Childress sends AP, Vikings a messageIt would have been easy for Brad Childress to let this one slide. His Minnesota Vikings were preparing for a game they absolutely needed to win in a situation — on the road and outdoors — where they have struggled historically to do just that.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — It would have been easy for Brad Childress to let this one slide.
His Minnesota Vikings were preparing for a game they absolutely needed to win in a situation — on the road and outdoors — where they have struggled historically to do just that.
So when star running back Adrian Peterson arrived late to the team’s weekly pregame meeting on Saturday, it would have been hard to blame the coach for looking the other way to keep his best player on the field against Jacksonville.
But the no-nonsense Childress made a gutsy move and sent his team a blunt message — the rules apply to EVERYONE.
Childress benched Peterson for the first two series against the Jaguars on Sunday, starting Chester Taylor in his place as the Vikings fought to keep pace with the Bears and Packers atop the NFC North.
When asked if it was a difficult decision, Childress said, “Not at all. Everybody understands what the ground rules are.
“We don’t have a lot of rules. But if you set your fence posts deep, there are some rules that are nonnegotiable. Really don’t care if it’s a practice squad guy or, as you say, the best player on the team.”
Peterson entered the game as the NFL’s leading rusher, and it’s no secret that the success of the offense hinges primarily on his broad shoulders and razor-sharp cuts.
Starting cornerback Cedric Griffin also was benched for being late.
The Vikings jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first 2 minutes of the game thanks to the turnover-prone Jaguars en route to a 30-12 victory, but the gravity of the move to bench the team’s most explosive player was not lost on his team.
The effect on the field may have been minimal, but it was a different story in the locker room.
“That’s Brad tightening us up a little bit,” tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said Monday. “We have to have some discipline in here and that’s what Brad did. He established that discipline and everybody has to walk that straight line because one thing can affect everybody. That’s pretty good that he took charge like that.”
Peterson owned up to his mistake after the game and said he understood the coach’s decision.
“That’s one thing I know about our coach: There’s no prima donnas,” Peterson said. “Whatever the situation is, no matter the extent of it, you just have to accept the consequences.”