You hear that "chugga chugga" sound? That's the Adrian Peterson hype train leaving the station...And I'm on board.
All off-season, all I've heard about the 32 year old hall of fame shoe-in, is how great he looks. I mean seriously, ever key New Orleans Saints player has been over the moon about the guy.
Drew Brees: "He's a stud, man. He looks the part,". "There's something about handing the ball off to that guy and watching him run through the hole and take on anybody who tries to tackle him."
LT Terron Armstead: "I'm amazed, honestly. Seeing him just take off his first few steps are as explosive as I've ever seen by a human being. It's unbelievable. I'm very excited to see him when the pads come on."
S Kenny Vaccaro: "It's ridiculous. He has not lost any steps. Wait, just watch. He's so explosive ... just in flat shoes out there". "Like he's not lying, y'all, he's playing til he's 40," Vaccaro said recently. "I'm telling y'all. Y'all about to see like when he tore his knee and came back and ran for 2,000 yards. Now, obviously, we aren't gonna just feed him like that ... but he is gonna be a factor."
HC Sean Payton: “He’d be the one guy that you would say’s already gone against conventional wisdom,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Advocate. “With not only his skill set, but also his physical ability and the way he trains, I think he is excited to get back.”
^^^Hype, off the charts^^^
Adrian Peterson says he wants to play football until he's 37 or 38 years old. That would put him in the league for another 5 years. If he's GREAT for at least 2 of those 3, Adrian Peterson will go down as the greatest running back in NFL history. Title or no title, it doesn't matter. We don't judge RB's based on championships. We judge their overall greatness on 3 levels:
- Impact to his team
- Wow factor speed, acceleration, illusive-ness, and/or power
- Longevity and overall statistics
If AP plays until he's 38, he will be the greatest. And think about it, it's really the one position in sports where we don't have a clear and defined GOAT. Talk to some they would say Jim Brown, others Barry Sanders, others Emmitt Smith, and the list goes on and on.
If AP can rush for 5,000 more yards before he retires, he'd finish 2nd on the all-time rushing list, only behind Emmitt. Roughly 10 TD's a year over that span would put him 2nd all-time, only to Emmitt. Peterson and Emmitt would both have one NFL MVP award to their name, but here's where AP would be considered greater:
Adrian Peterson, even with 5 more seasons under his belt would have played less games than Emmitt Smith over the course of his career. Plus! Smith's best rushing season was in 1995 where he rushed for 1,773. AP, 2012, where he came up 8 yards short of the single season record held by Eric Dickerson. (2,097 yards in 2012).
Far fetched, maybe. But Adrian Peterson has proven over the course of his career that when he can stay on the field, he's a marvel, and only partly human.