Zimmer: Sam Bradford’s Eagles Playbook Knowledge ‘Overrated’
Sam Bradford spent nearly nine months with Doug Pederson as his head coach learning the playbook and even longer with his teammates learning their tendencies, but that time won’t give Minnesota a notable advantage in Philadelphia this week, according to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.
“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say we asked him stuff, but honestly, I think that stuff’s all overrated. People have left stuff in locker rooms when they’ve played us before and I’ve looked at it and I can’t even decipher it,” Zimmer said. “He wasn’t there all that long [under Pederson]. I just think you go off the tape and you go do the best you can.”
Pederson previously explained he’s not worried about Bradford’s knowledge of what the Eagles may do, pointing to Philadelphia’s 59-28 win over Washington in Donovan McNabb’s second game against the Eagles after being traded in 2010. Zimmer also agreed with Pederson’s evaluation of the Bradford trade as a “win-win” for both teams, as the Vikings are off to an undefeated start and Carson Wentz has far surpassed expectations in his rookie season.
According to Zimmer, one reason the Vikings traded for Bradford two months ago after Teddy Bridgewater suffered a season-ending injury is because he “wasn’t sure” backup Shaun Hill “could make it through the season” at 36-years-old. Former Eagles offensive coordinator and current Vikings tight ends coach Pat Shurmur also played a significant role in the deal.
“Pat had a lot of influence with it. Pat’s been with him in two places. He loves him. He thought he’d be a great fit for what we do, and I trust my assistants,” Zimmer said. “I’ve always thought Bradford had a great arm and he was a poised guy. Obviously, I didn’t know a lot of things about him; I just knew he’d been hurt some. I didn’t know a lot of other things about him, but he’s been great for us.”
Through six weeks, Minnesota is 5-0 as Bradford has started four games. He ranks first in the NFL in completion percentage (70.4) and second in the league in passer rating (109.8). He’s completed 88 of his 125 pass attempts for 990 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Zimmer noted he’s been most impressed by Bradford’s accuracy and toughness.
“The expectation was for him to start, and he was able to do that in a short amount of time,” Zimmer said. “I think he would’ve been ready to play in the first ball game if we had to play him. But yeah, I was very impressed. He’s spent a lot of time trying to get acclimated. You don’t even think about some of the things. You got to learn the cadence, you got to learn the huddle, you got to learn the terminology, you got to learn others guys’ names, where the splits are, routes [and] checks.”