Adrian Peterson is trying to move forward following his tumultuous 2014 season. The Vikings running back only played in one game last season before being placed on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, compiling 75 yards on 21 carries.
It remains to be seen whether Peterson can return to MVP form, but when he last missed significant time in 2011, he returned with a record-breaking 2012 campaign.
The 30-year-old sat down with ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling to discuss his prospect’s for this season, his future, and his relationship with the Vikings. The whole interview is worth checking out, but we’ve compiled some of the more intriguing quotes for you below…
On whether he’ll try to catch Emmitt Smith‘s records, requiring him to play until he’s at least 35 years old:
“I think if I’m blessed to play [that long], I’ll get a feel. I think I’ll go off my gut feel. I think I can play for a long time, but I’m just going to take it one year at a time and see how I feel, because I did enjoy myself, realizing how much I was missing, as far as my kids. Just doing simple stuff, taking them to school, picking them up, that was fun to me. I missed that. Unfortunately, it’s during football season. So that could bring my career to an end earlier than expected.”
On whether he believes his relationship with the Vikings organization is strong enough to produce a new contract:
“I do. I do. I feel like the relationship is that good. The big thing is — because it is a business — is still being productive, being able to perform at a high level. I feel like if I do my part, they’ll do their part.”
On how his perspective has changed:
“Going through everything and realizing that hey, you can get kind of caught up when you’re the face of the franchise, and they’ve got you all over NFL Network. But one thing to put in perspective: You realize you’re just a small piece. In the big scheme of things, they’re going to do what’s best for them. It puts things in perspective. That’s kind of how I look at things now. It’s like, I don’t owe the NFL anything. It’s a privilege for me and every other guy that’s on this field. For them, without us, they don’t make a dime. That’s how I look at it now.”
On how he’s feeling heading into the preseason:
“I definitely feel stronger, having the extra time to let the body rest, for one, and then train even more. In season, you probably lift twice a week, just to keep things sharp and keep your strength up through the season. But having the type of time I had, I was able to push my body to the max, knowing I had enough time to recover and be ready for OTAs [organized team activities] and camp. I feel stronger. I feel more explosive. Mentally, that was the biggest thing. I was able to grow stronger mentally, and it’s been showing, when I’m in the weight room and when I’m out here as well.”