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Peterson excited for new role in offense, still has Smith in sights

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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said Thursday he is excited for his new role in the Vikings offense.

With new offensive coordinator Norv Turner taking over, Peterson's role in the offense could see some major changes.

Turner has coached some good running backs during his NFL career, including both San Diego's LaDanian Tomlinson and Dallas' Emmitt Smith. No matter where he has gone, his running backs have always factored in the passing game.

Peterson has never been asked to catch a lot of passes, though. His highest total came in 2009 when he caught 43 passes from former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.

That is expected to change with Turner calling the plays.

"My rushing yards might not be up to par, but it's not about that," Peterson told the USA Today. "It's all about winning. I'm trying to win a championship, so if that (means) taking less of a pounding and being more productive in the pass game, I'm all-in for it."

Peterson has been participating in the Vikings minicamp this week at Winter Park. He is coming off a disappointing season (for him), in which he ran for 1,266 yards while he was bothered with ankle and groin injuries.

"I've caught a lot of passes," Peterson said to FOX Sports North. "I just haven't had an offense that really distributes the ball to the running back a lot. That will change, for sure."

That doesn't mean Peterson still isn't thinking about putting up big numbers on the ground.

In an interview with ESPN, Peterson said he still has designs on breaking Smith's all-time rushing record of 18,355 yards.

"It's definitely a goal," Peterson said. "It's not my main focus. But it's something that's right there on top of the chart [that] I'm consciously aware of."

It won't be easy though, ESPN writer Ben Gossling points out Peterson trails a lot of Smith's marks after seven years.

– Peterson: 103 games, 2,033 carries, 10,115 yards, 5.0 yards per carry, 86 rushing touchdowns.

– Smith: 108 games, 2,334 carries, 10,160 yards, 4.4 yards per carry, 108 rushing touchdowns.

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