Jim Brown calls Adrian Peterson’s comeback a “miracle”

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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.

38 responses to “Jim Brown calls Adrian Peterson’s comeback a “miracle”

  1. “All Day” is on a mission. In a zone. To come back from a shreaded knee.. He’s the greatest on the field and seems like a good guy off of it. With all the hype around QBs and the prima donna WRs, Adrian Peterson is a true football player. He gets hit. He gives hits. He stays humble. He has shown what hard work and humility can do. He scores touchdowns. I could watch him play All Day.

  2. AD is my favorite player of all time, but this run is so unbelievable I’m starting to wonder if HGH may not be in play. I hope not.. In any case, They should definitely have AD be one of the aliens in MIB4, cuz the dude is clearly not of this world.

  3. hurrayforyogapants says: Dec 19, 2012 3:07 PM

    AD is my favorite player of all time, but this run is so unbelievable I’m starting to wonder if HGH may not be in play. I hope not.. In any case, They should definitely have AD be one of the aliens in MIB4, cuz the dude is clearly not of this world.

    LOL Nice!!! I’ll bet we do see him on a tv screen at some point in that movie.

  4. Probably the most thoughtful, intelligent, analytical, less-ego, no-anger remarks I’ve ever heard from Jim Brown. Not to take ANYTHING away from A.P….but Gale Sayers came back the next year to win the NFL rushing title, and this was when knee surgery was like operating with knife, hammer & fishing-line…compared to today’s micro-laser-bionic miracles.

  5. effthaeffinjetsgofins says:Dec 19, 2012 2:40 PM

    a miracle of HGH, I’m sure…


    I think that also… It’s hard not to think that way when most times a miracle like this happens it is later proven to be supported by PEDs. The number 1 thing people look for when trying to discover if PEDs were used is consistency over time. For AP to be way better after an ACL is cause for concern. It’s not necessarily impossible, but it hasn’t been done before by anyone. It could also be explainable by advancements in surgical technique or good genentics, but it raises flags for sure.

    I would guess that most NFL players have at least done steroids or HGH at some point in their career. It would be hard to imagine that much muscle mass being gained across the board all naturally. The culture seems to be that it is acceptable. Facing a possible 4 game suspension vs. potentially being too small or too slow to be in the NFL is a no brainer.

    Many guys who have been caught just come back and play and everyone just forgets about it. It’s not seen as a very big deal in comparison to Baseball, Athletics or other sports.

  6. It’s depressing that everyone just assumes HGH is involved. Adrian has been a beast his entire career and has always recovered quickly from injury. How about we enjoy what is one of the greatest seasons by a running back in NFL history instead of lumping presumptive guilt on him with no evidence other than “He’s awesome.”

  7. HGH is proven to speed up healing in ligaments. and it is undetectable in urine. I love AP, no issues with him. I’m just saying that it is more likely HGH than God or miracles. As someone who bodybuilds and know people who have used it to heal quickly including me, I know it is the most likely thing. Some of us work a living that you have to be able to use all of your limbs and that was the miracle that got me back to work…behind my bar.

  8. There’s no question that AP is the Jerry Rice of NFL running backs. Character, work-ethic, talent- it’s all there.

    But some credit for AP’s success this year should also go to Jerome Felton, the Vikings FB, and the Vikings offensive line, and the offensive coaching staff.

    Teams were putting 8 or 9 in the box all the time last year too, and AP did not have nearly as a good a year (before his injury).

    It will be interesting to see if AP can continue this dominance next year too. With all the changes in defensive personnel to better defend the pass, a lot of teams may not have the right personnel to stop a dominant running team and RB anymore.

  9. If HGH is the reason, why is it the only place we see that is from rubes on a comment board? The guy has always had an amazing body and worked his rear end off all offseason. Blaming the comeback on HGH is just lazy.

  10. Peterson has been the same running back year after year after year. Unless you think he’s been on steroids or HGH since he was in high school, the mark of consistency that speaks against PED is there. This year, although post-ACL that he healed quickly from, he is on a record setting pace because he is the ENTIRE Vikings offense.

  11. samanthasteeleruinedmyqb says: Dec 19, 2012 3:56 PM

    If HGH is the reason, why is it the only place we see that is from rubes on a comment board? The guy has always had an amazing body and worked his rear end off all offseason. Blaming the comeback on HGH is just lazy.


    Nobody is saying he didn’t work hard. I think everybody knows that he is extremely talented and worked his butt off. We’re just being realistic and acknowledging the fact that many athletes use PEDs and most ‘miracle’ performances of the past 20 years have later been proven to involve PEDs.

  12. No other athlete in history has been able to come back so quickly and so completely healed, to the point of breaking records, so it does make you wonder how this is possible. I always thought it was amazing how Lance Armstrong was able to beat his cancer and go on to win successive Tours de France; then we found out.

  13. I admire Peterson’s work and his contribution to football and I believe he will break this record. However, the suggestion that he is a better running back than Barry Sanders is patently ridiculous. He may very well be someday, but today he sure as hell isn’t. To be in the same conversation as Jim, Gayle, Walter and Barry… and maybe OJ, you have to be spectacular (AD is) for several seasons. They said Terrell Davis was going to be better than Barry.

  14. Congratulations to the great Jim Brown for sharing some effusive praise and insight here.

    Brown gets slammed by many when he expresses a cynical view here or there — I’ve been disappointed with him myself. So it’s nice to see Brown in this light. It was easy for anyone to see that Brown’s thoughts are the epitome of pure candor and come straight from the heart. Props to Jim in this instance.

