Jim Brown thinks Adrian Peterson can break the rushing record


Only three men have owned the NFL’s all-time rushing record in the last half century, with Jim Brown retiring as the record holder in 1965, Water Payton breaking Brown’s record in 1984 and Emmitt Smith breaking Payton’s record in 2002.

Brown thinks Adrian Peterson may be the next in line.

“If he wants that and he dedicates himself and he has good fortune, that’s a great possibility,” Brown told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “I think if he sets his goals and he understands his circumstances and he knows what it takes, that he can be successful. I’m not saying that he will break the record, I’m just saying it’s a possibility.”

Brown recently said he doesn’t see many great runners in today’s NFL, but he does see one great one in Peterson.

“He’s a great football player,” Brown said of Peterson. “He’s always been a real fine gentleman and a great worker. His running style and the effort he puts in is unbelievable. I have the greatest respect for him. . . . I like his attitude as a runner. I like the fact that God gave him a body that’s big enough and he’s fast enough.”

Realistically, it’s tough to see Peterson breaking Smith’s record. At age 29, Peterson has 10,115 yards so far in his career, which means he would need another 8,220 to become the all-time record holder. Peterson has averaged 1,445 yards a year so far in his NFL career, and he’d have to keep that pace up until he’s 34 years old to top Smith. Peterson will have to stay healthy, stay productive and stay motivated to have any hope of joining Brown, Payton and Smith as an owner of one of the great records in NFL history.

122 responses to “Jim Brown thinks Adrian Peterson can break the rushing record

  1. Jim Brown is absolutely right.

    Here’s proof to everyone that the the Minnesota Vikings have the offense in the entire NFL, all based on only facts :

    RB: MVP Adrian Peterson – will go down as one of the players of all time, maybe the best RB to ever to play the game.
    FB: Jerome Felton – One of only two fullbacks that made the pro bowl, was the lead blocker for the second best rushing season of all time.
    WR: Greg Jennings – 2x pro bowler & Super Champion as the #1 receiver.
    WR2: Cordarrelle Patterson – Made the Pro Bowl his rookie season and talent wise is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL when the ball is in his hands, the WR version of Adrian Peterson.
    TE: Kyle Rudolph – Was named Pro Bowl MVP in 2013 – scored over 8 TD’s with Christian Ponder at QB, enough said.
    LT- Matt Kalil – Made the Pro Bowl his rookie season, an elite athlete who’s thrives in pass blocking, a great center piece for a dominant offense.
    C- John Sullivan – was named as an All-Pro in 2012, otherwise he was the best center in the NFL that year. A dominant run blocker, who overpowers any defensive tackle.
    RT – Phil Loadholt – According to PFF, which records each and every snap on every player – he was ranked as the #2 Right Tackle in NFL, a dominant force in the run game.

    Kicker: Blair Walsh – Was an All Pro and voted to the Pro Bowl his rookie season, broke the all time record for 50+ yards field goals made in a row, easily one of the best kickers in the entire league.

    These are pure & undeniable facts that prove the the Vikings have the most talented young offense in the league, and will immensely prove with stability at QB – which we will fix and find our franchise Quarterback in the draft.

    Every single position on our Offense is stacked with talented young players who all already have Pro Bowls and other rare accomplishments on their resume.

    There’s absolutely no reason to believe that we won’t have the best offense in the entire NFL based on stats & facts alone.

    With Norv Turner now as our new OC (who’s won 2 Super Bowls) Our immense offensive talent can actually thrive in a proven system of dominance, not playing under Mr. Note Card sized playbook Musgave.

    Whoever isn’t completely convinced that the Vikings are the best offense in the NFL after reading all this, knows absolutely nothing about the NFL and should result to watching sports that fit their unpreferable viewing style – like Soccer.

  2. With the way teams throw the ball now, Emmitt might have the record until the number of games increases.

  3. Jim Brown may come across as bitter, but he does give credit when credit is due. He’s been very, very complementary of Walter Peyton, saying he’s happy a guy like Peyton broke his record, and now he’s been very complimentary of Adrian Peterson.

    There’s a difference between being “bitter” and having really high standards for excellence.

  4. He can and he WILL break the record! You really don’t think that horse can play until he’s 34? Give me a break lol. Sorry Emmitt.

  5. Jim Brown was a good football man but not a good opinion man. He retired too soon and was not a good acting man. But I bet early retirement means he is currently a better moving man now than his peer men.

  6. Records are nice, but this particular one just isn’t worth it. Any RB should research how Ollie Matson lived, post NFL and then decide if its worth alk the blows he’ll take in the process.

    Jim Brown was fortunate to keep all his marbles in the bag.

