*Vikings Quarterback Sam Bradford *
Q: How did it feel out there today?
A: It felt good. It felt better today than it did yesterday, that's for sure. Obviously it's a little bit of an adjustment, trying to not only learn a new system but adjust to the personnel and try to figure out how to throw to different guys. Felt much better than it did yesterday, that's for sure.
Q: What's a reasonable amount of time for you to feel comfortable with the offense?
A: I'm not sure that I really have an answer. It just takes time, it takes reps. Unfortunately we don't have a lot of either of those. I've had to learn new offenses in the past. I don't know if I've ever had to learn one quite this fast or in this much of a hurry. Yesterday, kind of got thrown into the fire, everything at once. I think that's how we're going to have to do it. As far as an exact timeframe, I'm not really sure.
Q: Would you feel comfortable playing this Sunday?
A: That's the goal, 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.
Q: What about the learning process changes when it has to happen this quickly?
A: Everything is just sped up. Normally when you learn a system you start with the base things and you kind of build on that. You talk about the variations off your base plays and you kind of take it step-by-step. Obviously here, going into Week One of the regular season, all those variations are already in. You don't really have time to take it step-by-step. You just have to learn everytbing at once and that's how it has to be.
Q: How much of the playbook do you know?
A: I only know what we've done the last two days, or what they've taught me in the past two days. As far as what percentage that is of the playbook, I don't know I'm sure it's a very small percentage. I can tell you, with what we've done in the past few days, I feel pretty good with those.
Q: Is there some carry over with you playing for Pat Shurmur previously?
A: Yeah, I think conceptually there is some carry over. There's some plays that we run that are the same, if not the exact same but very similar to things I've done in the past. Obviously the big part is the communication. The line calls, the way we call plays in the huddle, the language. It's all different. Trying to convert it from what it was in the past to what it's called here. That's kind of the tough part of the process right now.
Q: Does that communication help fall on Joe Berger?
A: Yeah, obviously it would help a lot for him to help with some of the calls up there considering I've probably only learned a few of the protections right now.
Q: Does it become sandlot football?
A: I'm not sure if it's quite sandlot football. I think it's really just trying to figure out what I'm comfortable with right now. The plays that we've put in, what I've run before and what's from the past that I feel good with. Then some of the new concepts it's like we're going to trust him and hope he gets open right here.
Q: How long do you think it'll take until you're fully up to speed?
A: I don't know. I wish I could tell you that. I've been in offenses before where you pick it up easier than you do with others. Hopefully it'll be the case here, but an exact timeframe I don't know.
Q: What's the last couple of days been for you?
A: A lot of meetings. A lot of one-on-one walkthroughs in the indoor practice field just trying to learn as much as I can in a short period of time in the shortest time possible that I can.
Q: What have your conversations with Shaun Hill been like?
A: They've been great. The good news about this situation is that Shaun and I were together in St. Louis. We had a great relationship in St. Louis. We had great (quarterback) room there. It's been nice having a familiar face in the quarterback room and being able to talk to him. We talked about this play in the meeting room, 'like how do you really see it? Where do you think the ball goes versus this coverage?' He's been super helpful, so it's been great seeing Shaun again.
Q: Does Adrian Peterson and the defense help you adjust?
A: Yeah, obviously it's nice knowing that we've got the best running back in the game and one of the best defenses in the league. We're probably not going to have to go out there and throw it 60-plus times a game and put up a lot of points. But you still have to come in and you still have to put in the time to learn the new offense. I want to be efficient as I possibly can when I step on the field.
Q: Does it help that you've played in so many different systems? Or does it just get confusing at some point?
A: No. I think it does help. I've gone through this process before. I understand what it takes to learn an offense. I think being around and having done it I'm more comfortable. If I see a play that I'm just not comfortable with speaking up, hey I just don't see it that well. I've dealt with worse in the past and I might've tried to force it or speaking up earlier in the process and letting them know that I'm really comfortable with these concepts. I've run them in the past. If we could lean on those, it would help me. I think learning separate offenses I've seen a lot of football, so I think those will carryover from all the systems here to be honest.
