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Photo - Aj Mansour (KFAN)
By: Aj Mansour | KFAN.com
Minneapolis, MN - Although he hasn't stepped onto the playing field yet this preseason, Adrian Peterson is ready to roll and continues to set lofty goals for him and his team through the 2013 season and the entirety of his already historic career.
In 2007, Peterson set the single game rushing record when he racked up 296 yards against the San Diego Chargers. In 2012, AP came up 8 yards shy of Eric Dickerson's single season record of 2,105 yards set in 1984. And today, from the man's own mouth, Peterson is already shooting for Emmitt Smith's all-time career mark of 18,355 yards.
"I will break it," Peterson told the Dan Patrick Show in an interview recorded at KFAN studios Tuesday morning. "If I continue to stay healthy, and just be blessed to play this game for a long time then I can break it."
Peterson, currently sitting at #33 on the all-time list with 8,849 career yards, is still 9,506 yards behind Smith's record of 18,355 career yards but is currently pacing at nearly 250 yards per season more than Smith averaged over his 15 year career. Taking a deeper look at the numbers, one can see that Smith's production tailed off considerably towards the end of his career. Through Emmitt's first six seasons, he racked up 8,956 yards which is slightly ahead of Peterson's current mark. Still Peterson remains confident.
"I try to focus on those records," Peterson told the Dan Patrick Show. "It's something I see in my mind and it's [stuck] there. So it's not like I focus on it as much [on the field]. [Then] five, six, seven years from now I look back and I'm getting ready to break the record."
Despite having all the confidence in the world, Peterson's chances at breaking the record will depend almost entirely on his longevity. Emmitt Smith played 15 seasons in the NFL where the average shelf life for a running back is 2.57 years (livestrong.com). Peterson, who is currently six years into his NFL career, already has one reconstructed knee and a lot of wear and tear on his 28 year-old body.
From here on out, Peterson plans to keep the bigger picture goal in the back of his mind. This season, his goal is plain and simple.
"A championship and 2,500 yards."
Aj Mansour covers Minnesota Sports for KFAN.com. Feel free to leave comments and questions regarding this post in the space provided below. For Vikings updates and breaking Vikings news, follow Aj on Twitter. @AjKFAN