  7. As a Minnesota Viking 4life since 1968 and have seen every snap I would absolutely love to see if for just only one year what Adrian Peterson would do with a good passing attack. I do believe that the Vikings will be a big surprise and have that passing attack and we’ll enjoy Adrian Peterson with maybe a greatest year ever by a running back. He’s truly one of a kind who absolutely loves what he does and that what separates him from the rest!

  8. It won’t be AP. Between Brown & Payton was 19 years… Between Payton & Smith was 18 years… So the next record breaker is due around 2019. AP will be too old.

  9. He’ll have the record, and an overall win/loss percentage of under .500. He’ll never have a ring, but he’s already made it clear that he values personal goals over team.

  10. A.P. might be the last person who can attempt to break it with the league favoring the passing attack.

    It’d be cool to see him breaking it while actually trying, unlike Emmit who didn’t retire solely to break it.

  11. When “Jim Brown thinks” at least listen. For a guy portrayed as a self centered salty old cuss he doesn’t seem to get much wrong. For example his immediate summary of Trent Richardson ruffled a few feathers but wasn’t far of the mark was it?

  12. Adrian has changed his game as he has gotten closer to 30. He is not as quick at changing direction as he used to be; however, his arms are beefed up from his rookie year/ACL tear year and he has become a more powerful back vs exploding into a change of direction. Maybe he picked up some of that from Toby Gerhart. Toby developed a lot in Minnesota from his rookie season to where he is now. The Jags noticed that themselves.

  13. Man AP is 29?!?! I wonder how long he can keep it going. Im 26 and besides Barry Sanders he is the best back I’ve ever gotten to watch. I wish the vikes would trade the guy to a contender (def not my bucs). Can you imagine him in denver or ne with a competent qb.

  14. Peterson is a great, no question. But its kind of a shame, for him to have made all of that effort, piled up all of those yards, and still not have much to show for it, team wise. At least, he’s given Minnesota fans something to be proud of. When the new stadium is finished, I hope there’s a place reserved within it, to honor their greatest star’s achievements.

  15. As a Vikes fan, I love AP. Class act, incredible footballer.

    That said, I’d say there’s a less than 5% chance he has the health, and longevity needed to break this record….

  16. How does someone post a laughable wall-of-text like that merely 2 minutes after the article is posted?

    Does he seriously write this junk out in advance and then refresh the page all day waiting for Vikings/Packers posts?

  17. Jim Brown knows what he’s talking about. He an Peterson have raised the NFL to the level we admire.

  18. Sure Vikings fans, brag about several players. Greg Jennings underperformed for his contract last year and enjoy Kyle Rudolph’s Pro Bowl MVP, its fools gold. Phil Loadhold holds all the time, and when did Norv Turner win two Super Bowls? I think 20 years ago, nothing since!

    The Vikings have been Norved!

  19. I am flabbergasted Trent Richardson isn’t on a short list to break rushing records. I mean, like, it’s not like he has taken a lot hits early in his career.

  20. Just over 10,000 yards so far and another 8000 to go. With his average it will take 6 more seasons to get there so he will have to be just as good at age 34 and 35 as he was in past seasons despite more years of wear and tear on the body.

    Looking at the positives:
    -He is pulled on passing plays so he doesn’t have to block reducing his wear and tear.

    – He gets a lot of yards in garbage time of games. The vikings go with Peterson when they are behind in the 2nd half when most teams pass. Defenses are run soft at that point.

    -The vikings play a lot of 4th place divisional schedules.

    The negatives are:
    -wear and tear
    – the vikings facing a lot of 8 man front defenses on 1st and 2nd down.
    -the vikings play the next 2 seasons outdoors on grass instead of a temperature controlled rug.
    – unexpected injury

    Overall, I think the odds are against him.

  21. Running backs go downhill FAST after age 30 and Peterson, with a history of serious injuries, will have a very hard time staying both healthy and productive for another 5 years at that age. With increased emphasis on the passing game in the NFL I doubt that we’ll ever see Emmitt Smith’s record broken. Sure, it could happen….but not very likely anytime soon (meaning in our lifetime).

  22. It’s an almost impossible feat. An RB could come out of the draft the best to ever play the game and it would still be almost impossible to top that record. Simply because the game is played differently now. Keep in mind that Emmitt was like 36 and washed up, adding garbage yards to that massive total in his last years. That just doesn’t happen in today’s NFL. When you pass your peak, you get shown the door…

  23. I love Peterson, just wished he did not run against my Pack twice a year or more each year. But the rest of the team, I think we some wild expectations. The division will be the Packers again, with the Bears making the Playoffs, and either the Viks or Lions having a chance at spot number two in the wildcard

  24. I would love for him to hold the record, but it’s unlikely. The only thing that could really help his cause would be if the Vikings continue to have poor QB play and continue to rely heavily on AP and the run game. In today’s NFL I don’t see him getting the record and think it’s a shame one of the best RBs to ever play has been stuck playing with a mediocre offense for the past few years.

