eliminate the mistakes that we had last year against those guys,” Peterson said, “and we’ll definitely win.”

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AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in Metairie, La., contributed to this report.