There was some controversy surrounding the Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback position for Week 1 of the regular season. The team traded for Sam Bradford just eight days before their first game, so a lot of people were trying to figure out if that would be enough time for him to learn the playbook and lead the team to a victory.
Learning an entire NFL playbook in a little over a week is a lot to ask of anyone, and the Vikings coaches want to make sure Bradford is ready before they throw him on the field in a game that counts. He is still not sure when he will be given the starting job, it could very well be this week against the Green Bay Packers, but he knows he is getting more and more comfortable in the offense each day.
“Obviously it’s much better now than it was at this point last week,” Bradford said. “Being able to go through a week of practice, being at the game on the sidelines, hearing the play calls, kind of visualizing the game in my head, I feel much better now.”
Another help is being able to review the tape of the game after knowing what the plan was.
Many offenses have the same plays and concepts, but the language is different in every system. Learning a new playbook is sort of like trying to learn a new language and being able to experience how the language was used in a game, before actually playing in a game, was beneficial for Bradford.
But the thing that will always be the most beneficial for the learning process is live-action reps, being able to be out on the field, working through the different plays and communicating them to his teammates. That’s why Bradford thought his first week with the Vikings was so important to him picking up the playbook.
“I think, really, where I learned the most was last week on the practice field,” he began. “Just getting live reps, getting out there running the plays, calling them in the huddle, getting to the line, going through the calls, hearing the communication. I think last week that’s really where I noticed the biggest difference and where I think I learned the most.”
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Head coach Mike Zimmer still refuses to share who his starting quarterback will be. He didn’t give any hints during his press conferences, has each quarterback doing their press conferences right after each other and even has them splitting reps during practice.
It can be hard, but Bradford believes that he is ready to start if that’s what Zimmer ultimately decides on. He feels he has a good enough understanding of what the offense is doing each play after going through practices and a game, he now just needs the chance to prove it.null