Minnesota’s star running back, Adrian Peterson, missed the team’s mandatory minicamp because he attended “Adrian Peterson Day” in his hometown, Palestine, Texas. Head Coach Brad Childress was not pleased about it and publicly questioned his biggest offensive weapon’s decision to miss the entire minicamp. I am with the coach on this one.
I discussed voluntary OTAs this spring. You know how I feel. If it’s voluntary, players should not be ridiculed publicly for not attending. Mandatory minicamps are different. It is part of a player’s professional responsibilities. If it is not life or death, a player should be there and on time. I’m not saying that a player should miss an event in his honor, but something tells me that Peterson knew the date of this event in time to reschedule. Furthermore, it was one day. Why did he miss the entire weekend of camp?
I understand some fans will point to Brett Favre and say that Minnesota gives him a pass all summer long and disciplines Peterson for missing one camp. When called out about this point, Childress answered, “I don't think Adrian is batting around retirement in his mind. It's a special set of circumstances. ... Is everything equal? Obviously it's not. That's just the way it is. It's a matter of fact. I think everyone understands that from our side."
I think we would all like a world where everything is equal, but that is not our reality. As one of the senior leaders at my first job told me, “Rank has its privileges.” Brett Favre definitely has rank. Peterson is good. He was Offensive Rookie of the Year and has been to the Pro Bowl every year of his three-year career. However, this does not compare to the 19-year veteran’s stats, contributions, accomplishments or leadership.
I appreciate Childress’ candor about the privileges that Brett has. Right or wrong, at least everyone knows what the rules are and has clear expectations. Note to the Vikings: Don’t try to use “Favre Rules” if you are not Favre.
Heels & Helmets