Despite the dire warnings of observers who feared the negative influence of Brett Favre‘s presence, the Vikings locker room has been conspicuously schism-free all season long. That’s what winning 10 of your first 11 will do for you.
Now, however, the Vikings are coming off by far their worst performance of the year. In losing to Arizona, the Vikes seemed to fall flat in all aspects of the game. And, with such a failure naturally comes a bit of griping and finger-pointing.
Perhaps surprisingly, the first real shot has come from the normally soft-spoken Adrian Peterson.
All right, I’ll admit: calling AD’s comment a “shot” is a bit of a stretch. It’s more a frank observation…that could be interpreted as a shot.
The remark comes via Sean Jensen‘s twitter page. After AD’s press availability on Thursday, Jensen tweeted the following:
Adrian Peterson said it felt like “everyone wasn’t there” against the Cardinals. “It can have a trickle down effect.”
That can be taken any number of ways, I suppose (I’m sure we’ll get more context at a later time), but I take it to mean that, in Adrian’s mind, there was a lack of focus and emotional involvement among certain members of the team and coaching staff, and as the game wore on, this listlessness permeated through the rest of the squad, leading to disaster.
I also infer from Adrian’s statement that he doesn’t count himself among those who weren’t “there.” In other words, he gave his maximum effort, and still ended up with just 19 yards on 13 carries.
I’ll give AD this: If there’s anyone on the Vikings who has reason to be frustrated, it’s him. He’s getting smoked by Chris Johnson in the rushing title chase, and most agree it’s at least as much the offensive line and coaches’ faults as his. That being said, I still have to question whether a guy who’s coming off not only one of the worst games of his career but an idiotic legal transgression too is in any position to be pointing fingers at anyone.
Then again, maybe this sort of thing is what the team needs. Maybe this is Adrian stepping up and taking a leadership role. Maybe the Vikings did get fat-and-happy after their 10-1 start, and AD is only being honest.
It is, at any rate, interesting to get such a seemingly blunt take from the normally prudent Peterson.
And I’d really like to know which guys he thinks didn’t bring it.