Adrian Peterson made his decision earlier this year to skip minicamp to attend Adrian Peterson day in his hometown of Palestine, Texas. Last week, Brad Childress' reaction to that decision caused a stir of reaction as well.
"I just know that there's a bunch of guys here. This has the term mandatory for a reason. The work's here," Childress said. "You can say whatever you want. This is the fourth annual Adrian Peterson day. I don't know if it's going to be like every year they're going to have that, but we're going to have this (minicamp) too."
Earlier this week, tight end Visanthe Shiancoe was asked about Peterson's absence during an interview with Sirius NFL Radio.
"For it to be minicamp, it's always going to be surprising to not have somebody there. Everybody's priorities aren't the same," said Shiancoe, who was then asked what Peterson's priorities are.
"You know that Adrian is going to work hard. That's one thing that I know about Adrian. It's not like he's going to come back out of shape. He's been in the system three years. Not to make any excuse for him, but he's been in the system a long time."
One of the things that appeared to irk Childress is that Peterson didn't tell his head coach of the conflict until a few days before minicamp. Even on the opening day last week, Childress said he wasn't sure if Peterson was going to attend that practice and then fly to Texas for his celebration.
Shiancoe tried to avoid getting too in-depth on what exactly happened with the lines of communication or getting into second-hand stories.
Some have speculated that Peterson's absence might have been triggered by a desire to get a new contract. But Peterson is better compensated than the top two yardage-producing running backs from last year, the Titans' Chris Johnson and Ravens' Ray Rice. Peterson also realistically has two years left on his contract (the 2012 season will likely be voided), but Shiancoe said there hasn't been any talk among players about Peterson's contract.
"There's been no discussion (in the locker room) about that. I don't know nothing about his contract. But whenever he gets it, it's going to be a huge one," Shiancoe said.
Of course, the biggest issue with Peterson is his propensity to fumble. He led all non-quarterbacks last year with seven fumbles and six lost during the regular season. He fumbled two more in the NFC Championship Game loss and could have been credited with a third.
He showed up for a couple of practices earlier last week and was filmed by NFL Network carrying a 14-pound, sand-filled football, the equivalent of medicine ball, while going through drills with position coach Eric Bieniemy and other running backs.
"It's akin to putting a weight on a bat and swinging it before you go to the plate," Childress said.
That was one of the suggestions to help cure his fumbles that came out of an offseason study focused on those mistakes.
Shiancoe was confident the issue would be cured, whether Peterson showed up for minicamp or not.
"There is no way possible – me knowing Adrian personally and also on the field as a professional as a teammate – there is no way possible, I feel, that he's going to allow another year of this ‘problem.' I know his work ethic," Shiancoe said. "During the season, when this guy is squatting 405 pounds, just repping it during the season in the middle of the season, you know this guy is working hard. … There's no way possible he will come back with the problem. I know he's fixing that."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Shiancoe talks Peterson and fumbling
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