Mike Zimmer on Sam Bradford: I think he’s been amazing

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When the Vikings traded for Sam Bradford in the wake of Teddy Bridgewater’s season-ending knee injury, their hope was that bringing him to Minnesota would help them return to the playoffs despite the loss of their starting quarterback.

A 5-0 start to the year kept those hopes high, but Bridgewater wound up with plenty of company on the injury list and the season unraveled across the board for the Vikings over the next 10 weeks. Well, almost across the board might be more precise because Bradford has turned in a good season.

He has stayed healthy, turned in the highest quarterback rating of his career and will hold the league’s new record for single-season completion percentage if he can keep or improve on the 71.3 percent he brings with him into Week 17. That hasn’t led to nearly enough points for the Vikings, but coach Mike Zimmer called Bradford’s play “really remarkable” given his late arrival to the team.

“Maybe this is the best year he’s ever had,” Zimmer said, via the Pioneer Press. “If you put all those together and look at the things he’s had to deal with, I think he’s been amazing.”

Zimmer also said that he thinks Bradford could be even better next season thanks to the increased time in the system, although it’s not clear what the team’s plan will be at quarterback if Bridgewater is healthy. That’s a big if, of course, and Bradford is under contract for next season so it may be a while before anyone in Minnesota is ready to answer the question of next season’s starter.

66 responses to “Mike Zimmer on Sam Bradford: I think he’s been amazing

  1. Given the offensive line woes, I’d have to agree with Zim. Bradford has done very well this year. People who’ve watched all his games this year would probably agree.

  2. I know the knee jerk reaction is to have Zimmer drug tested, but for a guy who was thrown into the mix last minute, who has crappy run support, and a sorry offensive line, passing for over 3600 yards, 17 TDs, and only 4 picks is fairly amazing.

  3. I’m sure plenty of readers who only look at the won/loss record will mock this, but the truth is that Bradford has done a very nice job. The fact that he’s still in one piece with that offensive line is shocking. I’d love to see what he can do with a real offensive line and some semblance of a ground game. There were plenty of problems with the offense this year, but Bradford was not one of them.

  4. Next April when the draft takes place, and MN sees its number 1 spot go to the Eagles, the question on having a meaningless pass completion record might go through some people’s minds.

    To make that kind of move, go 5-0, and not make the playoffs has to be considered an enormous failure especially with a highly rated defense.

    The decision with AP and Bridgewater will make for some interesting hot stove discussion.

  5. Bradford will be the starter next year. The only way Bridgewater returns to US Bank Stadium is with a beer tray hanging around his neck.

  6. I think Bradford has done an extremely good job, with the exception of two limiting factors.

    1. He lacks the mobility that would have been valuable, given their offensive line and running back problems.

    2. He tends to throw high and hard when he gets inside the red zone. Those have really hurt, probably cost the team at least 5 to 8 touchdowns. The great ones, Brady and Rodgers as two examples, get more accurate when it’s touchdown time.

  7. Not sure I would agree with Zimmer that he’s been amazing.

    His passing numbers were decent.

    But he is too slow and can’t run, move or get out of the pocket. He looks like a grandfather moving around back there.

  8. I’ve always like SB and it’s unfortunate that the Vikings poor record over shadowed the year he’s had. Better than either of TB’s years and he had zero time in the system. I can’t imagine Teddy getting his job back after the way Bradford has performed and considering what they gave up for him.

  9. I said it early on, give this dude a chance. He’s got the skills, just needs a supporting cast. This time around, he had NO help and still managed to put up some nice numbers. I’m rooting for him.

  10. No, not really. His lack of athleticism relative to what is now the norm for NFL starting QBs is pretty astonishing. I get it that he has been exposed by that awful Viking OL but if he were coming out in this year’s draft he probably would be a 3rd day pick.

  11. He definitely came into a bad situation but one thing to temper the party – his TD’s.

    Vikings have spent more than a couple first rounders on WR’s and QB’s such as Blake Bortles has more TD’s and Colin Kaepernick has almost as many.

    You’d like to think while he was in a bad situation, there’s a place he could/should have done better.

  12. “Amazing” is quite the strong compliment (although, Zim is comparing him to Bridgewater, so his amazing 17 TDs in 17 games looks just phenomenal by comparison.)

    Sam want to keep Shurmur as OC – together they helped forge a 2-8 streak (think Browns and 49ers) although Norvall helped those first few.

    So on behalf of the NFCN please keep things intact for 2017 and beyond. Please!?!?

