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Pat Shurmur on Rudolph's Unselfishness, Bradford's Toughness

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Vikings tight ends coach Pat Shurmur's connections to Philadelphia run deep.

Shurmur coached Eagles tight ends and offensive line from 1999-2001 and Philadelphia's quarterbacks from 2002-08. After two seasons as Rams offensive coordinator, including Bradford's rookie season of 2010, Shurmur was head coach of the Browns for two seasons before returning to Philadelphia in 2013 as Eagles offensive coordinator.

Shurmur worked with Sam Bradford there last season, even finishing as interim head coach, before joining the Vikings staff this offseason. Shurmur was able to provide a substantial amount of information about Bradford before Minnesota executed a trade to acquire the quarterback on Sept. 3.

The vast experience in Philadelphia and with Bradford made Shurmur a well-timed guest for tonight's episode of Xs and Os on KFAN 100.3-FM that will air at 6:30 p.m. (CT).

Shurmur discussed multiple topics with "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen that ranged from the reception that Eagles fans might give Bradford, to transitioning to Minnesota, to having the opportunity to see his son Kyle Shurmur quarterback Vanderbilt to an upset at Georgia during the bye week, to assessing the play of Vikings tight ends.

Here are three highlights:

On Kyle Rudolph

"I've gained an even greater appreciation of Kyle. I knew when we evaluated him coming out of Notre Dame that he was going to be an outstanding player, but he's a better receiver than I could have imagined. He catches the ball extremely well when he's in traffic and is a much better blocker than I thought he would be.

"I think, when I watch him play, he's a very unselfish, team-type player as well," Shurmur added. "All skill players want to catch every pass that's thrown. That's just the nature of being a skill player, but he understands that there's many other things that are part of his job description that he has to do, and he handles those extremely well."

On what has helped Bradford's successful start with the Vikings

"I think he has all of the elements, all of the things you need as a quarterback. Number one, he's an outstanding decision maker from when he wakes up in the morning until he throws a pass, he understands how to make good decisions, and that's primary for a quarterback. Next, he has an outstanding sense of timing, in terms of when to get rid of the football and where it has to go. Then, we've all seen through his first four starts here that he's extremely accurate.

"All of that wrapped up, I think he's a tough son of a gun," Shurmur continued. "He's had injuries in the past, but he's really stood in there, made some throws and taken some shots in his career, which displays to me that he's got toughness."

On advice he gives to his son, Kyle, about playing quarterback

"The first thing is to tell him to listen to his mom. I think she's got the most sense, but in terms of being a quarterback, he has the talent for it. Most of what we talk about is the stuff that happens above the neck and how you play the game mentally.

"I think they have a great coaching staff that does a good job fundamentally, in terms of doing what he's supposed to do as a quarterback," Shurmur said. "The biggest thing is to make sure he learns how to compete, displays toughness and courage and goes out and does what he can to put good plays on the field."

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