Adrian Peterson is reason Kirby Wilson can’t go to Cleveland
By Dan Zinski
Adrian Peterson needs to be placated at all costs, and that’s why the Vikings are blocking Kirby Wilson from going to Cleveland.
Vikings RB coach Kirby Wilson has a great opportunity to go to Cleveland and be a top assistant under new Browns head coach Hue Jackson. If only the Vikings would get out of the way and let him move.
The Vikings however are determined to keep Wilson on their coaching staff, and they’re not really interested in explaining their reasons why. The St. Paul Pioneer-Press got this much out of them:
"A source close to the situation had told the Pioneer Press on Friday, “Kirby is under contract. Period.”"
An explanation that explains nothing.
But anyway it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the Vikings’ real motives for keeping Wilson. The Vikes are preventing Kirby Wilson from advancing in his career because they need to keep Adrian Peterson happy.
In the two years since Wilson joined the Vikings staff, he has formed a bond with Peterson. Here’s what Peterson said about Wilson in November of this year (via Minneapolis StarTribune):
"“[Wilson is] a great guy and an even better coach,” Peterson said. “His teaching style is effective. He’s like a brother, man. It’s been fun so far. Kirby, he’s a great coach. He’s laid-back.”"
The Vikings wouldn’t dare let their Hall of Famer’s laid-back “brother” go to Cleveland. It might upset their Hall of Famer, who evidently gets upset very easily.
Well you can see why the Vikings would be so eager to placate Peterson after all the terrible stuff that went down. The suspension. Kevin Warren working against him. The long offseason stand-off with all its bizarre twists and turns (that absolutely were not orchestrated by Peterson’s agent Ben Dogra).
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The Vikings patched all that up by giving Peterson guaranteed money and he repaid them with another great season if you don’t include the fumble that played a huge part in their bowing out in the first round of the playoffs.
Why risk making Peterson unhappy again by letting his brother leave for a better job?
No one should be surprised that the Vikings are actively working to keep Kirby Wilson from moving on and up in his career, even though it makes them look sort of selfish and petty.
Would it be good PR for the Vikings to graciously allow minority coach Kirby Wilson to accept a promotion? Yes it would.
Is it bad PR for the Vikings to appear non-progressive by blocking a minority coach from taking advantage of a rare opportunity to climb up the ladder? Kind of, yes.
But the Vikings have already proven that they’re willing to take any kind of PR hit for the sake of Peterson. When it comes to Peterson, appearances don’t matter.
Once again the Vikings are bending over backward to keep Peterson happy, just like last year when they caved in and gave him the guaranteed money he was seeking.
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Those who think it’s high-time the Vikings stopped hitching their wagon to aging, fumble-prone Peterson and moved on to a new era and a new philosophy built around Teddy Bridgewater and the passing game, you can put that whole silly notion out of your head.
The Vikings aren’t going to cut Peterson ahead of the deadline for his guaranteed money to kick in and they aren’t going to trade him. They are going into 2016 possessed of the same old tired belief that Peterson can carry them to a title.
Clearly, the Vikings do not believe Teddy Bridgewater is good enough to get it done. This is still Adrian Peterson’s team, and the fans are going to have to live with that. And so is Kirby Wilson.