Jim Brown: Adrian Peterson could break rushing record

Although he fell well short of his goal last season — 2,500 rushing yardsAdrian Peterson still has an eye on Emmitt Smith’s all-time record.

Count Hall of Famer Jim Brown among those who thinks All Day has it in him.

“If he wants that and he dedicates himself and he has good fortune, that’s a great possibility,” Brown told the Pioneer Press. “I think if he sets his goals and he understands his circumstances and he knows what it takes, that he can be successful. I’m not saying that he will break the record, I’m just saying it’s a possibility.”

Smith holds the NFL title with 18,355 yards, which he accumulated in a 15-year career before retiring at 35. Peterson, who recently turned 29, has 10,115 yards in his first seven seasons. Simple math will tell you A.D. is 8,241 yards away from the mark.

Even if Peterson fails to unseat Smith, Brown has come away very impressed with the Vikings’ star ball-carrier.

“He’s a great football player,” Brown said of Peterson. “He’s always been a real fine gentleman and a great worker. His running style and the effort he puts in is unbelievable. I have the greatest respect for him. … I like his attitude as a runner. I like the fact that God gave him a body that’s big enough and he’s fast enough.”

After rushing for 2,097 yards in 2012, the second-most in NFL history, Peterson turned in a down 2013 campaign, totaling “just” 1,266 yards while missing nearly three games due to injury.

For Peterson to call it quits at 35, with the rushing title secured, he’d need to average 1,373.5 yards over the next six seasons, a more than achievable goal for the incredibly talented A.D.

Zack Kelberman
An award-winning sportswriter, reporter and blogger, Zack currently serves as the Miami Dolphins live correspondent and Team Stream curator for Bleacher Report. He's also a freelance NFL writer and the founder/editor-in-chief of Helmet2Helmet. His work has appeared on media outlets such as ESPN, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, MSN.com, FanSided.com, and About.com. Zack can be reached on Twitter (@ZackKelberman) or via email (zpkelb@gmail.com).