After resurrecting his career, nearly setting a new single-season rushing record, winning MVP, and leading an otherwise moribund team to the playoffs, Adrian Peterson enters 2013 as one of the most fascinating figures in a generally by-the-numbers NFL. Whether it's playing along with current memes ("An orange peanut? For me?") or taking fans almost literally inside the huddle with cameras, Peterson is handling his role as NFL mega-ultrastar quite well.
Now he's doing press in advance of the 2013 season, and he's giving plenty of meaty quotes. He sat down for a long interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Dan Wiederer, and discussion ranged from his goal to reach 2,500 yards this season ("I set that goal because I’m always looking to improve and to challenge myself in a lot of different ways. So for me 2,500 is a new challenge") to how an MVP trumps a Heisman ("I look at that [Heisman] Trophy now and knowing that Matt Leinart has it, with how his career went, I would rather him have it. At least he has something positive to look back on and say, ‘I won the Heisman.’ I feel good that he has it. Even though I know it should have been mine").
The most fun, however, comes at the end, when Peterson starts projecting out how long it will take him to pass Emmitt Smith on the all-time rushing record list. Smith has 18,355 yards, and Peterson is 9,506 yards behind him. So when does that project out? He says 2017. But what week in 2017, he was asked?
"Man. I better go late. I’m already getting too far in front of myself. I’ll say Week 16. There it is. Week 16 in 2017. Whoo. That’s pushing it, huh? But hey, pushing it is the only way to do it. You know it."
As Deadspin notes, Peterson would need to average 1,925 yards per season over the next five years to hit that number. At age 28, that's a tall order indeed.
Still, bravo for putting your goals out there, sir. It's cool if you don't hit your number on the exact day, though, AD. This is the Internet. Nobody'll give you a hard time if you make a mistake.
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