Adrian Peterson once again proved the football seers wrong last season, dashing for 1,042 yards in his 12th NFL season.
As he enters his second season with the Washington Redskins, Peterson told NFL Network's Tom Pelissero during Tuesday's minicamp he's aiming to improve in 2019.
"If God's willing, I can duplicate that and do it even better," Peterson said. "I got my mark set at 2,000 (yards), I've always had it at that mark since I stepped into the league. So that's where it's at. But most importantly, I just want to contribute to the team and help this team win a championship."
As he enters his age-34 season, All Day has no plans to curtail the expectations he's set for himself throughout his career.
"No adjustments at all," he said. "In order to accomplish great things, you have to set your bar high, so that's what I've always done with my career and it has allowed me to be successful for going on 13 years."
John Riggins, Washington Redskins, 1983, 34 years old, 1,347 yards
John Riggins, Washington Redskins, 1984, 35, 1,239 yards
J.H. JohnsonPittsburgh Steelers, 1962, 33, 1,141 yards
J.H. JohnsonPittsburgh Steelers, 1964, 35, 1,048 yards
Adrian Peterson, Washington Redskins, 2018, 33, 1,042 yards
Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts, 2016, 33, 1,025 yards
Franco Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers, 1983, 33, 1,007 yards
We're not here to trash on Peterson's goal of 2,000 yards, despite its lofty -- if not realistically unattainable -- nature. Every athlete that laces up his or her shoes must believe they can reach epic heights. If not, they've already lost. Especially at a position such as NFL running back, which takes a brutal punishment, Peterson couldn't perform at his peak without outsized personal expectations.
Even while stating his goal, Peterson seemed to acknowledge that if everything goes right for the Redskins' offense, he won't have to carry a huge load in the Redskins backfield. Derrius Guice is on his way back from an ACL tear that wiped out his rookie season. Shifty Chris Thompson is looking for a bounce-back season. And Washington selected Bryce Love, also coming off a torn ACL, in the NFL draft. If all are healthy, Peterson would see his carries lessened. If any struggles to stay on the field, Peterson will be there to pick up the slack.
While much of the attention in the NFC East resides elsewhere, Peterson believes the Redskins have a shot to surprise in 2019 if they can stay healthy this time around.
"We were one game out of it last year with 20 guys on IR, fourth-string quarterback, third-string left and right guard, defensive players injured too, our starting cornerbacks injured, and we still had a chance," Peterson said. "We fight. We're a fighting group. We split the series with the Cowboys. Unfortunately, the Eagles got us, swept us -- we open up  with those guys. But just the mindset we have as a team, guys coming back healthy. And us just really believing in ourselves."
That mindset starts with a 34-year-old running back who set his goal at 2,000 yards.