The loss of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was a difficult one for the Minnesota Vikings organization. Coaches and players were saying that the team would be fine and they would be able to transition to backup Shaun Hill just fine, but what were they going to say?
They weren’t going to come out and say the team was in trouble. That would cause a whole new set of problems that no one wanted to deal with. But it was clear to everyone that the Vikings, who were in a prime position to make a playoff run, needed to do something if they hoped to keep that dream alive.
Even former Vikings quarterback and recent Hall of Fame inductee Brett Favre weighed in on the loss when he co-hosted his first SiriusXM NFL Radio show on Tuesday.
“Man, tough, tough break for Teddy and a tough break for Minnesota,” Favre began. “Can you overcome it? Yeah, you can overcome it, but you sure would like to have your quarterback. And, you know, I felt like Teddy was really starting to come into his own. It seemed to me that their team was becoming - what they would say is a real team, a legitimate team. And that’s just a big blow. And I’ve been there when we’ve lost a guy like that and coach always says, ‘Hey, we plug the next guy in. We go on. That’s what we do.’ And it’s easier said than done, especially when it is the quarterback position.”
The Vikings would eventually bring in Sam Bradford, via a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, eight days before their first regular season game. He might not be able to play by then, but the hope is that he will be able to learn the playbook and acclimate himself to his teammates fast enough to lead them for a majority of the season.
Favre, who knows a thing or two about playing quarterback in the NFL, is a big fan of the move by the Vikings to bring Bradford in. Regardless of who starts Week 1, just by having him in uniform means that the Vikings have a little more wiggle room in case something goes wrong with him or Hill.
Favre also believes that Bradford’s skill set fits very well with offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s system. Last year, Bradford completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,725 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 14 regular season games; and that was in an offense that Favre doesn’t think he was built to run.
His skill set just didn’t fit well with what former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly wanted to do, according to Favre, but he was still able to have success. Now, he is moving into Turner’s system, where Favre likes him a lot more.
“I think he’s tailor-made for that type of system,” the Hall of Fame quarterback said of Bradford’s transition to the Vikings. “When the focus is on Adrian Peterson and the run game, that’s great, you can kind of transition slowly. But I think it really fits what his style of play is. So I thought it was a good move.”
When fans hear Bradford’s name, they instantly think about him being injury-prone. He has suffered two ACL injuries, a high ankle sprain, a concussion and a sprained shoulder since entering the NFL in 2010, injuries that have caused him to miss a total of 34 regular season games, including the entire 2014 season.
His injury history concerns a lot of fans, but Favre doesn’t think the injuries are a factor of Bradford being injury prone, more just him having bad luck.
“The only thing I know is what all other fans know, is what I’ve seen,” Favre began. “Yes, he’s had injuries but I look at his injuries … he’s had legit injuries that there’s nothing he could have done to come back and play. And it was unfortunate and some guys kind of are snakebit that way. He has been snakebit. Will that happen again? I don’t know, but I think he is tough, I think he has all the tools and I think he is resilient because of what he has had to go through. And I think this system, much like Philly’s (current) system would have fit him perfectly, this one in Minnesota is a perfect fit. I think what’s unfortunate for Teddy is a great opportunity for Sam.”
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It is still unclear how Bradford’s future will play out with the Vikings, but what is clear is he has the approval of a Hall of Fame quarterback, who is also the last player to lead the Vikings to an NFC Championship game.