MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Adrian Peterson can still hear the raspy, booming voice in the back of his head.
Eric Bieniemy, his position coach with the Minnesota Vikings for his first four NFL seasons, sure didn’t give the star running back the star treatment. Bieniemy yelling tough-love instruction at a young Peterson was one of the familiar sounds of a Vikings practice from 2007-10.READ MORE: During Resentencing Of Mohamed Noor, Judge Asks: What Changes Have Been Made To Minneapolis Police?
Now, Bieniemy is the running backs coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, who play at Minnesota on Sunday. So Peterson will have the opportunity before and after the game to greet one of his old mentors.
Peterson was watching the Chiefs play Denver last month on television when he saw contemporary and fellow Texas native Jamaal Charles lose two fumbles that ultimately cost Kansas City a victory.
“I was like, ‘Oh, Lord. I can just imagine what he’d be saying to him on the sideline,'” Peterson said. “I was actually going to call E.B. and say something to him about it, but I was like, ‘He might cuss me out.’ But I’m kind of glad I didn’t because I think that following Sunday I fumbled the ball three times. I lost one. I thought about him then, too: ‘I can just imagine what E.B. would be saying right now.'”
Charles won’t play this week, or at all the rest of the year. He tore the ACL in his right knee last week.
Here are some key angles to know about the game Sunday:
DEFENDING THE PASS DEFENSE: The Chiefs’ secondary has been taking heat for failing to stop Jay Cutler in the fourth quarter last week in the 18-17 loss to Chicago, but the inability of the front seven to put pressure on the Bears quarterback was the root of the problem. The Chiefs only have 11 sacks this season, and All-Pro outside linebacker Justin Houston has just three after setting a franchise record with 22 last season.
Kansas City, which has allowed a league-most 13 touchdowns passing this year, was second in the NFL in 2014 with an average of 17.6 points allowed per game. The Chiefs were fifth in sacks last season and seventh in yards allowed.
“We’re not ourselves,” free safety Husain Abdullah said. “Last year, regardless of the situation or the moment we were put in, we were able to make the play, and this year we haven’t been so fortunate.”READ MORE: 'Really Disgusting And Elaborate': Alleged Sex Competition Prompts Protest, Investigation At Minnesota College
FAMILIAR FACES: Bieniemy won’t be the only former Vikings coach to revisit Minnesota this weekend. Chiefs assistant Brad Childress was head coach of the Vikings for four-plus seasons before being fired in 2010.
Childress, who carries the unique title of spread game analyst/special projects while serving as a jack-of-all-trades of sorts and a trusted adviser to head coach Andy Reid, first worked with Reid on the staff at Northern Arizona. In 1986, when Reid was the offensive line coach and Childress was the offensive coordinator, the Lumberjacks beat the Weber State Wildcats 45-24 in a Big Sky Conference game.
Weber State’s defensive coordinator that day? Mike Zimmer, now Vikings head coach.
RUNNING BACK COMMITTEE: Without Charles, the Chiefs will rely on backup Knile Davis, undrafted free agent Charcandrick West and ex-LSU standout Spencer Ware. The powerful Davis has played well in relief the past two seasons. West, the pride and product of Abilene Christian, is a smaller, elusive runner in the mold of Charles. Ware was just elevated from the practice squad.
“Coach Reid is a genius,” West said. “He makes us fit in this offense. He puts us where we need to be in the right spot.”
SAFETY DANCE: The Vikings have had a rising star in the secondary since drafting Harrison Smith in the first round in 2012, but they’ve had trouble stabilizing the other starting safety spot since then. Robert Blanton and Andrew Sendejo have both had opportunities this year, and Zimmer hinted that Antone Exum could play some there this week, too.
Abdullah was a starter there for the Vikings over two seasons until a concussion forced him out in 2011.
SUPER BOWL REUNION: As part of a season-long celebration of the 50th Super Bowl, the NFL has recognized 19 rematches on the 2015 schedule, including the Chiefs and Vikings, who played for the championship on Jan. 11, 1970, in New Orleans. The Vikings were scheduled to have 11 former players on hand, all of whom played in their four Super Bowl defeats.
The Chiefs have lost 13 of their 16 playoff games since they beat the Vikings that day more than 45 years ago, last winning in the tournament following the 1993 season.MORE NEWS: Mohamed Noor Resentenced To 57 Months For Manslaughter In Justine Ruszczyk Damond’s Shooting Death
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