EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s really the only question that matters right now: How soon can Sam Bradford be ready to take over as the Vikings starting quarterback?
“That’s a great question,” Bradford said. “I’m not sure that I really have an answer for you. I think it just takes time, it takes reps. Unfortunately we don’t have a lot of either of those.”
With the season opener just six days away, coach Mike Zimmer was noncommittal about who will start it. But if he gets up to speed fast enough, it could be Bradford.
“It’s possible,” Zimmer said. “I don’t know yet. We’ll see how it goes.”
“That’s the goal,” Bradford said, “is to progress to that point to where I feel comfortable enough to get out there, and play if I’m needed to. But I can’t tell you if that’s going to be the case or not.”
As expected, Bradford was working with the second team offense during the very limited part of practice open to the media Monday. But Zimmer said he will get first team reps this week. Asked how he’ll divide those reps between Bradford and Shaun Hill, Zimmer gave a predictably cryptic answer.
“Uh, we’re, we’re dividing them,” Zimmer said, as a smile crept across his face.
What would he need to see this week to believe Bradford’s ready?
“It’s hard to explain exactly what it would be,” Zimmer said, “but command of the offense, understand what we’re doing, know where to go with the ball, know the checks.”
Bradford and the coaches are doing all they can to get him ready as fast as they can – extra meetings, late-night cram sessions with the playbook, one-on-one walk-throughs in the indoor facility. But like learning a new language, there’s only so fast he can go.
“I think it’s really just trying to figure out what I’m comfortable with right now,” Bradford said. “The plays that we’ve put in, what have I run before? What’s from the past that I feel good with? And then (with) some of the new concepts, yeah, it’s a little bit (of), alright, we’re going to trust him.”