The Minnesota Vikings are a team that isn’t afraid to draft an athletic player and find a role for him. That’s exactly what happened when the team picked up safety Brian Peters from the Saskatchewan Roughriders this offseason. In the CFL, he flashed enough athleticism and talent to convince the Vikings want a closer look at him.
May 27, 2015; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer looks over his team as they stretch to start practice at Winter Park. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Now, Peters is making the transition from safety to linebacker. Changing leagues and teams can be hard enough for a new player, but when you add in the challenge of learning a whole new position things get even more difficult. However, head coach Mike Zimmer is encouraged with some of the things that he’s seen from Brian Peters during the change from safety to linebacker, but still wants to see just how physical of a player he can be. Because of that, he gave Peters extra reps during organized team activities and minicamp.
Here is what Zimmer had to say in a recent article on the Star Tribune website:
"“Brian is doing a nice job with all the coverage aspects of where he’s supposed to be, you’d expect that from a converted safety,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said. “The question is, when he gets the pads on how will he be in that area, so again, the physicality. But in shorts he’s doing a good job, he knows where to be, he can run, he’s pretty smart.”"
The head coach isn’t the only one who in interested in the skills that Brian Peters brings to the table. Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator George Edwards thinks that confidence when matching up with players out of the backfield is really helping Peters transition to the NFL.
"“I think safeties feel a little more comfortable in there when they are matched up with tight ends and running backs opposed to a receiver. I think he’s comfortable with the match ups and like I said, the biggest thing is transferring it to running back, getting his reads and those kinds of things.”"
Despite all the youth and competition on the Minnesota Vikings roster, all it takes is one preseason to shine to tell the Vikings to hold on to a player to see if they can get more out of them. We saw this with Adam Thielen recently, and he has gone on get actual game time during the NFL season and make one amazing special teams play where he blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown.
Hopefully, Brian Peters can have the same kind of Cinderella story that Thielen is currently building. It takes talent, hard work, and intelligence to succeed especially after being passed over since the 2012 NFL Draft. The fact that the Vikings are giving him extra time to observe means that they obviously see something special in the kid. And hopefully that translates into a spot on the active roster or practice squad for Minnesota.
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