Peterson wants a 'way better season' in 2019

Ben Krimmel
March 23, 2019 - 2:16 pm

For some people rushing for 1,000 yards in a season is a tremendous accomplishment.

For Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson, rushing for 1,000 yards was just a "decent season."

"I feel like last year was just a decent season, like for me in my mind," Peterson told "People were like, 'Wow, you did incredible, you had 1,000 yards.' And I'm like, 'Man, I should have had 15, 16 hundred yards.'"

Pardon? 1,500 or 1,600 yards? 

Well, Peterson, who has never been shy about self-promotion, may have a point. Had the Redskins not suffered a pair of devastating leg injuries to their starting quarterbacks, he might have gotten close to that mark.

Instead, the now 34-year-old running back had to settle for his first 1,000-yard season since he led the NFL in rushing with 1,485 yards in 2015. In Peterson's "decent" 2018, he ran for only 1,042 yards on 251 carries (4.2 yards per attempt) and seven touchdowns. He added 208 receiving yards and a TD, as well.

But Peterson averaged 65.1 yards per game, one of the lowest averages in his career. And the veteran has lofty goals for 2019.

When asked about what he's focused on for the upcoming year, he told the Redskins' team site: "Just coming back and being able to produce and help this team win a championship."

"Be a great leader, not only by how I work but vocally as well," Peterson said. "Just come in and have a way better season than I had last year when it comes to contributing and helping that run game be dominant, especially with me and (Derrius) Guice and (Chris Thompson) in the backfield. We should be able to do some amazing things."

The Redskins brought Peterson back on a two-year, $8 million deal and he should serve a big role helping Guice, a 2018 second-round draft pick who suffered an ACL tear in his preseason debut and missed the entire season.

Peterson says he expects Guice will soon join him, Thompson, and tight end Jordan Reed for offseason training with him in Texas. 

The veteran said he texted Guice after last season and said, "So whenever you get done handling your business here at the facility in Virginia, make sure you come on down to Houston so I can push you through the waters and see if you're going to stay afloat.”

And pushing through the NFL waters is something Peterson has plenty of experience doing. With every yard in 2019 he will add to his 13,318 career rushing yards, which ranks him eighth all-time after he passed Eric Dickerson last year.

And re-upping for two more seasons in Washington was something Peterson was happy to do.

"Just having that experience here with the talent, the coaching staff, the entire building for me, it made sense," Peterson said. "Not only from a football standpoint, but being in Virginia, D.C., so many opportunities. It’s a great city as well. My kids love it.”

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