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Zimmer wants Peterson to prove he’s a leader, Peterson says he will

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Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has heard what his new coach has to say about leadership, and Peterson says he’s up to the task.

Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer said in an interview with 104.9 The Horn in Austin that he wanted to see how Peterson works before he’s ready to proclaim Peterson a team leader.

“Adrian is the most well-known player on the team,” Zimmer said, via the Pioneer Press. “That doesn’t necessarily mean those guys are the leaders.”

There’s been some talk that Zimmer was calling Peterson out with those comments, but Peterson says he’s on board with what Zimmer is saying.

“I definitely understand where he’s coming from when he says that,” Peterson said, via ESPN. “He doesn’t know me that well. I met him. We talked. We chatted once or twice. I’m sure not only me, but everyone else has to prove that they are leaders of the team. That’s something that I really take pride in as well. That’s all a part of me taking care of my business when I’m away from the facility. It’s normal. It’s a normal routine for me.”

In an ideal locker room, the best players would also be the best leaders. Peterson wants to be both.

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35 Responses to “Zimmer wants Peterson to prove he’s a leader, Peterson says he will”
  1. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 10, 2014 9:17 AM

    You can’t lead the club from the tub.

  2. bennyb82 says: Apr 10, 2014 9:27 AM

    Even if you don’t know Peterson, I think it is pretty clear he is a leader. He leads by example.

  3. moondog7 says: Apr 10, 2014 9:29 AM

    Just carry the team on your back another 5 years to prove you’re the “leader”. We will sign another bottom 5 qb to help you get to the playoffs so you can come 7 yards within the all time rushing record in a passing league. What a joke

  4. realnflmaster says: Apr 10, 2014 9:45 AM

    Can he even walk anymore?

  5. ninefingers9 says: Apr 10, 2014 9:51 AM

    Yeah, and Peterson wants Zimmer to prove HE’s a leader as well!

  6. jlmd17 says: Apr 10, 2014 9:55 AM

    Not sure he is bright enough to be a leader.

  7. Celebrity Man Guy says: Apr 10, 2014 9:57 AM

    Zimmer and Peterson will be a great combination.

  8. possumsauce says: Apr 10, 2014 9:58 AM

    Considering their respective accomplishments in the NFL, why isn’t it up to Zimmer to prove his own leadership qualities to Peterson?

  9. getadealdonealready says: Apr 10, 2014 9:59 AM

    I have been on board with most everything Zimmer has said, but seems odd to question the work ethic, of someone who is know for their work habits throughout the NFL, AD set a new standard for the time it takes a human to recover from knee surgery, I don’t think he did that sitting on the couch.

  10. dangitgary says: Apr 10, 2014 10:00 AM

    Zimmer’s the man, gotta love his approach.

  11. pfic15 says: Apr 10, 2014 10:12 AM

    Be a leader off the field first, AP.

  12. homerhanky82 says: Apr 10, 2014 10:14 AM

    Frazier treated his vets like country club members. This is zimmers way of telling EVERYONE on the team that is not going to fly with him. I applaud this method!

  13. tennesseeoilers says: Apr 10, 2014 10:18 AM

    I wish Chris Johnson had been half the leader that Adrian Peterson is.

    - Titans Fan

  14. tebowislife says: Apr 10, 2014 10:21 AM

    I sense a little too much Greg Schiano “my way or the highway” out of Zimmer so far. Is he for real? How about if you just let Adrian Peterson do things the way he has been doing them, because it’s worked pretty well so far. Bill Parcells who was as tough a coach as they come always admitted he took a different approach to dealing with Lawrence Taylor than he did with most other players.

  15. jimthebuilder27 says: Apr 10, 2014 10:46 AM

    Hard to lead when the team is dead last in the division!

  16. tjacks7 says: Apr 10, 2014 11:22 AM

    I don’t question whether Peterson is a leader. However, I do question whether Speilman can find a QB. So far, that’s much more questionable than Peterson’s leadership ability. And if he misses again and wastes another three years while the QB doesn’t develop at all.. It won’t matter how good Peterson can lead.

  17. transam7816 says: Apr 10, 2014 12:11 PM

    Sorry to say it but Zimmer is in over his head. Time will tell.

