Few can identify with the greatness of a running back the way Jim Brown can.
And Brown said Wednesday that what Adrian Peterson’s doing now is nothing short of a “miracle.”
The Hall of Fame running back, in an interview with Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, said he’s still as impressed with Peterson’s character, and his ability to come back from last year’s knee injury, as any feat on the field.
“I think — of course, like everybody else that has eyes — he is doing a tremendous job and he’s showing so many things about greatness,” Brown said. “One of them is that a man like Adrian, he has overcome a very devastating injury, and to come all the way back from that to do what he’s doing now just shows so much character because it takes hard work and dedication behind the scenes to come from point-zero to where he is at this particular time.
“We should have nothing but admiration for it. And only a person of great character could do it, so I’m glad that I saw his greatness early. (Laughs) This isn’t the first time I have expressed my respect for him. It’s a miracle to really accomplish what he’s accomplishing now.”
Not only is Peterson back from last year’s torn ACL and MCL, but he’s on the verge of breaking the league’s single-season rushing record.
Peterson has 1,812 yards, leaving him 294 yards short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s old record of 2,105 set in 1984.
For Brown, that achievement stands on its own merits, as he wasn’t comfortable comparing.
“I don’t deal with who’s the greatest,” Brown said. “That’s very limited, I’m sorry to say, and I think this is an example of it. Why would anyone want to say that what Adrian has done this year isn’t what someone else did years before? It’s what you do when you do it, and it should not be compared. We don’t have to compare it. It’s unnecessary. And it’s taking something away from someone to give someone else something. You don’t have to do that. Because what Adrian is doing now doesn’t hurt anyone else who’s ever run the football.
“I’m not going to look at Walter Payton and take anything away from Walter. I’m not going to look at John Riggins and take anything away from him. I’m only going to look at the positive things of each individual.
“What I’ve said about Adrian is about as much as you have to say. I’m not here to evaluate running backs against each other. I can tell you every kind of move Adrian has. I can tell you about his size and about his speed, his quickness, his balance and maybe most of all his determination. I can tell you about those things, and those things are outstanding in every way. He has the size, he has the speed, he has the quickness, he has the balance, the intelligence. He has the determination, the will, and so he has a combination of those skills that are fantastic to watch.”
Brown has been, at times, hesitant with his praise. So the clear respect he had for Peterson’s feat represents another accomplishment for the Vikings running back.