Sam Bradford feels like he’s in a different world, let alone a different year.
The whirlwind that was the trade that saw him go from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Minnesota Vikings a little more than a week before the start of the 2016 season is a memory he is happy to put behind him.
‘Just being able to go through the offseason with (offensive coordinator) Pat (Shurmur), being able to talk about things that we did well last year’ is a major difference
Bradford has been enjoying the little things that are big things to an NFL quarterback: going through an offseason and now a training camp rather than being force-fed a playbook and getting to know teammates and coaches on the fly.
“Obviously, just being able to go through the offseason with (offensive coordinator) Pat (Shurmur), being able to talk about things that we did well last year, things that we didn’t do well, things that we feel we can add to our offense to make it better and just kind of having those conversations with Pat, where I feel like I’ve had some input, where this offense is going,” Bradford told Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn during the SiriusXM NFL Radio training camp tour stop at Vikings camp. “And then Pat, I think, also being comfortable enough in the offense to have some freedom at the line of scrimmage to go up there and if we see a bad look, ‘Hey, let’s get out of that, let’s get into a better play,’ and hopefully save some of those negative plays.”
‘Last year’s situation was pretty unique’
It is a night-and-day difference from last September and even from the middle of last season, when Brad Childress suddenly resigned as OC and Shurmur took his place. At times, Bradford can’t even believe he went through it.
“Last year’s situation was pretty unique,” he said. “I don’t think I ever would have imagined that I’d be starting for a team that I wasn’t in training camp with and got traded to, essentially the first week of the season. And it really felt like the first couple weeks, the first half of the season last year, it was just trying to get comfortable, trying to figure out what we were doing offensively.
“Getting there that late, it was nice because I didn’t have to learn the entire playbook at once. I just had to learn game plans, because that’s all I really had time to learn. But each week, as you play different defenses and new plays get installed, I’d have to kind of raise my hand or talk to my coach and be like, ‘Listen, I have no idea what the hell that is. You’re going to have to explain it.’ And so it took awhile until that kind of ended and I felt like everything we were doing was stuff that I was comfortable with and, obviously, with Pat taking over midway through last year and my relationship with him, once he started calling things, I felt like I really got more comfortable.”
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