Wednesday, September 4, 2013
2,000 yards realistic for Johnson, Peterson
By Michael Rothstein
ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- The 2,000-yard marker for running backs and wide receivers is a lofty one, often discussed but rarely, if ever, reached.
Yet last season Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson hit the mark with 2,097 yards rushing, and Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson came close with 1,964 yards receiving.
Now, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier thinks both players could hit the mark this season.
“It’s a realistic number,” Frazier said Wednesday during a conference call with Detroit reporters. “There’s so many factors that go into a guy achieving those kinds of goals and numbers that he and Adrian achieved a year ago.
“There’s a lot of factors involved, but they are talented enough and more than capable of getting it done.”
There’s another similarity here, too. Neither Peterson nor Johnson played much this preseason, both playing one game.
“In Adrian’s case and looking at our team and the way we’re set up and how we’re built, I just didn’t see the advantage of putting him at risk in the preseason,” Frazier said. “I know he needs some work and there are some things we have to get done from a timing standpoint.
“I have to weigh bringing our offense together versus putting him at risk, and I erred on the side of the way he was working in practice.”
On Sunday, both are expected to play major roles for their teams. And as the season starts, Frazier has learned not to doubt anything Peterson can do.
“In Adrian’s case I’ve learned, and I think all of us who have followed him, you don’t ever put anything out of his reach,” Frazier said. “Two-thousand yards, when it comes to Adrian Peterson, it’s realistic. But I don’t think in Adrian’s case that’s the ultimate goal.
“The ultimate goal is to bring a world championship to Minnesota.”