  25. the Viking comments are getting to where we need to just ban the IP. its too much, even in a Vikings article.

    your QB is matt cassel, no records will be broken by the Vikings offense unless that changes

  26. I think Adrian Peterson would have broken the all time record. But he plays for the Vikings, and they’ve finished in last place in 3 of the past 4 seasons. It’s hard to overcome that.

    This year I have them finishing dead last. Again.

  27. I wouldn’t doubt AP.. Even if he lose a half step he still better then half of the RB in the NFL due to his work ethic and determination to be the best ever at his position

  28. WOW, putting it that way maybe emmit smith was really good. thats allot of yards.

  29. Even pft acknowledges that the Vikings have no QB, lmao at this point you better bring in Buffon-he is Italy’s national goalkeeper, i am positive he can sling it better than the slap guys you have down there. How do you proclaim to have a good offense without a QB ?????

  30. I think if Jim Brown or Walter Payton had played as many seasons and games as Emmit Smith, that this record would be untouchable. I just can;t get the image of the washed up skeleton of Emmit breaking the record. I put AP way ahead of Smith, and in the same league as JB and Sweetness.

  31. You know with a respectable passing game and good defense he will have his chances. One never knows what can happen, they need to keep and invest in a good line as well

    If he stays healthy he will break some more records before he is though

  32. they should of ran him for those extra 9 yards to get the season record in 2012.

    but to get an extra 8000+ yards for the all time….i just don’t see it

  33. Whoever isn’t completely convinced that the Vikings are the best offense in the NFL after reading all this, knows absolutely nothing about the NFL and should result to watching sports that fit their unpreferable viewing style – like Soccer.

    Manchester United has a better QB than the vikes

  34. He might break it, but I don’t think anyone will ever touch the 5 YPC or 100 YPG record that Brown owns.

  35. Football greatness talking about football greatness..

    What’s not to like? Both are strongly disciplined, strongly admired, and have superb work ethic. You just can’t find them like that anymore. Instead, you find overweight, and lazy RBs, like that one in Green Bay.

  36. Jim Brown is always right. Truth hurts. Adrian will not break the record, he will smash it. Put it out of reach for all mortal men. Write it down. Greatest to ever lace them up and I am not a Vikings fan.

    NFL fans are witnessing greatness enjoy it while it’s there.

  37. Hey look, Jim Brown said something positive about a modern player! Who’s next, Chuck Bednarik?

  38. I don’t care what Jim brown says about anything because he’s a racist jerk but the fact is Adrian Peterson has all the tools needed to get the job done as far as the record. The only thing that’ll stop him is the rest of his team.

  39. I’m a big Jim Brown fan and he may have an idea about running backs,he did say Trent Richardson wasn’t worth the pick,and he may be right about the rushing record,but I’ll leave that fine gentleman thing to another debate.

  40. The very best Running Back in the history of the NFL is Barry Sanders. I have witnessed all of the all-time greats (OJ is number 3, Sayers is number 4, Walter and Brown are tied for 2nd) and I am jaded because I’m a Lions fan, but none of them could move like him… no one could. I’ve seen every professional run of all of these men. Barry Sanders was the best.

  41. Weird that the guy who has been a Vikings fan since 1968 & just wants to see what Peterson could do with a good quarterback has forgotten 2009. In 2009 his quarterback had statistically one of the greatest years in history. He threw for over 4,200 yards, completed over 68% of his passes, & had something like a 33/7 touchdown to interception ratio. Peterson rushed for 1380 or so yards that year. I doubt he will ever have a quarterback have a better year. If not for one stupid throw…

  42. Different time, different places, different teams and circumstances. When Jim Brown played, he was the offense. Every single defensive player cued on him. He doled out a lot of punishment in his days on the field in the last civilized war known to mankind.

    Make no bones about it Peyton, Adrian, and Emmit are and were some of the greatest to ever play the game. And good people too boot. Same as Mr. Brown.

    But there will never be another Jim Brown. He is the best player in the history of the game. Bar none.

  43. If Peterson had an O-line any where near as dominating as Dallas’ was for Smith, he might be close to breaking the record now. Smith was okay, but that line was amazing. If Sanders had played for Dallas, and Smith played for Detroit, Sanders could have 20k yards, and Smith’s name would be long forgotten by now.

  44. Looking at the facts throught 7 seasons of both men’s career:

    Smith: 10,160 yards
    AP: 10,115 yards

    Smith: 108 games, 106 starts
    AP: 103 games, 96 starts

    Smith: 4.35 ypc
    AP: 4.98 ypc

    Smith: 94.1 ypg
    AP: 98.2 ypg

    So, Smith is only 45 yards ahead of AP at this point in their career, but Smith also has more wear on his tires with 5 more games and 10 more starts. AP is averaging over a half yard more per carry and over 4 yards more per game, at this point.

