Adrian Peterson Seeks to Become Best Football Player Ever

Posted by Gilbert Sam on 12:18 PM
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Former Oklahoma running back and Vikings star Adrian Peterson lives in Houston. While his neighbors crank the air conditioning on a June morning, Peterson leaves his house at about 8:30 a.m. and drives 45 minutes to meet his trainer at a workout facility featuring a sand pit, a steep hill and a track.

The burning in his lungs is assuaged by a simple and powerful thought: “I doubt any other running backs are doing this,” he said.

Why does he? “I work with the mind-set of being the best ever,” he said. “That, and my approach, set me apart. I have it in my mind that I’m doing things that nobody else is doing. You’re not just saying you’re going to be the best ever, you’re putting in the work to accomplish that.”

The work includes high-knee and shuffle drills, and running. “That’s just the warm-up,” he said.

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Then he’ll run eight 300-yard shuttles, comprised of 12 25-yard bursts. He’ll run sprints, then shuffle, then backpedal, then backward bear-crawl — all uphill. He’ll move to the sand pit to reprise those exercises.

‘‘And once we’re done outside,” he said, “we go inside to lift.” He doesn’t get home until 3 p.m.

“When I say I want to be the best, I’m not talking about just running backs,” he said. “I want to be the best player who ever played. I know I have a lot to do to get there. I know there have been a lot of great players before me. I think what I’ve done so far is pretty good, but I still have a lot of work to do to finish where I envision being when I walk away from the game.”

This will be the last season Peterson plays before turning 30, the early-retirement age for many backs. He has rushed for 10,115 yards in seven seasons. Emmitt Smith holds the career rushing record of 18,335 yards. “Emmitt’s all-time record is definitely something I will break,” he said, nodding. (Much more at Star-Tribune)