    Go Sam Go!!!

  13. It’s this sort of justification by statistics that give hope to the hapless Viking fans and will help fuel yet another off season of championship talk.

    Zimmer is free to have any opinion he wants of Bradford but the use of “amazing” in a season where the Vikings are out of the playoffs is simply, well amazing.

    Bottom line, the Vikings paid a small fortune to get Bradford in what was seen at the time as saving the season. If you consider 3rd place in the NFC North and out of the playoffs as a saved season, then have at it.

  14. Even if Bridgewater is healthy, I don’t think it’s a given that he’s a better QB than Bradford. At some point, the Vikings are going to have a choice to make. I don’t think there’s room for both guys on the team if they’re both healthy.

  15. Markod52 he has no time down there. Im confident with him going into next year

    Oline and Rb a must this offseason

  16. The draft is the lifeblood of your franchise. If you trade away that many picks and still don’t make the playoffs, one has to say this move was a failure. Granted, what else was available.

    Those that are making Bradford’s numbers out to be amazing need to look at the W/L column. Throwing checkdowns makes your completion percentage high and this works well between the 20s. You can see the problem when you get in the compressed red zone. You end up settling for FGs.

    Bradford did about as good as you could given what he had around him and given the lack of training camp, etc… I give him credit for that but you can see the second half results, teams figured this team out. Having few draft picks next year won’t help fix the deficiencies this team has.

  17. What’s really amazing (besides starting out 5-0 and missing the playoffs) is that he hasn’t missed a single game because of injury!

  18. The Vikings rolled the dice on Bradford and came up short. The price of a first round pick is way too high not to make the playoffs.

    I understood the move at the time because of the new stadium and the expectations, but the Vikings swung and missed horribly.

    A word of advice for the 4 or 5 Vikings posters have been understandably absent since last Saturday:

    Take a foot off the gas with all of this anti-Packer talk that begins around draft time. Every year its the exact same talk. According pftpoet, the beginning of the historic Vikings dominance of the NFL was to begin 3 years ago. How’d that work out for you? Temper your enthusiasm just a bit so the sting isn’t so bad at the end.

  19. For those that mock Bradfords check downs, you must not have seen the Eagles game. The OL was so porous that Sam had to shave about 1.5 seconds off of his internal clock. It was frustrating to watch, but he had to assume that he was always under pressure. He’s no league MVP but his numbers were good enough. By and large, the rest of the team failed more so than Bradford

  20. Those comments pretty much guarantee a QB controversy next spring.

    Its great to have 2 good QBs, but how is Bridgewater going to react if he’s made the backup when he was “the future of the franchise”?

    Seems like a good kid but that’s really going to sting if they name Bradford the starter to begin next season.

  21. If Bridgewater is “healthy enough” to suit up, have him be the backup to Bradford for the season to completely heal. If Bradford gets injured, then have Henike start and keep Bridgewater as the backup.

    Let AD go, and use that money to upgrade the OL and get a new RB, like Laveon Bell. Their primary focus needs to be the OL. Without that, the rest is a moot point.

    The rest of the team is solid. Defense wore down because they were constantly on the field. Not worried at all about the defense. OL is #1 need.

  22. I guess if Zimmer thinks Sammy is amazing, that says a lot about what his expectations are of his players, and this should greatly concern Vikings fans.
    Rdog, I have to agree with you, especially given his O-line, and considering he was injured everywhere else he’s played as a pro.

  23. Time for MN to move on to the off season so they can win their 56th straight Summer trophy. They are always the best, most talented team!

    (until the real games start)

  24. cribbage12 says:
    Dec 29, 2016 11:20 AM

    “Amazing” is quite the strong compliment (although, Zim is comparing him to Bridgewater, so his amazing 17 TDs in 17 games looks just phenomenal by comparison.)

    Sam want to keep Shurmur as OC – together they helped forge a 2-8 streak (think Browns and 49ers) although Norvall helped those first few.

    So on behalf of the NFCN please keep things intact for 2017 and beyond. Please!?!?

    Go Sam Go!!!
    The same so called “chump” Bradford also lit up the packers for 668 yards and 5 tds with 0 ints this season. Mean while this amazing packers commentator also believes the NFL has switched to a 17 game schedule……

  25. Zimmmer is correct. Bradford has done extremely well given his porous offensive line and lack of running game. Give any QB those issues and a new playbook and see how well they do.

