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No Letdown Expected from Adrian Peterson Next Season

Adrian Peterson turned 31 years old Monday, an age when NFL running backs sometimes hit a wall with their productivity.

The Vikings running back was his usual self during his age-30 season in 2015 as he rushed for 1,485 yards to earn his third career rushing title. Peterson also tied for the league lead with 11 rushing touchdowns.

Speaking at the Annual League Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, on Wednesday morning, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said he thinks the star running back still has plenty left in the tank.

"He stays in unbelievable shape … he's built like this table," Zimmer said before knocking on wood. "I don't anticipate seeing any kind of letdown from him.

"He thinks he can go for a real long time, and I wouldn't bet against him for at least two or three years," he added. 

Zimmer praised Peterson's work ethic and said the 6-foot-1 and 220-pound back has as good a chance as ever to crack the 1,000-yard barrier for the eighth time in his career.

"I think a lot of it has to do with his individual person more so than anything else," Zimmer said. "I know there's several backs that have been over 30 and rushed for over 1,000 yards.

"I just think he's a really unique guy," Zimmer added. "He's more of a punishing runner than (one who is) accepting the hits." 

Only 12 running backs in NFL history have rushed for more than 1,000 yards during their age-31 season.

Although Peterson is one of the best running backs in the league — he's second among active players in rushing yards (11,675) and career touchdowns (102) — Peterson has told Zimmer he's been hard at work already this offseason.

Peterson said after Minnesota's Wild Card playoff loss that he wanted to improve his ball security and become a versatile player who can help out more on third down.

"He wants the team to be great," Zimmer said. "He told me he's working on things that he felt like held us back.

"I didn't get into the specifics of it or anything like that," Zimmer added. "Adrian and I have a pretty good relationship. I can pretty much say whatever I want to him and vice versa, I guess. I remind him quite often about the things he needs to get better at."

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