Craig: Is Emmitt Smith's rushing mark out of reach?

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 22, 2012 - 11:47 AM

In these pass-happy days, no one, not even AP, is likely to catch the NFL's all-time leading rusher.

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whatzitAug. 21, 1211:38 PM

One can never say a record can't be broken but all I can say about Emmitt is there will never be a more determined running back to ever play the game. He was never the fastest or quickest but he was MONEY. Any doubt about that just look at his touchdowns and red zone performance, those compressed yards are the toughest territory and the most competitive yards on the field and Emmitt made the most of them and always wanted the ball.

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firefly70Aug. 22, 12 4:20 AM

Do I think "All Day" Peterson has the talent and ability to pass Emmitt Smith? Without a doubt. Do I think he actually will? Not likely. Along with the evolution of NFL offenses going more heavily towards passing, I also think there are a couple of other factors that will play into it. Mainly, A.D.'s violent running style (once described by Peterson as "running angry"). With players in general getting bigger, stronger, and faster, the collisions a RB endures obviously take more of a toll on the body. Given that Adrian is much more inclined to try and run someone over (punish the defender) versus trying to make them miss, that's just additional pounding his body takes each game. Factor in his unwillingness to run out of bounds and his determination to fight for that extra yard just leads to more pounding his body is absorbing. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate that he has such a competitive spirit, but sometimes it's gotten him into trouble; the reluctance to go out of bounds and instead keep fighting for the extra yard was one of the reasons he had a bit of a fumbling problem for a couple of years -opposing defenders would have him wrapped up and stood up, while another defender would then pound on the ball and try to strip it away from him. Finally, it will also come down to how much the Vikings' offense evolves towards the pass. IF Christian Ponder can develop into a good QB and the team has excellent wideouts that can make the passing game more vertical, then A.D. might not get as many touches. However, if he turns out to be a bust, and the Vikings have to draft another QB and try and develop him - well then the team would probably have to rely on the running game a little more heavily. In which case, A.D. will get plenty of opportunities to run over defenders.

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rshacklefordAug. 22, 12 5:28 AM

"I'm 11,603 behind Emmitt?" Peterson said. "Yeah, I can do it. How long did Emmitt play? Fifteen years? We'll see. But that would be cool." ---- Don't be a fool AP. Take the money and save your ability to walk. Emmitt was just a lucky guy.

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TabarnooshAug. 22, 12 7:35 AM

As a Vikings fan I HATE everything about the Cowboys but you have to give props to Smith. However, Smith didn't do it alone. He worked behind one of the all time great offensive lines that was together for many years. He had a QB and WR Irvin to keep the defense honest instead of cheating up the line like the Vikings have faced for most of Peterson's career, so far. Imagine what Peterson could do with a stellar O line.

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joe_anokaAug. 22, 12 8:35 AM

Let's not forget, Emmitt had one of the best offensive lines in the history of the NFL plus Moose Johnston!

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glowAug. 22, 12 9:07 AM

I consider Barry Sanders to be the best back ever although I remember specific games in which I never saw a back as dominating as Earl Campbell. Barry did it by himself and Earl didn't need help either. Tony Dorsett used to scorch the Vikings for 7 yards on first down over and over. He'd be trapped in the backfield for a loss one second and, the next, it would 2nd and 3 Dallas. He drove me crazy.

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widow124Aug. 22, 12 1:30 PM

It was no secret that Emmit had a dominant, road-grating o-line. Also had teamates that defenses had to respect (TE J.Novacek, WR's A.Harper, M.Irvin as well as M.Johnston blocking out of the backfield. This is a stark contrast to the 8 or even 9-man fronts that are totally keying on Peterson, as the Vikings have rarely had any other threats on offense during AP's career (besides Harvin & S.Rice). I consider B.Sanders, W.Payton, J.Brown, E.Dickerson, E.Campbell all better than Emmit. Sayers and Bo Jackson had more potential as well, if not for their injuries. Just my opinion

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footballubetAug. 23, 1210:41 AM

Nothing is ever out of reach, and things change all the time. Yes, it's more of a passing league now, but like everything else, it's not a permanent change. Offenses and defenses will continue to evolve or go with the flavor of the day. And one day all the parts will fall in place and someone will beat the record.

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nowilfare3Aug. 23, 1211:20 AM

Peterson has to be kidding himself if he thinks he will even crack the top 10 all time rushers.

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frannytAug. 23, 1211:40 PM

I've never like Smith. He was a large part of the reason players can't remove their helmets on the playing field. It used to be Smith scored a touchdown and off comes the helmet so everyobe could see his face. Arogant with a capital "A". With that being said I hope like hell A.P. can overtake him but I doubt it...

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