Adrian Peterson will carry a grudge into the 2018 NFL regular season.
The Washington Redskins running back blasted Shannon Sharpe and Cris Carter for doubting his ability to be an impact player at age 33. Sharpe and Carter this week used their respective platforms on FOX Sports’ “First Things First” and “Undisputed” to downplay Peterson’s chances of demonstrating the form that made him rush for more than 12,000 yards during his career and win the NFL’s MVP Award in 2012.
Peterson joined the Redskins earlier this month on a one-year contract, and many believe the move represents his last chance to make significant on-field contributions to an NFL team. He admitted to USA TODAY’s Jarrett Bell on Wednesday Carter’s and Sharpe’s criticisms were painful to hear.
“Watching some of the things they said about me, man, it really hurt me to the core,” Peterson said. “Not only are they black men, but these are people I looked up to. And these are people that made mistakes, especially Cris Carter. So some of the things that came out of his mouth, not only personally, but about me as a player — ‘Aw, he’s washed up and this, that and the other, and he should just retire’ — how dare you.
“Then Shannon Sharpe, the same thing. He said some things and I’m just like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that would come out of your mouth.’ I understand that people are entitled to their opinions. That’s the way of the world. But they are in a position where millions of people are watching them.”
Peterson then revealed his master plan to silence Sharpe, Carter and those who agree with them: He aims to lead the NFL in rushing yards for the third time in his career and first time since 2012.
“What I’m going to do when I ball out this year,” Peterson said. “I’m going to have all my fans … look up all the people who (said) something negative about me and put them on blast and prove that when they are on TV, they don’t know what they’re talking about.”
Peterson predicts he’ll thrive running behind the Redskins’ offensive line.
“A great offensive line is what I’m looking forward to the most,” he said. “I haven’t had a line in a long time. … this line is top-notch. It’s going to give me something I haven’t seen since the beginning of my career.”
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images