The Vikings Head Coach sounded like a man whose thoughts on Peterson could not be any farther away from his mind.
Mike Zimmerman is not concerned in the least that running back Adrian Peterson is skipping OTAs over his continued dispute with the organization. Peterson remains stubborn about not wanting to play for Minnesota again in his playing career, pushing to be released or traded away to a different team.
Meanwhile, the Vikings front office is keeping the All-Pro running back in Minneapolis and will not let him go since he does have a continuing and active contract with the franchise. It is a battle of stalemates that looks like it has no end or resolution in sight. It is this fact and many others that Zimmerman is paying no attention to nor giving any part of his thinking or energy. Here is what Zimmerman further said about the Peterson situation (via Elliott Smith, CBS Sports):
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “I got 89 guys out here I’m coaching and trying to get better.”
Very well put by the head coach and rightfully so that he thinks that. He has so many other players that are actually in OTAs and are there to work hard and get better as players that concerning himself with one player in Peterson would completely disrupt and halt any progress he is making with these other 89 players he has on hands right now.
These OTAs are crucial for head coaches in the NFL to get a look at their personnel and see who can really emerge as legitimate players who can be envisioned as ones who can help the team on a regular basis come the start of the regular season. The player development that occurs during these practices is invaluable to Zimmerman himself and his coaching staff as they can gauge and adjust their style of play to the skill sets of these players they get to watch during this period in the offseason.
Peterson is a great player, but the time and energy drained on this whole situation has already gone way past normal and now is just a lingering annoyance for the whole organization to have to deal with it continuously. You hope for all involved that this situation at some point gets resolved, but who knows when that day might arrive, if ever.
Zimmerman will thank himself later for continuing to push on and ignore this whole Peterson mess, as the work, energy, and focus on the rest of the players will come to pay dividends for the franchise as they will have a clear mind and be able to shape and mold this roster with all the data and information they will get from working these guys out in OTAs and spending that quality time with all of them.
The team will be better for it in the long run while others involve themselves in the Peterson soap opera, which still has many more twists and turns to go through before it reaches its finale.