Sam Bradford's dad: QB too busy to talk
MINNEAPOLIS--If you want to find out who will start at quarterback for the Vikings, there's little need to call Sam Bradford's father. He barely can get his busy son on the phone.
MINNEAPOLIS-If you want to find out who will start at quarterback for the Vikings, there's little need to call Sam Bradford's father. He barely can get his busy son on the phone.
Many believe Bradford will get the nod over Shaun Hill on Sunday night against Green Bay in the first regular-season game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Bradford's parents, Kent and Martha, will come to the game from their home in Oklahoma City.
Kent Bradford said Friday that his son, acquired Sept. 3 from Philadelphia, has been so busy learning the Vikings' offense the two barely have had time to talk. And if Bradford has been told who will start against the Packers, he hasn't shared it with his parents, who attended Minnesota's 25-16 win last Sunday at Tennessee in the regular-season opener.
"Probably the last time I really talked to him was when we were in Nashville last Saturday evening before the game,'' Kent Bradford said. "He's immersed himself so much in the playbook and learning how his receivers are going to react on routes that we kind of haven't really talked a whole lot.
"He spends the full day at the (practice) facility, and when he comes home, he spends a little time with his wife (Emma) and they eat dinner, and then it's back to the films and back to the playbook.''
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer started Hill at Tennessee, and Bradford didn't play. Zimmer on Friday again declined to reveal his starter against the Packers, saying, "We'll find out Sunday.''
Zimmer said Bradford is prepared if he decides to start him, while also noting that Hill is ready. A source had said Bradford got all the reps with the first team in practice Wednesday, when preparations began for Green Bay.
The general belief, because the Vikings traded a first- and a fourth-round draft choice to the Eagles for Bradford, is that at some point he would be the replacement for Teddy Bridgewater. The incumbent starter was lost for the season with a knee injury suffered Aug. 30 in practice.
Bradford arrived in Minnesota on the day of the trade. He's been at Winter Park regularly since then, including on players' days off.
"All I know is he comes in pretty early in the morning and stays late,'' Zimmer said. "He's worked enough to get ready.''
Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner have spoken about Bradford's intelligence. Bob Wilson, once his coach at Putnam City North High School in Oklahoma City, has little doubt about Bradford's ability to pick up Minnesota's offense quickly.
"He was a straight-A student in high school,'' Wilson said. "He was always able to pick up everything really fast. He's very intelligent, and he works hard. He's a guy that coaches love. You draw up something and he picks it up real quick.''
Bradford has said he's getting more comfortable each day with the offense. His teammates have noticed.
"His confidence level is through the roof right now and that's an exciting thing to see,'' guard Alex Boone said.
Bradford joined the Vikings two days after their second of two preseason games at U.S. Bank Stadium. He said earlier in the week that he wouldn't make a special trip to the stadium, meaning he will see it for the first time Sunday.
After Bradford arrived in Minnesota, he said it was just his second time in the state, the first being for a family reunion about 20 years ago. His father said Friday that Bradford has several relatives in the Twin Cities on his mother's side.
Kent Bradford said the quarterback's grandfather, John Esser, was born and raised in New Ulm before leaving in about 1950, when he was about 24. Esser died last month.
Bradford's father said the family reunion was at Lake Itasca. He said his wife has "some aunts and cousins'' who have relocated from New Ulm to the Twin Cities.
"We're looking forward to coming up,'' said Kent Bradford. "We were kind of surprised (by the trade). I don't think we really saw it coming. I'm optimistic he'll do well. He works hard and he'll give it his best shot.''