(Via @Vikings on Twitter)
With Teddy Bridgewater’s injury affecting not just the Minnesota Vikings’ 2016 season, The team traded first and fourth-round picks for Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford to solidify the vacancy once expected to be taken over by Shaun Hill.
For sure, the discussions about Sam Bradford being in his fifth system in six years are happening. However, the forgotten man behind this trade is Vikings tight ends coach Pat Shurmur.
Shurmur coached Bradford as a rookie with the St. Louis Rams in 2010. Once he became the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, it seemed like the seven-year veteran only played his best ones he was near his first mentor.
From 2011 till 2013, Bradford only completed 57.9% of his passes for 7553 yards in 33 games while posting a 41:23 touchdown to interception ratio.
Although it took the second half for everyone to find out that he was a decent player, what was not talked about was his week 17 game versus the New York Giants. Bradford and Shurmur had their only Game together as quarterback and head coach, and both pretty much showed that the two are a good match.
Bradford completed 30 of 38 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns versus one interception, giving him a pass the rating of 108.3.
Sure, one game is not a big deal, but the Viking should be encouraged by the third reunion between the two.
In thirty games with Shurmur, Bradford has posted a pass the rating of 81.2 by passing for 7237 yards, thirty-seven touchdowns versus twenty-nine interceptions in 30 games. Even though 13 games were under Chip Kelly, Bradford’s growth from a 76.5 passer rating game manager to a marginal 82.5 rating starter from 2011 till 2015 should be deemed acceptable by fans watching the team that is led by its real MVP, Adrian Peterson.
Encouragement will only occur if the Vikings make the playoffs, and Bradford plays well, but he will have to be familiar with his weapons as he is rushing into a brand new offense quicker than he ever has. Most importantly, Shurmur’s impact on the offense will have to be decent as Norv Turner runs the unit. If not, Turner has to avoid making Bradford’s workload so heavy. As many good coaches should learn, complicating the offense for people needing it simpler is a great way to lose games and, eventually, your job.