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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Dickerson braces for another assault on his record

Posted by Mike Florio on September 2, 2013, 11:25 PM EDT

Dickerson Getty Images

If it wasn’t for Adrian Peterson, Eric Dickerson could relax.  Today’s NFL has become obsessed with the passing game.  Throw in the trend toward multiple tailbacks, and no one else would come within 500 yards of Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105 yards.

But Peterson has a goal nearly 500 yards above the 29-year-old record held by the most famous NFL player to wear No. 29.  Dickerson continues to hope Peterson does well — to a point.

“I just want to wish him good luck, tell him I hope he has a great season. At the end I’m going to say, ‘But don’t break my record,’” Dickerson tells Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.  “I hope he has 2,104 yards.”

Dickerson knows it won’t be easy for Peterson to have another 2,000-yard season.

“He’s going to see a lot of eight- and nine-man fronts,” Dickerson said. “Because they’re going to dare [quarterback Christian] Ponder to throw the football.  They’re going to stack the line of scrimmage.  If I’m a defensive coordinator, my thing would be, ‘OK, I want you to hit him all the way to the ground. Punish him.’ That’s what they do.

“The kind of runner Adrian is, he won’t back down from that.  But that’s how you try to get to a back, frustrate him with the fronts, and just constantly hit him, hit him, hit him.”

Putting eight or nine guys in the box only takes a modern NFL defense so far.  With so many teams passing the ball, defenses spend more time defending the pass.  When they’re not defending the pass, they’re focusing on the read-option.

Thus, for the same reason Dickerson doesn’t have to worry about anyone not named Adrian Peterson, Dickerson has even more reason to worry about Peterson.  Defenses won’t be as equipped as they’ve been in the past to defend a great running back — which could be one of the reasons Peterson had more than 1,300 yards in the final eight games of 2012.

If Peterson finds a way to beat the record, here’s hoping Nike finds a good way to commemorate the achievement.  At a minimum, here’s hoping gets Dickerson something better than what Adidas got Dickerson.

“You know what they gave me?” Dickerson told Farmer.  “Take a wild guess. How about a carrot cake with candles?  That was embarrassing. The linemen, they were all standing around and were like, ‘A cake? A cake? Man, there’s no keys in that cake?’ I’m like, ‘Man, I’m allergic to nuts. I can’t eat this cake.’”

Memo to Nike:  Don’t order Adrian a giant shrimp cocktail.

Memo to opposing defenses: Maybe the only way to stop this specific Superman is to rub your gloves and jerseys with his undersea answer to Kryptonite.

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