Q: Typically, we see quarterbacks work with their wide receivers all offseason, sometimes into summer. You're sort of learning how these guys run routes on the fly?
A: Yeah, obviously, it's not ideal. Like you said, normally you have an offseason. You have a summer to at least work on some of that timing, but I just think that means that every rep we get in practice is more important. We've got to be focused. I've got to be focused. We've got to take advantage of every throw in practice, get throws after practice and make sure that we're all on the same page.
Q: How many times have you been to Minnesota before Saturday?
Q: When was that?
A: That was a family reunion when I was probably like six or seven years old, so 20 years ago.
Q: Trying to learn a new offense, can the tight end become one of your best friends, given that he tends to be in your vision down the middle of the field a little bit more?
A: I hope so. Obviously, as a quarterback, I think, one of the first things you do, is you try to pick out the couple guys on each play, the couple guys in the system, you can get the ball to pretty much regardless of what the play call is, and just develop chemistry with someone, a couple guys. You've really just got to have someone you trust, and I think we're trying to develop that in practice right now. Hopefully it will be there.
Q: Has Kyle Rudolph been one of those guys to you?
A: Yeah, it has been great working with him so far. Obviously, he's a really big target. His catch radius, I've notched in the past two days, is really large. It seems like you can put the ball anywhere around him, and he comes down with it. He's a guy that I've spent some time with after practice yesterday, after practice today, just trying to get a feel for him.
Q: Have you talked to Teddy Bridgewater at all?
A: Yeah, actually, I saw him in there today and talked to him briefly, and I really just want to offer, to tell him, 'If you want to talk about the process and what it's like, I know what it's like going through that rehab.' I know it's tough. I know there are good days. I know there are bad days. If you had any questions, I wanted to make it known that I was available and willing to talk to him about it, and then I asked him if he could please be here as much as possible to help me out, I would really appreciate that, too.
Q: What really helped you in your recovery process?
A: Just taking it day by day. I think sometimes if you look too far ahead or you expect yourself to immediately take a jump and get better, I think sometimes it can get frustrating, because it's a long process, and it takes time. It seems like every now and then, you take two steps forward, but then you take a step back. You've just got to be patient, and I just think taking it one day at a time is something that really kind of helped me through that process.
*Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer *
Q: What are your thoughts on the acquisition to bring in Sam Bradford, and what do you like about him and how do you think he can help you guys out?
A: Yeah, he throws the ball great. He has been a starting quarterback and number one pick in the draft. I said after Teddy (Bridgewater) got hurt, that we were going to try and figure out a way how to continue to win and play good, and we're going to do everything we possibly can.
Q: When you were going through your options, did you think there was any chance a guy with that kind of pedigree would be available?
A: It's hard to say what's going to be available and what's not. I know that our guys, Rick (Spielman), worked unbelievably hard on getting this deal done, and we obviously did the due diligence with all the quarterbacks who were out there, or potentially out there, I guess.
Q: How do you think the team responded to the move? Do you think it kind of gave them an emotional lift after a tough week here?
A: Yeah, they acted good about it.
Q: Sam Bradford is a guy who has been in a number of offensive systems. Can that help him in this situation where he's trying to learn this on the fly?
A: I think concepts are the same, but it's different terminology and things like that. It's really the same for everybody when they come in. So, I'm sure him being experienced has helped and been in a couple different offenses.
Q: What's a reasonable amount of time for a guy to learn a new brand-new offense?
A: I don't know. He's doing good.
Q: How helpful is it to have Pat Shurmur to help translate that terminology into a language that Sam can understand better?
A: I think some of it is. Again, it's concepts. But he has come in, and he has studied and getting things down pretty good.
Q: Can he be ready to play this week?