    But the real, and bigger story, is Adrian Peterson. Un-reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal. It couldn’t happen to a nicer or more deserving guy either — man, I hope All Day just kills it the rest of the way, and my team isn’t even the Vikes.

  15. It is scientifically questionable that HGH is in fact a PED. To cite one NIH official, no peer reviewed study to date shows HGH to have any direct or indirect impact in performance.

  16. People who thinks HGH is in use are either a non football fan or a packer fan.

    If you actually watch his games…you’ll see he runs with the same speed and cut with the same speed. The only difference this year is his O-line and his fullback opening up big holes.

    If you put AP behind the 1990s cowboys o-line instead of emmit…AP would gain 2000 yards per season.

    He’s a beast, not hgh.

  17. For those that want to claim HGH is the answer to AP’s great season…

    I remember a preseason interview with Pete Bercich (former Viking player/current Viking radio analyst) on recovering from an ACL injury and him stating that the knee could very well be STRONGER after being surgically repaired.

    I also have noticed a change in Peterson’s running style – he’s much more patient and is now openly receptive to running behind a fullback. Jerome Felton (Vikings FB) should be the NFC’s Pro Bowl pick for that position!

    Since he came to the NFL in 2007, he has averaged nearly 100 yards per game. So his current average of 129 yards per game this season is not that much different.

    Some players performances go down after obtaining the big contract. Some players performances go down after coming back from injury (but I haven’t heard anyone saying anything about PED usage by Peyton Manning…)

    AP is not your average guy. He has more determination and work ethic than most NFL players.

    He truly is one of the “Good Guys”!

  18. And somewhere in Tennessee, Chris Johnson is still trying to convince everyone that HE is the greatest RB in the game. Skol Vikings and AP!

  19. For a change, I agree with Jim Brown. It would be like comparing Jim Brown to James Brown, to each his own. Both great, but both in a different venue.

  20. For those of you who remain suspicious that HGH might be in play, let me explain to you why I think AD should not be compared with A-Rod, B-Bonds and host of others.

    Here’s the story I read from a Sports Illustrated article ….

    Right after Dr. James Andrews, the world-renowned orthopedic surgeon, performed the surgery on Peterson’s knee, he pulled Peterson’s father aside, said in amazement “his knee looks like a baby!”

    Dr. Andrews went on to explain that human being, as we get older, put on lots of wear and tear on our knee. This is especially true for any athletes. And he was astound to found that Peterson’s knee is almost like brand new! Like a baby’s!

    Some people are just genetically gifted, and AD is one of them.

    And that’s also the reason why I think AD will have a long career in NFL. He’s just genetically much more gifted than anyone else!

  21. Jim Brown the man has been about civil rights and improvement in the quality of life for African Americans for over 60 years. He became involved as a youngster right out of high school at Syracuse. He supported Martin Luther King Jr. and also Cassuis Clay when he became a Muslim, changing his name to Muhammed Ali and refuse to be drafted during the Vietnam War. Syracuse did not recruit black players back then. Brown had 31 scholarship offers from other schools but his high school mentors financially assisted Brown to go to Syracuse since scholarship was offered. Out of 1627 graduates in 1957 less than 10 were African American. He was discriminated by the coaches at Syracuse and in parts of the country suffered racial epithets from opposing fans and players too. His football accomplishments are the greatest in the history of the game. Adrian Peterson is the best of the current generation but each generation has a best.

    There were other players in the league who compared physically with Brown but none came close to his accomplishments. Jim Brown is the toughest player to play the game in the last 60 years. He played 9 years, leading the league in rushing 8 years. The one year he didn’t he came in 2nd to Jim Taylor of Green Bay when Jim only rushed for 996 yards averaging due to a badly sprained wrist which hampered him most of the 1958 season.

    He rushed for 1544 yards in a 12 game season in 1961. He was the first man to rush for over a mile in 1963 when he rushed for 1863 yards in a 14 game season averaging 133.1 yards per game and 6.4 yards per carry.

    He ran the 100 yard dash in 10.1 seconds in 1958. He was a physical beast of a man.

    He was 6’3” and 232 lbs. If anyone was a load it was Jim Brown. He averaged 104.3 yards a game, scored 106 rushing touchdowns and 20 more receiving for 126 in his 9 year career. He is the only player to average more than 5 yards per carry for his career – 5.3. There have been many great running backs over the years. Jim Brown will always be head of the class. He retired at the age of 29. Imagine if he had played 3-4 more years?

    What most people don’t know is that Jim Brown was considered by many to be a greater lacrosse player at Syracuse than a football player. He is still considered 55 years later to be the greatest college lacrosse player in history. He held all rushing records in the NFL when he retired. Every one. Lacrosse is one of the things that made him so tough. He never missed a pro start or a game in his 9 years in the league.

    I haven’t always agreed with his politics but he has consistently been true to himself his whole life and I respect him for that. Jim Brown is hands down the greatest running back of all time. Who else can better rate the talent that came after, like it or leave it.

    It broke my heart when Ernie Davis (who had broken all Jim Brown’s records at Syracuse) was the first African American to win the Heisman Trophy in 1962 and also to be the first number 1 pick as an African American in 1962. Unfortunately he died of leukemia in 1963 before he got to play a down. He and Jim Brown would have demolished the NFL as a tandem. What a sight that would have been. It wasn’t to be though.

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