Peterson already is receiving rave reviews for how fast and strong and explosive he is a year after undergoing surgery.
“He looks better than he did the year before he hurt it,” Giants running back Andre Brown told the New York Post. “He's a beast, man. The doubters ain't saying nothing now.”
Peterson isn't motivated by doubters. He's motivated to play well into his 30s and become a slam dunk for the Hall of Fame.
His work ethic always has wowed teammates. His legend began when OU players said the nation's No. 1 recruit was the Sooners' best conditioned athlete the summer he arrived on campus.
“He's one of the freakiest athletes I've ever played with,” said former OU defensive lineman Dusty Dvoracek. “You don't want to give anyone too much credit. But in his case you can. If he stays healthy Adrian could be one of the best to ever play.”
That's his goal.
In a September interview with The Oklahoman, Peterson said he wants to be remembered as the best player in NFL history.
To reach such a lofty goal, he first had to prove reconstructive knee surgery was “just another test.”
“Without a doubt,” Peterson said. “I have a lot of confidence after the way I've responded to this injury that I can have longevity. ... I want to be the best to ever play the game, win a couple of championships and change some lives as well off the field.”
Peterson plans to use his testimony to inspire others they can accomplish great things regardless of challenges they face. He confessed he had doubts during the rehabilitation process.
“I made it through, but it was a roller coaster for me, fighting different temptations, fighting negative thoughts in your mind,” Peterson said. “Because I'm grounded in my faith I was able to overcome those things.
“It wasn't easy. It was hard. There were times I didn't want to get up and go. The devil had me doubting myself. I just chose to go in this direction. It turned out to be a success story.
“God has blessed me, to grind the way I did during the offseason, to come back to the point people think there's something that's unnatural. I take it as a compliment. I just smile. I'm like, ‘Wow.' If they think I'm juicing, I guess that's how good I'm playing.”