Vikings' Peterson keeps pushing to be the best ever

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 8, 2013 - 6:39 AM

Vikings tailback eyes NFL rushing record, hopes for championship.

With 10,057 yards in his rearview mirror and faith that his future will carry him past Emmitt Smith’s rushing record of 18,355, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson sat down with the Star Tribune this week to discuss the journey to this point and how far he thinks he and the Vikings can go, with or without an elite quarterback.

The reigning league MVP expressed frustration with his team’s current quarterback situation but insisted that winning a Super Bowl without an elite passer is possible because … well, with Adrian Lewis Peterson, anything is, always has been and always will be considered possible.

“I get that from my mom,” Peterson said with a smile.

Bonita Jackson gave Peterson more than his speed as a former track star who won Texas 3A state titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump and triple jump in 1983. She also nurtured the mental strength that has carried Peterson through good times and bad. And tragic times that include an older brother killed by a drunken driver, a father jailed for money laundering in connection to drug dealing, a half-brother shot and killed on the eve of Peterson’s scouting combine workout and a 2-year-old son, whom Peterson had just been made aware of, beaten to death, allegedly by the boyfriend of the child’s mother, two months ago in South Dakota.

The first time Peterson touched a football in an organized game, he was 7 years old. He played for a Pop Warner team called the Oilers in Palestine, Texas.

“I can’t remember exactly what I did that day,” Peterson said. “But I do know I scored a couple of times. I was the running back. I’m always the running back.”

It wasn’t long before Peterson realized he wasn’t like any of the other kids. As a senior at Palestine High School, he rushed for 2,960 yards and 32 touchdowns, finishing his career off with 350 yards and six touchdowns before taking a seat at halftime.

“I really can’t say that I knew I was able to predict the future,” Peterson said. “But at a young age, I believed I’d be where I am now. I grew up a Cowboys fan and I’d always tell myself, ‘I’m going to make it to the pros.’ I looked past college and the process of getting to the NFL. I was totally stuck on, ‘I’m going to make it to the NFL and I’m going to be the best.’ ”

He’d often share those thoughts with Bonita.

“She was always positive,” Peterson said. “She was always encouraging me, saying, ‘Yeah, you can do it. You’re going to be the best.’ She was always telling me that those dreams — those Santa Claus dreams — will come true. I just always believed her.”

Quarterback quandary

Tarvaris Jackson, Brooks Bollinger, Kelly Holcomb, Brett Favre, Joe Webb, a washed-up Donovan McNabb for six games, Gus Frerotte, Josh Freeman for one game, Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder. Those are the 10 quarterbacks Peterson has played with in seven seasons.

A look at that unimpressive list is telling. The only time in Peterson’s career that the Vikings have had an elite quarterback playing at an elite level was 2009 with Favre. That’s also the furthest the Vikings have advanced in Peterson’s career, going 12-4, winning the NFC North and reaching the NFC title game before being undone by turnovers that were out of character for the team that season.

This year, the Vikings (3-8-1) rank 25th in passing heading into Sunday’s game at Baltimore (6-6). Ponder, Freeman and Cassel, who will make his third start of the season Sunday, all have started games this season. Combined, they have 12 touchdown passes, 14 interceptions and a 75.1 passer rating that would rank 31st in the league.

Asked to describe his level of frustration with the quarterback situation, Peterson thought for a moment. He’s never been one to complain.

“It can be frustrating at times when it’s just not consistent at that position,” Peterson said. “It makes it harder on the run in a sense. … I think the play will pick up. I feel like we just need someone that can have the mind-set that they want to be a champion at the quarterback position.”

Asked if the Vikings need an elite quarterback to win the Super Bowl, even with him on the team, Peterson didn’t hesitate.

“I don’t necessarily think so,” he said. “We need someone who can manage the game. I feel like the quarterback of the team is someone who just needs to manage and get the job done. But I would surely expect that person to go in with the mind-set of, ‘Hey, I’m the leader of this team.’ The same mind-set that I have. I feel like that would be the best solution.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Maness 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit - WP: D. Price 12 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Hammel 6
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 3
San Francisco - LP: S. Romo 9 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 10
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - LP: R. Hernandez 4
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 4
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Indiana 84 FINAL
Chicago 86
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close