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Lunchbreak: Bradbury Working to ‘Re-Shape Opinions’ on Vikings O-Line

Garrett Bradbury is polite, kind and already has established himself as a reliable and hard-working teammate. To the outside eye, he’s not especially outspoken.

But coaches have spoken before about the rookie center’s tenacity and fiery streak on the field, and Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune recently wrote that it’s a side of Bradbury that will help him re-write the expectations for Minnesota’s offensive line.

When Krammer asked Bradbury about becoming “notorious for starting heated arguments with his North Carolina State teammates,” Bradbury responded, “We can’t do this in one discussion.”

N. C. State strength and conditioning coach Dantonio Burnette told Krammer that Bradbury would often “play devil’s advocate just to get other guys to think a bit.” Krammer wrote:

Example: Bradbury’s claim that LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan, which he’ll back up with anecdotes and analytics alike.

The Charlotte native, with no geographical allegiances to James, said he fell in love with LeBron’s dominance and later grew to appreciate the superstar’s ability to meet towering expectations.

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Living up to expectations is now Bradbury’s parallel to his sports hero, but that only surfaced in late April when he became a hot commodity in the draft. He rose from athletic anonymity — a two-star-rated tight end at Charlotte Christian High School — to emerge as a man with a chance to reshape opinions about the Vikings offensive line much as he likes to do in locker room debates.

“He loves going back and forth about different things that go on in the world,” Burnette told Krammer. “He was part of a leadership group, where I had a group that I’d send out information ... He was always one of the guys responding back to it and getting other guys to think outside the box.”

Cronin reacts to Vikings 53, responds to Qs about WR group

The Vikings joined the NFL’s other 32 teams in making a slew of moves Saturday in order to trim down the roster from 90 to 53.

Then on Sunday, Minnesota signed players to the practice squad, including new kicker Chase McLaughlin, released punter Matt Wile and signed former Browns punter Britton Colquitt.

ESPN’s Courtney Cronin evaluated the Vikings 53-man roster and responded to questions there may be about various decisions.

Cronin assured fans that there’s no need to worry about Minnesota retaining just four wide receivers (Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Chad Beebe and rookie Bisi Johnson) on the active roster – especially under Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski and with the influence of Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor Gary Kubiak.

Cronin wrote:

In a Gary Kubiak offense, most times the No. 3 receiver is actually a tight end, so it’s not surprising to see Minnesota keep four at the position. Expect to see Irv Smith, Jr., utilized as a stretch-the-field threat and Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Conklin making contested catches over the middle of the field.

Cronin also looked at the Vikings specialists following a number of variables that came into play during offseason programming.

The reviews on Colquitt as a holder are positive, which is an area Wile struggled with and forced the Vikings to turn to Beebe. The Vikings game of musical chairs with their specialists all offseason seems to be slowing down. They have Dan Bailey as their kicker, Colquitt as the punter/holder and Austin Cutting as the long snapper. This is the unit they’re rolling with going into Week 1. Faced with a time crunch to get the entire kicking operation on the same page, these players will be under an intense microscope in the season opener.

Zimmer predicted by 2 analysts as 2019 ‘Coach of the Year’

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is entering his sixth season at the helm in Minnesota.

Since starting Zimmer assumed his first head coaching role in 2014, the Vikings are 47-32-1 in regular-season games.

Zimmer heads into the 2019 campaign with a new-look offensive coaching staff while retaining the defensive staff he’s had most of his time here. How will the Vikings fare this season?

NFL.com recently rolled out its 2019 NFL season “award predictions,” which included Coach of the Year. Zimmer received votes from Brooke Cersosimo and Maurice Jones-Drew, which tied him for third-place in the analyst rankings.

Ahead of Zimmer were Browns Head Coach Freddie Kitchens (five votes) and Colts Head Coach Frank Reich (four votes).

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