Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is entering into his 10th season in the NFL. There are not many people who get to play for as long as he has, and while he said he doesn’t see an end in sight, he knows he’s starting to take the final turn of his career.
Peterson is likely going to go down in NFL history as one of the best running backs to ever play the game. He’s earned almost every award a player at his position can hope to receive, except one, a Super Bowl championship ring. He came close in 2009 when the Vikings made it to the NFC Championship game, but has not been close since.
It seems he is starting to realize that it’s becoming a now-or-never type of situation for him when it comes to earning that first ring.
The game of football is such a physical one that eventually it takes its toll on the human body, no matter who it is. But Peterson has proven that he still has a lot left in his tank after leading the league in rushing last year with 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns. That’s good, because he made note that he is looking for multiple Super Bowl rings by the time he retires.
“I don’t see an end in my future anywhere soon, but of course I know I’m coming around that last lap,” he said at minicamp on Wednesday. “And I’m itching to get a couple before I’m done playing this game, so we need to start. Immediately.”
Earlier this offseason Peterson said he believes the Vikings have a chance to win it all this season. While this is not at all surprising – he says that about his team every year – he said this year is different. He did not quite know how to put it into words but said that he can really see it, and it’s hard to argue with him.
The Vikings appear to be in prime position to make a playoff run this season. They have one of the best defenses in the NFL, Peterson remains one of the best running backs in the NFL and they have Teddy Bridgewater - one of the young quarterbacks who has shown promise in the league. But the veteran running back remains as passionate as ever, basically telling his teammates to get on board with him or go to another team.
“We have a long way to go, but we have the pieces of what it takes to accomplish that,” Peterson said. “There’s nothing wrong with saying it. If any other guy on this team don’t feel that way we need to be trading him and bring in somebody that feels that way as well.”
Peterson even went as far to say that he is going to be a little excited for training camp this season. Every veteran player dreads going to training camp because it is an everyday grind that lasts all day for weeks at a time in the heat. They usually want to get out of there as quickly as possible.
He admitted that he is never excited for training camp, but he also mentioned that what this team has going for them, right now, give him more hope than usual.
“I am excited as far as what we have and the vision that we have for this season, so that makes things better,” he explained. “It will make it a lot better going into camp this year.”
He seems to realize that the Vikings have a real shot to make a run this year and in the next couple seasons, so he wants to do all he can to make that dream a reality and truly close out his career on a high note.