Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Turner Goes from Evaluating Cam Newton to Cramming with Sam Bradford

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Scott Turner knows Cam, and he's getting to know Sam as fast as possible.

Turner, the Vikings quarterbacks coach was a member of the Panthers coaching staff (offensive quality control) when Carolina evaluated Cam Newton and selected him with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. Turner worked with Newton for two years.

He's had a little more than two weeks to work with Sam Bradford, who was drafted in the top spot by the Rams the previous year. The Vikings acquired Bradford in a trade with Philadelphia on Sept. 3, and he quarterbacked Minnesota to a 17-14 win over Green Bay on Sunday.

Turner recalled his time in Carolina and explained the whirlwind start to Minnesota's 2016 campaign during a segment with "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen that will air at 6:30 tonight on **KFAN 100.3-FM**.

Turner's work at helping Newton transition to the NFL was delayed by the lockout, but yielded a career-high 4,051 yards in Newton's debut season.

"He came out in training camp, and we threw a lot at him early, and he had an unbelievable year, set a lot of records early and really hasn't slowed down," Turner said. "He's the [reigning] league MVP. You can't say enough about how good of a player he's been. He's a very dominating type player."


Newton accounted for 45 total touchdowns (35 passing, 10 rushing) last season, giving him the third-most total touchdowns (166) through a quarterback's first six seasons. So far this season, Newton has 547 passing yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions, along with 91 yards and a touchdown on 17 rush attempts.

Turner worked quickly with veteran Shaun Hill, who won his first ever start with the Vikings at Tennessee in Week 1 on Sept. 11, and with Bradford. He credited the work put in by both players in the aftermath of a season-ending knee injury suffered by Teddy Bridgewater on Aug. 30. Hill had the benefit of being in the offensive system all of last year. Bradford? Not so much, but time and technology helped close the gap.

"I spent a lot of extra time meeting with him. He'd come in early, stay late," Turner said. "We'd meet as coaches and then go home, and I would send him stuff on his iPad, made a lot of additional cut-ups so he could see film of different plays. We had to get him ready to play.

"Shaun played well in the Tennessee game, but [Sam] had to be ready because he could have had to play on the second play of the game," Turner added. "We know how that works, so there was a lot of time to cram there, and it was more of the same in the past week. We're still meeting extra and everything like that just because you take an entire offseason and training camp and cram it into two weeks."

Bradford completed 22-of-31 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns for a passer rating of 121.2, showing a quick grasp of the offense.

Turner said Bradford showed talent with his placement of the two touchdown throws, particularly the 25-yard toss to Stefon Diggs, in the face of pressure from the defense.

"That's something that's impressive to me, when a guy can stand in there, knowing he's going to get hit and still deliver a throw like that," Turner said. "He's a really good player, and he's going to make those types of throws."

Even more impressive than zip on or placement of throws, Turner said, is the speed with which Bradford has learned the offense.

"I think everyone knows that he's a really good passer," Turner said. "He can really throw the ball and has a lot of talent in that regard, but just his ability to process information and talk, the fact that he's learned so much in such a short period of time and not just to know what something is, but how it's that way and why it works and what are our adjustments. He's taken it on and learned it. That, to me, has been the most impressive thing."

Bradford is well aware of the challenge presented by the Panthers, and that was before Adrian Peterson suffered a torn meniscus Sunday and left tackle Matt Kalil was placed on injured reserve Wednesday.

Bradford and the Vikings haven't sulked over the injuries. Instead, they are honing their focus.

"It's a really good group. Obviously I think a big key for us this week is protecting the football," Bradford said. "You look at what they were able to do last year, I think they led the league in forcing turnovers. I think they've forced six through two weeks this year. That's something that they pride themselves on, and we've got to do a great job of making sure both in the run and pass game that we're taking care of the football this week."

Turner spoke fondly of his two seasons with Carolina.

"It was a great experience, my first job in the NFL, a lot of credit to Coach [Ron] Rivera. He was always really good to me, gave me my first opportunity to coach in the league, and I learned a lot. I was working for Rob Chudzinski at the time and Mike Shula was the quarterback coach. They're friends of mine, but I also learned a lot of football, too."

It turns out that Turner's cousin, Cameron, has his former office at the Panthers headquarters. Cameron Turner is Carolina's assistant receivers coach.

Turns out that Scott Turner has an eye for receivers as well.

He recruited Diggs, a Maryland native who was named* ***NFC** **Offensive Player of the Week**, when he coached at Pitt.

"We were one of the first people to offer him a scholarship," Turner said. "That summer [after his sophomore season], he blew up."

Turner followed Diggs career after he decided to become a Terrapin and was pleased when the second-year pro was still on the board when the Vikings were on the clock in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

"He's really coming into his own," Turner said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.