However, the most recent issue of The Sporting News may be going a long way to cementing his image as one of the greats of the game. Not only is Peterson referred to as a "once-in-a-generation" running back, he was interviewed by Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
The interview identified several aspects of Peterson's personality and his drive to win. He told Brown that he wasn't satisfied with his rookie season despite some eye-popping numbers. Some of that was attributed to not making the playoffs, but Peterson said he grew a better understanding of the NFL in his second season.
Brown asked Peterson about the importance of money to the younger players. Peterson responded by saying, "I see it all the time, and it kills me. A lot of guys come intot he league and they get comfortable. They're being paid this and that. It's loike how they played in college doesn't transfer because now they're playing more not to get hurt; they're out there playing timid and thinking about the money. They're not like Brett Favre, playing with that passion. You know he's in the game and he loves the game."
A surprising answer came from the pointed question of whether he believes the Vikings coaches understand and contribute to his ability as he would like them to. His answer? "I would say they understand my ability, but I don't know to what extent."
Brown didn't hold back any punches, saying things like Barry Sanders lacked what Brown terms a "fourth gear," which diminishes his standing as one of the greatest running backs of all-time. He also states that LaDainian Tomlinson of the San Diego Chargers is more a product of his system than a great all-around back. Peterson had said current running backs he respected in the league included Tomlinson, Maurice Jones-Drew and Brandon Jacobs.
Unlike most sports interviews, Brown delved into different areas of Peterson's life, including the role of religion in his life, the rookie salary structure (which Peterson doesn't object to), the players union treatment of previous generations of players and the growing number of current NFL players running afoul of the law.
Even this interview, however, couldn't be conducted with at least one Brett Favre question. Brown asked Peterson about Favre's multiple changes of heart about wanting to continue playing, which Peterson praised as having desire to win. When asked if Peterson would have looked at Favre as a positive teammate in every way, A.D.'s answer was short and simple.
Maybe the Vikings should keep Favre on their speed dial just in case.