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Lunch Break, June 15: Peterson Still Aiming For All-Time Rushing Record

Adrian Peterson returned to Palestine, Texas, over the weekend for the ninth annual Adrian Peterson Day. It's a celebration that began in 2007 shortly after his selection by the Vikings with the seventh overall pick in honor of what he has accomplished and done for people in his hometown.

One key to Peterson's successes is that he hasn't rested on his laurels at any level of football. That's still the case for the running back who still has Emmitt Smith's career rushing record and Eric Dickerson's season rushing record as remaining goals.

Peterson told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press "I don't think it's impossible" for him to reach Smith's mark of 18,355 yards that was reached over the course of 15 seasons (1990-2002 in Dallas, 2003-04 in Arizona).

"A lot of things are still to come. ... I look at things that anything is possible," Peterson told Tomasson. "He played 15 years. I'm going into year nine but I've only got eight on the body. That's a long-term goal (to break the record)."

Peterson has totaled 10,190 yards, leaving him 8,166 shy of the all-time mark.

Having Dickerson's 1984 record of 2,105 to chase might be one of Peterson's best assets. In 2012, Peterson came closer than any player to the mark, falling nine yards shy of eclipsing Dickerson. It's worth noting that Dickerson averaged 5.6 yards on 379 attempts in 1984 and Peterson averaged 6.0 yards on 348 attempts in 2012.

"I think he already knows," Peterson told Tomasson of coming after Dickerson's record. "He's always going to be a competitor, like anybody. You don't want your record broke. But if it gets broke, then you're going to have respect for that person because you know what it takes to be able to accomplish that."

"Moving" men

Much of the focus of the Vikings offense has been on what Peterson does after getting the ball, but Tim Yotter of Viking Update noted the pre-snap movement the team showed during its organized team activity practices.

Yotter noted increased position flexibility has Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner incorporating multiple moving parts into the offense. Yotter wrote:

Turner appears ready to set a scheme of confusion on defensive coordinators with versatile offensive weapons that can play a variety of roles. (Cordarrelle) Patterson still has the ability to motion into the backfield, but rookie Stefon Diggs is an intriguing option in the slot and getting handed the ball on end-arounds. Zach Line isn't as good a blocker as Jerome Felton was, at least not yet, but he has more ability to carry the ball or motion out of the backfield and into a receiving role. Rookie MyCole Pruitt is officially listed as a tight end, but he appears poised to be move all over the field with athletic ability that has already produced a highlight reel or impressive catches, along with head-scratching drops.

Click here for the rest of Yotter's observations from OTAs.

Approach of the coach

Over the weekend, Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune wrote that Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer "went micro when most go macro" in laying the foundation since his hire in January 2014. Souhan wrote:

Zimmer made few promises when he took the job. He is not a salesman. Instead of trying to construct an overarching organizational philosophy that might allow him to write a book someday, he went to work teaching defensive players intricate techniques.

"I just try to be myself," Zimmer told Souhan. "My only strategy was that, especially around the defense, I wanted to show them that in the meeting rooms and by the way I'm teaching them with the tape and with techniques, that they can believe that I can coach.

"That's the first thing — getting them to believe that you can actually coach," Zimmer continued. "Part of the reason I went into a lot of meetings with them was not only to show them what I was looking for, but to show them that I knew what I was doing. The reaction seemed to be, `OK, this guy can coach,' or whatever. I think that helped them trust me."

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