After last year's 3-13 record and last-place finish in the NFC East, the Washington Redskins have nowhere to go but up.
However, veteran running back Adrian Peterson is aiming much higher.
"I really feel like we have what it takes to be that team that takes it all the way," Peterson told reporters Thursday on a Zoom call. "It’s all about just getting the pieces together, getting into our rhythm and molding as the season starts."
There's certainly some optimism at Redskins Park with new coach Ron Rivera and defensive end Chase Young, the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, coming on board.
Redskins running back Adrian Peterson rushed for a team-leading 828 yards and five touchdowns last season. (Photo: Rich Barnes, USA TODAY Sports)
However, one offseason move the front office made didn't sit particularly well with Peterson — trading away seven-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams.
"I didn't really like the trade, obviously. I feel like Trent is the best offensive lineman in the game," Peterson said. "I was hoping there would be some good ending to him and what the Redskins were dealing with, but I’m happy for him."
At least Peterson will be somewhat familiar with the new offense that coordinator Scott Turner is installing. The two worked together in Minnesota, where Peterson had his most dominant seasons.
Now 35, Peterson isn't looking to rush for over 2,000 yards again or lead the NFL in carries. His personal goals are team goals: "Win the NFC East and put ourselves in a position to compete for a championship."
Perhaps it's just preseason optimism, but Peterson said this team has "the best talent pool that we’ve had" in his three seasons with the Redskins. If that's the case, maybe an NFC East title isn't aiming high enough.
"We have the tools to run the table," he said. "I really feel that."
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