During the Minnesota Vikings‘ last preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, the starters of the Vikings were dressed in jerseys and no pads while on the sideline. There was no plan of any of them playing and that includes the reigning MVP Adrian Peterson who was stopped by former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber to have a short sideline interview.
While Leber asked a variety of questions, the ones that stuck with me the most were about Peterson’s expectations heading into the regular season. One surprising takeaway from the interview was from when Leber brought up the 2,500 yard goal the running back set for himself Peterson kept a straight face with no signs of surprise and answered he of course was still going for the record, and was also counting on scoring 20 touchdowns as well.
To get Peterson to say he was eyeing 20 touchdowns took some prying from the former Viking who wanted a number for an answer, but nonetheless Peterson still said his goal was 20 touchdowns. While I feel the 2,500 yard mark and 20 touchdowns is a bit out of reach for a team that will pass more this season, Peterson seems dead set that he will reach those milestones.
It was a big story when he originally said his goal was 2,500 rushing yards prior to the preseason starting, and because it was such a big deal it has continually come up and Peterson has stood behind it each time while keeping a straight face.
This mindset Peterson has is what all fans and coaches hope their players have. He sets his goals high and stands behind them making you partially believe it is possible. The 2,500 yards will be more difficult for Peterson to acquire than the 20 touchdowns, but I do believe he will achieve his newest goal.
Quarterback Christian Ponder is still in the development phase of his career and although he has more weapons at his disposal this year, the red zone should belong to Peterson who has the motor to turn negative runs into positive ones. He is the perfect back to give the ball to near the goal line which should be where he gets the majority of his touches this season so he is not overused like he was last year when he carried the ball 348 times. So even though Peterson will get fewer touches in the 2013 season, the 20-touchdown mark is well within reach.