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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
NFLN survey/Super Bowl player: Bears

By Michael C. Wright
ESPN.com

ESPN’s NFL Nation conducted a survey of 320 players with Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson receiving the most votes among his peers as the active player they would most like to see play in the Super Bowl.

Interestingly, of the 10 Chicago Bears surveyed in the poll, only one picked Peterson. Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson was the top vote getter in Chicago. But that doesn’t mean Peterson isn’t respected by the Bears.

“I think more than his run ability is his will,” Bears coach Marc Trestman said in November. “His will and determination is so apparent on every single run. His passion for what he does, his job. I don’t know if there’s anybody in the league who expresses that any better and that relentlessness and love of the game. Certainly there are guys who do just as much, but nobody more than Adrian Peterson. That’s what stands out to me.

"We’ve seen a lot of running backs come and go, and he’s certainly one of the greatest to ever play the game. Some of us have seen a lot of running backs over the last 50 years in the National Football League, and he has to be one of the best. But it’s his will, his determination, the things that go beyond his ability that really stand out to me.”

As do Peterson’s numbers against the Bears. In 12 games against Chicago, Peterson is 6-6, but he has rushed for 1,396 yards and 14 touchdowns for an average of 116.3 yards per game. Peterson has scored a total of 84 points against Chicago, which is the most he’s scored against any opponent.

In two games against the Bears in 2013, Peterson carried 61 times for 311 yards, which included a 211-yard performance during a 23-20 Vikings overtime victory Dec. 1.

Peterson admitted “it makes me feel pretty good” that he can still excel despite defenses consistently loading up to stop him.

“It feels good, but it feels like another play because I’ve been dealing with it for so long,” Peterson said.

Bears receiver Brandon Marshall received two votes from his peers, and defensive end Julius Peppers received one vote in the NFL Nation survey.