    So, when you are saying it’s hard to imagine that AP could catch the record because he only has 10,115 yards at this point in his career … do you mean that you can’t imagine AP making up 45 yards across 5 games?

  45. It’s a long shot for a running back in today’s nfl to put up those numbers past 30, but if anyone can, its AP. That dude’s body is an athletic marvel. I can only imagine what he would have done in 2012 if he hadnt torn is acl the prior year.

  46. Around here, we don’t get to see AP very much. We get only highlights and news reports. There’s no doubt that AP is a great back, destined for the HOF if he stays healthy.

    I think it’s important that Jim Brown played in the era when there were only 12 games and later 14 games. He set his rushing record in only 9 years, retiring when he was 30. It took Payton 13 years to break Brown’s record, playing a longer schedule.

    AP has the ability to break the rushing record. He and Brown are the roughly the same height, weight and speed. Good luck to AP but for now, Brown remains the standard among running backs in NFL history.

  47. All the wishful thinking in the world won’t change the fact the Packers Own The Vikings.

  48. I’d love to see what kind of numbers Peterson could have rang up if he had played in Jim Brown’s era, where the defensive players were smaller and less athletic, generally speaking. It would have been sick!

  49. A long shot at best. It would be nearly a miracle if he could manage to get Emmit’s record blowed up.

    Cheers, BostonTim

  50. He had the opportunity to break the record against the Packers, but their defense deemed him unworthy of the measly 9 yards that would have immortalized him.

    Unfortunately history will relegate him to obscurity behind the great Eric Dickerson.

  51. Jim Brown was the biggest baddest BEST RB ever – how many of you have ever seen film of him in his prime? How about those of you who actually SAW him in his prime?

    He played for 9 seasons and in 8 of them he gained at least 1,000 yards – in a 12 game season. His battles with Sam Huff were epic, and he averaged 5.2 yards per carry.

    I am not saying this AP guy isn’t really good, but there is only one Jim Brown – as in 15k+ yards in 9 12 game seasons, which is over 100 yards per game.

    FYI – I am not only an old fart, I am a CERTIFIED old fart, and as any old fart can tell you – old farts really stink, and we COFs (figure it out) are off the charts.

    I’ve probably said something politically incorrect (no apologies) so let me leave you with this – How many of you out there can remember seeing ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’?

  52. He only has a chance to break it if he trains as hard every offseason as he did the year he came back from his ACL injury. He worked so hard to come back, but I don’t think he trains quite as hard other seasons. Not to say he doesn’t train hard, but he had to put in a LOT of extra work to come back from the ACL.

  53. It’s a shame people still make themselves look stupid with the same commenting mistakes.

    A) Not taking Adrian Peterson 1st overall in your fantasy drafts next season. A form of doubting him. I learned two years ago that you NEVER pass on Adrian Peterson in fantasy football.
    B) Comparing him to other players. I.e. “Running backs deteriorate at 30”. He’s not like other people folks. People that deteriorate at 30 don’t break rushing records, or even come close.

  54. In this pass first era, he won’t even come close. The Cowboys were a Dynasty, the Vikings are not even contenders.

  55. IF you get a QB.

    Like the song says, “If’s an illusion…If is for children, building day dreams.”

    No, I don’t believe in IF anymore.

  56. The biggest obstacle he will have to overcome is the advancements of concussion studies and protocols. What is considered a head injury and how long player must sit will become more and more stringent every year. That will mean more running backs by committee and more rotations on the offensive line.

  57. Jim Brown played in the days when there was a position – fullback. There was a position – halfback. Today it’s just a ‘running back’.

    He was 6’2″ 230 lbs – as big as linebackers of the day and almost as big as most defensive linemen of the day. ‘Big Daddy’ Lipscomb of the (my) Colts was 6’6″ 280 lbs and he was considered a giant. Art Donovan of my Colts was 6’2″ 270 lbs and he was called ‘fatso’.

    Brown had been an All-American in both football and Lacrosse at Syracuse and in some circles he is considered the greatest lacrosse player ever. More than one writer from those days wrote that he was perhaps America’s greatest natural athlete since Jim Thorpe.

    Some perspective here, plus it gives me a chance to mouth off again.

    Gotta take the dog for a walk. Have a good one.

  58. I lost respect for Peterson when he cried about the snow in Baltimore. And he didn’t finish the game after Arthur Brown tackled him (up and coming stud on a potent Ravens defense) and twisted his ankle. Won’t the Vikings be playing outside in their new stadium?

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