A lot of people are irritated with Brad Childress this morning, starting with Brett Favre, who I’m sure didn’t appreciate having his performance publicly ripped by his coach in the wake of Sunday night’s Lambeau Lamefest. And then there’s Adrian Peterson who didn’t sound very happy about going to the bench in favor of Toby Gerhart in a few key situations against the Packers. Schism 2?
“I don’t have an idea,” Peterson said when asked why Childress kept shuffling him out. “I don’t call the plays. Just when they call my number I go out there and do my job.” Peterson added, “Was I surprised? I can say I was. But Toby does a great job. He has taken some steps forward in his improvement. Maybe it was a play designed for him or what-not. But I just do my job when they call my number.”
Peterson had a very good game against the Packers, running for 131 yards on 28 carries with one TD. He also made a huge play taking a screen pass for 26 yards down to the Packers 20 with the Vikings trying to get the winning score, and had at least one impressive blitz pick-up. If he’s going to run, catch and block that well, you’d figure the Vikes would want him in there, but the plan all night was to rotate in Toby Gerhart and Childress stuck with that plan, even late in the game with the Vikings scrambling to catch up. It’s one more thing for fans to question Chilly about. In the grand scheme, I don’t think the Peterson-Gerhart rotation issue was as big as, for instance, the Favre broken-body-and-bad-decisions issue.
We do have to wonder, however, when Chilly and company will come to fully trust Peterson in big game situations. They seem to have bought into the same notion a lot of fans have: that when the lights get bright, Peterson tends to wilt. Maybe last night will dispel some of that.