Adrian Peterson on Matthew Stafford: 'He's Blessed'

Read more on how new Detroit Lions running back Adrian Peterson feels about Matthew Stafford and the running backs on the roster
Author:
Publish date:

The Lions' running backs room just got a little bit more crowded.

Most Detroit fans will agree that it's well worth it, though, with the new back being none other than future Pro Football Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson. 

The 35-year-old enters the 2020 campaign needing 1,053 yards on the ground to pass Lions legend Barry Sanders for fourth all-time on the NFL's all-time rushing list.

While it's not likely he accomplishes the feat this upcoming season, he still has a great shot at having a productive season in "Honolulu Blue," especially if No. 9, Matthew Stafford, stays healthy for the entirety of the year. 

As long as Stafford is under center, Peterson will definitely experience a jump in quality of play from the quarterback that hands off the ball to him, going from Case Keenum, Colt McCoy and Dwayne Haskins in Washington to Stafford in Detroit. 

And Peterson has long been a fan of Stafford's game. 

"I love how he plays. You know, the grit he plays with, great arm, great accuracy (and) the ultimate competitor," Peterson said of Stafford Thursday during a video conference with Detroit media. "So, I've always looked at that and seen that, and just had respect strictly off of that."

He's been real impressed watching Stafford up close and personal in practice, too. 

"He's blessed," Peterson commented. "His arm is amazing. His decision-making ... the way he's able to read a defense and orchestrate the offense. He's an elite player and an elite quarterback for a reason. And for the time he's been there for (in Detroit), for a reason. So, I'm just happy to have the opportunity to play with a quarterback that's seasoned and that has the same mindset as me and that's trying to accomplish the same thing that I've been trying to accomplish going on 14 years now (winning a Super Bowl)." 

What a special pairing the two potentially can be, even if it is just for one season in the Motor City.

Peterson's favorite memory from playing the Lions

Yes, Lions fans, he still remembers "that" play. 

It goes all the way back to Sept. of 2013 when Peterson was still a member of the Minnesota Vikings. 

The Vikings had come into town to take on the Lions in the first game of the season.

And boy, did Peterson make an entrance. 

On the first play from scrimmage of the season for the Vikings, he proceeded to bust a run up the middle that went for 78 yards and the opening score of the game.

Seven years later, it's still his favorite memory from playing against the Lions. 

"I'll never forget it. We played here in Detroit, and I think I took it like 75 yards on the first play," he said. "I've only done it like two or three times. I think the other time was against the Texans. But, it was the preseason. So, it was a little different. I remember that play like it was yesterday." 

He still is able to recite some of the details from the run, too.

"I remember just hitting the hole, and bam one, juke one," Peterson explained. "I stuck my left foot into the ground, and got the free safety or linebacker to overflow. And then, I was off to the races, and took it to 'the crib.'" 

His role in Detroit 

All of the above is fine and dandy.

But, Detroit fans still want to know what AP's specific role will be on Sunday against the Bears and moving forward in the Lions' backfield.

Detroit's coaching staff has indicated that Peterson will be a part of the gameplan this weekend. But, nothing further has been disclosed -- or should be expected to be -- regarding what kind of role he will take on.

Peterson said as much Thursday during his post-practice media session.

"Well, they're asking me to do a lot. You know, I don't think we have really locked in exactly (what the role will be)," Peterson commented. "But, what the obvious thing is, is what I've done for 14 years ... run the ball well, catch the ball when I have the opportunity, pick up blocks. I don't think right now it's safe to answer that question, for what my role will be, outside of the obvious in the run game and the pass game."

The 14th-year back is ready to contribute in any fashion, however.

"You know, I'm here to do whatever they ask me to do, wherever they, you know, give me the opportunity," he said. "I'm going to take advantage of it and make the best out of it."

 Get the latest Detroit Lions news by joining our community. Click "Follow" at the top right of our SI All Lions page. Mobile users click the notification bell. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @DetroitPodcast.