  26. Strongly opposed to the suggestion that they trade Teddy Bridgewater. Having two starting caliber QBs is a great luxury that few teams have. Case in point, if the Vikings had anything behind Teddy going into the season, they would still have the picks they gave up for Bradford. Plus, you’re not getting anything for Teddy until he proves he can bounce back from that horrible knee injury. They really have no choice but to let this all play out in 2017, and that’s not a bad thing from my perspective.

  27. Yup, got me there Tina. Had “Week 18” on my mind due to byes, but since your team’s only playing 16 games I can see how you’d catch my error (see, I admit it when I’m wrong).

    I trust you can understand why I’m thinking of an important week 17 game and playoffs.

  28. Really amazed at the trolls who criticize a QB after the line loses three starters, including both starting tackles. Bradford has a good arm, and can stretch the field but not when he is on his back the entire game. I guess the trolls played chess in high school or they might understand. Or else they are from Green Bay and didn’t graduate high school.

  29. I haven’t been able to believe anything that has come out the Vikings organization since Christmas day.

    As for people criticizing the QB after losing 3 starters. If Bradford was great before and teammates injuries hindered his performance I would agree it was unfair, but he was getting that treatment before he went to Minnesota and has been an average QB. He hasn’t shown a whole lot for the Rams or Eagles. He isn’t the kind of QB that elevates the play of those around him, and being a 1st overall pick, you have higher expectations he hasn’t lived up to them.

  30. Lots of talk about how bad that line is but


    All have given up more QB hits than the Vikings have.

    The Vikings have given up all of 1 more hit than the Falcons have and their QB is in the running for MVP (I’d not give it to him but he’s in the conversation).

    Please don’t act like they have the worst line of all time – they don’t.

  31. Bradford had many passes batted down by the line this year.
    He also took strip sacks and picks at crunch time and in the red zone.
    He never moved in he pocket except for two time against Dallas.
    When he failed, he passively put his head down and left the field.
    Sam is no leader, has no fire, and NEVER showed energy when losing.
    His completion record is a joke, and is shameful to praise when it’s very existence is why the Vikings have lost.
    The goal of the offense is to get first downs and score points, not complete passes short of the sticks on horizontal routes at the line of scrimmage.
    Just sad play designs.

  32. The QB job in MN has to belong to Bradford. Teddy didn’t even win the starting position his rookie year and was ever so slightly better than Ponder. 14 TD passes in a full season of games? Gimme a break.

    Plus there’s that whole learning to walk all over again thing…

  33. That game ending interception he threw on Thanksgiving game while they still had a shot of winning the division sure was amazing.

  34. Amazing Bridgewater goes 11-5 and wins the division (and save a Blair Walsh shank, could still have been playing in the postseason) and people act like he’s the problem, yet everyone defends Bradford for going 2-8 in his last 10. It’s comical.

    He’s 22, had a terrible oline last year (3 IR lvl starter injuries in the preseason to the oline), and a declining run game in december/playoffs (when he played his best). I’m honestly shocked.

  35. I kid the Vikings and their fans but in all sincerity I say that perhaps the Vikings should take a page from the Packers QB development playbook. How many seasons did Rodgers sit behind Favre? He’s an annual MVP candidate now. Now Bradford is no Favre but maybe TB might benefit with another season on the bench letting that knee fully heal, watching a veteran QB and maybe learn a few things. Bradford’s under contract for another year, why not? The Vikings should cautiously groom Bridgewater for another year and let him develop a little more football maturity.

  36. Bradford got them to 7 or 8 wins. They probably win a few less if Teddy was the QB, and a lot less if they didn’t trade for Sam. He was pretty good.

  37. Amazing is the word the Eagles are using these days after a 5-0 start, they thought the 1st round draft pick they received for Bradford will be towards the end of the 1st round.

    Instead, for the past 10 weeks its been inching up toward being in the top 10, simply amazing.

  38. ambrosiniwine says:
    Dec 29, 2016 1:29 PM
    His ability to throw the ball no more than 6 yards down field is absolutely amazing.
    The calculator in my start menu says 360 PA’s multiplied by a max of 6 yrds per attempt = you are wrong…the Vikes must have some of the best YAC receivers in the league!!!

  39. cribbage12 says:
    Dec 29, 2016 11:20 AM

    “Amazing” is quite the strong compliment (although, Zim is comparing him to Bridgewater, so his amazing 17 TDs in 17 games looks just phenomenal by comparison.)


    When did the NFL add a 17th regular season game?

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