A: It's possible.
Q: Is the plan to still start Shaun Hill on Sunday, though?
A: I don't know yet. We'll see how it goes.
Q: What would you need to see from Sam that would tell you he's ready?
A: It's hard to explain exactly what it would be, but command of the offense, understand what we're doing, know where to go with the ball, know the checks.
Q: How do you think Shaun has handled the addition of Sam?
A: Good. He was disappointed at first, but Shaun is a great person. He came in, and I talked to him before it was announced, obviously. I talked to Teddy, as well. He is a pro's pro, and that's the way he took it.
Q: Do you believe Sam Bradford will be the starter at some point this year, whether it's this week or not? Or will you see how it develops?
A: I don't know (because) things change. It's hard to say. I didn't think my quarterback was going to hurt his knee in a non-contact drill in practice on Tuesday. Things change and we'll see how it goes.
Q: How do you plan to divide the first team repetitions among your quarterbacks?
A: We're dividing them.
Q: What were your emotions like this week?
A: Well, I felt extremely bad for Teddy (Bridgewater) obviously. I never thought that I'd have another quarterback throughout my career other than him. You go through those things, you get over it and you go on. We'll try to do the best we can and figure out a way to win. I have a good story about Teddy if anybody wants to hear it. He's here every day down here in the training room, same kid as he always been always with a smile on his face. Xavier Rhodes always comes in and unties his shoe. You know he's sitting and you know he can't reach his shoe, so Xav does it and I was down there today and I tied it for him. I'm the shoe-tier now.
Q: Does it come with a raise?
A: No, but he deserves it.
Q: Was yesterday's practice planned all along or did the arrival of Sam Bradford prompt you to take advantage of that time?
A: It was planned.
Q: Is your offensive line where you'd hope it would be?
A: I think it's much improved. You know Matt (Kalil) has been missing for a couple of days, but I think he's had a very good camp. I think (Alex) Boone has added a lot. (Brandon) Fusco has looked much improved. Andre Smith has done a nice job in there and (Joe) Berger as well. I think they're much improved, but you always want it to be better. It wouldn't matter if they were five All-Pros, but I think they're much improved.
Q: Why didn't Willie Beavers make the 53-man roster? What didn't you see in him?
A: You know there's a lot of things. You only have 53 spots, and you're trying to figure out how you can get 10 more on the practice squad. A lot of the times it's not necessarily what they didn't do. It's more who do we feel like can get through to the practice squad and who do we think has more developmental qualities. He's had a transition from tackle to guard, which is not the easiest thing all of the time. You know with a lot of these young guys it just takes time.* *
Q: What do you see when you look at Tennessee's run defense?
A: They're stout. They're physical up front. Obviously, they're going to be – I assume they'll be stacking the line of scrimmage with a lot of run blitzes, which they always do. But, the two outside linebackers are physical guys. (Brian) Orakpo is very talented. The one end, (Jurrell) Casey I believe, he has had a bunch of sacks in his career. So, they've got a good group.
Q: Your thoughts on Dick Lebeau? He makes you and Norv Turner look like young pups.
A: He's my idol. He's an unbelievable coach. He has done it for a lone time. He's in the Hall of Fame, which is a great, great honor. He loves football, he loves coaching and he always has his guys prepared.
Q: Have your paths cross much, you and Dick?
A: Usually, when he was at Pittsburgh, we played each other a lot. I don't really talk to him too much. I talked to him at the Hall of Fame game, whenever it was, when we played there.
Q: What would you say his identity is as a defensive coordinator?
A: Pressure. He's a big zone blitz guy and figuring out ways. He was a former head coach at Cincinnati, and he figures out a way how to attack offenses.
Q: From what you've seen from your defense in the preseason, do you feel like it's ready to take the step you want it to take?
A: I think we've still got a long way to go. My expectations are pretty high all the time. I don't like to give an inch, so when we do, I get upset about it.