Immediately after the 2012 season, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson made one of those statements that would sound like a throwaway comment from anyone else. After coming nine yards short of breaking the NFL single-season rushing record, Peterson told NFL Network that he wanted to rush for 2,500 yards in 2013.
Four months later, Peterson still sounds serious about it; he's listing it as a goal.
"It's not something I'm going to focus on early. I'll let the chips fall where they may. I've got my bar set for 2,500 yards," Peterson told SI.com recently. "If I can go over that, the record will be shattered. But ultimately I want a couple rings. You gotta start at one."
We still have major questions about the Vikings' passing attack between quarterback Christian Ponder and the receiver crew led by new pickups Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson. But the Vikings' defense has potential to be special. There is a lot of pass-rush talent, especially after adding first-round defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd. The secondary also is more talented than you might think. It can be a dangerous group top to bottom.
"I feel like we have the potential to get to the Super Bowl and win," Peterson said. "It's all about coming together as a unit."
Just making the playoffs again would be a big accomplishment for the Vikings. They have a very difficult schedule and will need Peterson to be extraordinary again unless Ponder makes huge strides.Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.