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Rushing Record Still Within Reach For Adrian Peterson?

Is Emmitt Smith's Rushing Record within Adrian Peterson's Reach?

In an interview with ESPN's Jean-Jacque Taylor, Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith said that if Adrian Peterson doesn't catch his rushing record, he's not sure who else would.

Smith's record of 18,355 yards has held fast for 13 NFL seasons. After missing the 2014 season, Peterson posted his seventh of nine pro seasons with at least 1,266 yards. The 2007 first-round pick holds a total of 11,675 yards, still a ways off.

If anyone can make up that deficit, though, Smith said it's Peterson.

'If he doesn't get it, I don't know who's going to get it,' Smith said. 'He's still got a lot of yards to go. I'm not going to lie to you.'

Taylor wrote the following:

If Peterson plays four more seasons, he must average 1,670 yards. If he plays five seasons, he would need to average 1,336 yards to break Smith's record.

Peterson led the NFL with 1,485 yards in 2015, but he's 30 years old -- an age when most running backs have retired to the golf course. Only six other running backs gained 1,000 yards this season as teams continue to use multiple runners to carry the ball.

Peterson was the only runner to carry the ball more than 300 times in 2015; Smith had seven seasons with at least 300 carries.

Smith retired at the age of 35, after a 15-year career in which he missed only 14 total games.

Recapping Vikings rookies drafted by Rick Spielman

Star Tribune columnist Sid Hartman took a look at the success of rookies since General Manager Rick Spielman joined the Vikings as Vice President of Player Personnel in 2006. Spielman participated in his first NFL Draft with the Vikings in 2007 and assumed his current role as general manager in 2012.

[In] his time the team has made 11 first-round picks. [Of those, 10] started their rookie season, seven were named to all-rookie teams, four made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, and two of those picks, Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin, were named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

When asked about his success with drafting and developing new players, Spielman gave accolades to an entire staff:

"I give a lot of credit, most of the credit, to our scouts and our coaches and everybody being on the same page and everybody understanding what type of traits we're looking for and what kind of players fit into the system," [Spielman] said. "When you can get that communication and open lines going on a daily basis, and everybody working as one, I think that's why we've had some success with some of these players."

Spielman has done more than bring in the right players, however. Hartman also credited Spielman's work with the Wilf family in bringing in the right coach in Head Coach Mike Zimmer. Hartman called hiring Zimmer "perhaps the greatest move" of Spielman's career.

"I think he is as sincere and straightforward of a person as I have been around," Spielman said of Zimmer. "I think the players respect that, and I know the players really believe in him. When they go out there every Sunday they truly feel they have been prepared during the week to give them the best chance to win the game. And when players believe that much in the coach, I think that's why you see us having the success we're having."

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