  18. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 10, 2014 12:30 PM

    Camp hasn’t even started, and Zimmer is already questioning Adrian’s leadership.

    Drama.

  19. fwippel says: Apr 10, 2014 1:06 PM

    I wouldn’t read too much into this. Zimmer is putting his mark on the team, and the recent workouts are the first time he’s been able to spend any time with his players.

    Zimmer wants a roster full of guys who are all in and fully committed to making the team the best it can be. My guess is he’ll be far less tolerant of players like Chris Cook and Erin Henderson, who could never seem to either stay out of trouble or stay on the field.

    Truth is, this team needs more leadership on the field than it has been getting, and Zimmer recognizes this. That’s a good thing.

  20. dragonfly99 says: Apr 10, 2014 1:24 PM

    Peterson will carry his share of the load, unfortunately football is team game, individual goals and accomplishments don’t figure into the final standings.

  21. purplehaze28 says: Apr 10, 2014 1:45 PM

    I see what Zimmer is doing…
    AP is already the best player in the NFL, so he’s trying to motivate him to reach the stratosphere. …enticing a hungry pitbull by using some juicy T-bones.

  22. toddc612 says: Apr 10, 2014 2:12 PM

    I like this approach from Zimmer, too. Frazier was a clown and ran his team like an undisciplined circus side-show. Zimmer is just stating he’s going to run things differently — meaning the team members will need to prove themselves, regardless of stardom.

    Now, this team just needs to dump Ponder and draft a potential stud QB, and we’ll be just fine..

  23. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 10, 2014 2:19 PM

    Perhaps this will force Adrian to address his poor leadership qualities.

    Either that, or we’ve got ourselves another Viking schism.

  24. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 10, 2014 2:24 PM

    Hey Viking fans, read this article and then I’ll give you 3 guesses why Zimmer has never been a head coach before.

  25. The Doctor says: Apr 10, 2014 2:49 PM

    The best way to lead is by example. I know the Adrian considers himself a Christian, so he better make sure that he is acting like one. He can start by staying out of the clubs and strip joints. Maybe I am getting too old, but if I were an NFL owner, I would mandate that no player was allowed to step foot in any of those places. If I were paying these guys millions of my dollars, they would have to shape up, or ship out. Don’t like my rules, go flip some burgers.

  26. tombradysponytail says: Apr 10, 2014 3:08 PM

    BTW, why is Zimmer in Austin? Shouldn’t he be in Minnesota?

  27. cheeseisfattening says: Apr 10, 2014 3:15 PM

    It was probably a phone interview

  28. seaeagle707 says: Apr 10, 2014 4:58 PM

    I see Peterson as a general mounted on his horse, sword upraised, ready to lead the troops into battle,……………….except that there’s no one behind him.

    Better luck, next time.

  29. cheeseisfattening says: Apr 10, 2014 5:03 PM

    McCarthy wants Rodgers to prove he eats a lot of cheese, Rodgers says he will.

    Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has heard what his coach has to say about eating cheese, and Rodgers says he’s up to the task.

    I won’t stop until I look just like our fans and coach Mike, Rodgers was heard to have said.

  30. shaggytoodle says: Apr 10, 2014 5:57 PM

    Being a great athlete and maximizing your talents, is completely different than being a good leader.

    That’s why team like Lions and Dolphins can’t pull it together.

  31. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 10, 2014 6:26 PM

    His illegitimate children say he’s already a great leader. In fact he’s almost like a father figure to them.

  32. golforepar says: Apr 10, 2014 6:27 PM

    AP will prove, he is not up to the challenge!

  33. zinjaboy says: Apr 10, 2014 8:03 PM

    In other cheese news, the vikings coaching staff was seen sneaking into a late night 7-11 buying up all the cheese they could for distribution to their team the next day. “If it works for the Pack, maybe it’ll work for us” coach Zimmer said.

  34. seals1 says: Apr 11, 2014 12:32 PM

    AP wanting Vick to come in and run the team was Zimmer’s first red flag. He wants to see if he comes in with an attitude that he didn’t get his guy or is going to be a team player.

    My guess is Adrian is not happy today but when the helmet goes on he only knows one speed. That is what makes him great.

  35. vikingcheesegrater says: Apr 14, 2014 5:43 PM

    I thought AD proved he was a leader when he won the award for League MVP.

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