Notebook: What's A.D. Up Against?

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has another lofty goal in mind for 2008, but what will it take for him to reach that rare air? We take a look at the history of 2,000-yard rushers in the NFL and how it meshes with Peterson's goal for the season. Plus, in this notebook, we look at a Viking with a rare invite, more signs of labor trouble and former Vikings in the news and on TV.

Last week, Adrian Peterson reiterated his goal for 2008 is 2000 – as in 2,000 rushing yards. "2,000 yards – that's my goal. And I'm going to work hard to give myself every opportunity to reach that goal," he told reporters in Brainerd for a stop that Peterson and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf made.

Only five players in NFL history have eclipsed 2,000 rushing yards. The last one to do it was Jamaal Lewis, who had 2,066 yards in 2003. Eric Dickerson holds the record with 2,105 yards in 1984.

Lewis had also held the single-game rushing record with 295 yards against the Cleveland Browns in 2003 … until Peterson broke that record last year against San Diego with 296 yards.

In 2007, Peterson had 1,341 yards on 238 attempts, a 5.6-yard average, and missed more than two games with a knee injury. O.J. Simpson had the fewest rushing attempts (332) to reach 2,000 yards in 1973, and he finished with a 6-yard average during that era of 14-game seasons. Dickerson's record came on 379 carries and a 5.6-yard average in 1984. Barry Sanders rushed for 2,053 on 335 attempts, a 6.1-yard average in 1997. Finally, Lewis' 2,066 yards came on 387 rushes, a 5.3-yard average in 2003.

If Peterson were to average 5.6 yards per carry again in 2008, he would have to carry the ball 358 times reach 2,000 yards. To break the record while averaging 5.6 yards, he would have to carry the ball 376 times – an average of 23.5 times per game over a 16-game schedule. Last year, Peterson carried the ball more than 20 times in a game only twice – 25 times for 102 yards against Kansas City and 30 times for 296 yards against San Diego.

Booty love

Several NFL first- and second-round draft picks were among the players in Los Angeles for a photo shoot late last week for trading-card companies.

Ten first-round picks, 14 second-round picks and nine third-rounders were among the 34 players on hand, according to the NFL Players Assocation web site. Vikings fifth-round quarterback John David Booty was the only player drafted after the third round to attend.

Besides posing and doing set-up action shots for companies such as Donruss, Topps and Upper Deck, the players also helped run a youth football clinic for more than 150 kids on Friday. NFL Network was also on hand to create a one-hour show around the event. That will air sometime this summer.

Labor pains

With NFL owners set to discuss and possibly approve opting out of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement at a meeting Tuesday, NFLPA executive director posted this in his 100 weekly words Monday:

"The NFL owners will hold their spring meeting in Atlanta this week. One of the issues surely to be discussed is the timing of the early termination notice of the CBA. We should expect a notice to be given to us following this meeting. The notice will have no material effect on the players. It only means the CBA will end after the 2010 season unless an extension is negotiated. With all the talk about early termination, it will be good to get this issue behind us since all the owners have done since signing the 2006 agreement is complain."

Former Vikings in the news

  • The Browns cut former Vikings cornerback Kenny Wright, who has been in legal trouble lately, last week. Wright appeared in seven games last season and added three tackles and one quarterback pressure. Wright is a nine-year NFL veteran and has appeared in 133 career games, including 57 starts with Minnesota, Houston, Jacksonville , Washington and Cleveland.

  • Former Vikings cornerback Ronyell Whitaker joined former Vikings safety Dwight Smith in a purple reunion in Detroit. Whitaker signed with the Lions last week after the Vikings showed little interest in bringing him back.

  • Former Vikings practice-squad wide receiver Ryan Hoag is one of the contestants on ABC's "The Bachelorette" television show. The show debuted Monday night with Hoag as one of 25 bachelors vying for the DeAnna Pappas, who was rejected as a bachelorette contestant on a previous series of "The Bachelor." Hoag and "The Bacholorette" are scheduled to air from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays.


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