Reigning MVP Adrian Peterson has Eric Dickerson in his sights for this season—and beyond that, he’s coming for Emmitt Smith
1. I think 2,500 rushing yards is a goal. I’ll always try to push myself. I think it’s realistic, and it can happen without a team just focusing on the run. You just have to maximize your opportunities every Sunday—don’t let any week go to waste. But it’s a team goal, not just my goal.
2. I think the one thing I'll always remember from the field last year happened in Detroit, early in the season. One of the linebackers came up to me—I don't want to say who it was—and he said, "Adrian, what are you taking? What juice you using? I gotta get me some of that." I said, "I’m juicing on the blood of Jesus. Faith is what got me to to this point." So the Lions came to Minnesota later in the season. That same linebacker came to me and said: "I appreciate you saying that. You opened my eyes." That was pretty cool.
3. I think what was missed late last season, with people focusing so much on me breaking the record—and I wanted to break it too, of course—was what was the most important thing for me: That’s coming back and playing better than ever. Coming back and playing football at a high level after what I went through with my surgery—that’s the real accomplishment of 2012.
4. I think I’d by lying if I said I didn’t want the all-time record for rushing in a season. I do. I will break it eventually. I’ll be able to get that, without a problem.
5. I think, to be honest with you, I was confident the voters would get the MVP vote right. Peyton Manning’s a great player, but coming back from the injury and doing what I did, I think I earned it.
6. I think, though I haven’t been asked by him, my advice to Robert Griffin III coming back from his knee surgery would be: “Be smart. Go out, play, don’t think about it, be strong.”
7. I think Emmitt Smith’s records means something to me. [Peterson, 28, has 8,849 rushing yards. He is 9,507 yards shy of breaking Smith’s all-time mark.] Every record means something. I’m not too focused on it, but as a running back, of course that’s something you want to achieve. It’s something, if God’s willing, being around a great group of guys like this, I can capture that.
8. I think my favorite meal is nothing really fancy. It would be grilled salmon, seasoned corn, asparagus and Jiffy Cornbread.
9. I think, when I’m retired, I want to lay back and make money while I sleep. If I want to get involved, I can do that. But I want to set up a business that becomes a fine-tuned machine that can make money while I relax.
10. I think the joy of football, to me, is to be able to do something I love while . . . When I think about it, it’s a way for me to vent while doing something I love. That’s hard to describe, but while I’m running, everything comes out. It’s great to be able to do something I love, that I’m passionate about, that makes me the person that I am. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to do the thing you love as your work.