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Bradford Welcomes Challenge From Seattle's Defense, Atmosphere

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford has played three regular-season games in Seattle, meaning he's no stranger to the deafening and hostile environment that awaits him Friday night.

But the biggest challenge Minnesota's offense will face won't even be thousands of screaming fans in the Pacific Northwest.

That will come in the form of Seattle's defense, a unit Bradford had high praise for Wednesday morning at Winter Park.

"Obviously they're a really good defense, probably one of the best defenses in the league," Bradford said. "I think it's good for us to go on the road and see them during the preseason so some of younger guys can get a greater understanding for what road games are like (and) and what an atmosphere like Seattle will be like when we do have to go on the road in the regular season.

"I think it's a great challenge for us, just knowing how good they've been traditionally on defense in the past," Bradford added. "We'll have to go out there and accept that challenge and play well on Friday."

The Seahawks defense has finished in the top 10 in points allowed per game every season since 2011, including a four year run in the top spot from 2012-2015.

Seattle has had eight different players make the Pro Bowl since 2011, with cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and linebacker Bobby Wagner each earning multiple All-Pro nods during that time.

With plenty of talent slated to be across the line of scrimmage from him Friday, Bradford knows there will be more a regular-season feel to the preseason contest.

That's why Bradford said Wednesday that he actually welcomes any blitzes the Seahawks throw at him, as it will help him and the Vikings offense get ready for their Week 1 opener in less than four weeks against New Orleans.

"You can try to simulate it in practice, but it's not the same as it is when it comes to game days," Bradford said. "I think all the blitz work that you can see during the preseason, it can have its benefits just because it's hard to simulate the speed, the pick game, the splits that we see on Sundays. 

"It's hard to really recreate that in a practice atmosphere," Bradford added.

But even with a rowdy crowd and stout defense on tap for Friday, Bradford said his biggest goal is to have Minnesota's first-team offense be more productive than it was in the preseason opener in Buffalo.

Bradford and the Vikings top unit amassed 34 yards in 13 plays on three series in Buffalo. and the quarterback was sacked twice. Bradford completed five of seven passes for 35 yards.

Even though Friday's game is still a preseason contest and doesn't mean anything in the standings, Bradford said the offense wants to up its production.

"It's really the same thing you're looking to get out of every game," Bradford said. "Go out there and look sharp, play crisp, good communication in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage between myself and the center (with) making sure we're on the same page with protections.

"And then just go out there and execute," Bradford said.

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