Zimmer Downplays Bradford’s Knowledge of Eagles
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Sam Bradford week kicked off Monday as the former Eagles quarterback gets ready to return to Philadelphia as the leader of the NFL’s lone remaining unbeaten team.
In a rare trade that seems to have worked out for both organizations, Philadelphia sent the veteran signal caller to the Vikings eight days before the season opener for a 2017 first-round pick and a conditional 2018 fourth-round pick that could become more valuable if the Vikings make the NFC Championship Game or Super Bowl this season.
Most snickered at that thought after the Vikings lost quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a catastrophic knee injury, a development which fueled the trade for Bradford.
Bradford sat Week 1 as the Vikings topped a poor Tennessee team on the road and took over from there, winning four straight while playing virtually mistake-free football. And Minnesota will arrive in the City of Brotherly Love at 5-0 despite losing All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson and its two starting offensive tackles, Matt Kalil and Andre Smith.
Conversely, the Eagles moved on from a lame duck, got back a first-round pick and jump-started the learning curve for Carson Wentz, which has gone swimmingly despite the fact that Philadelphia has dropped two straight after winning their first three.
Through Week 6, ProFootballFocus.com has rated Wentz as the second-best quarterback in football behind only Tom Brady, and Bradford is No. 4 behind the aforementioned and Andrew Luck.
Much has already been made of Bradford’s obvious knowledge on the Eagles’ offense, something that he will certainly be passing on to Mike Zimmer, the Vikings’ head coach and one of the best defensive minds in all of football.
“Obviously, we’re going to ask him,” Zimmer said when asked about Bradford’s knowledge of what goes on in Philadelphia before pivoting. “I think all that stuff is really overrated. I think we have to execute what we do. Some games we get signals from other teams and things like that and a lot of guys don’t play good when they know that stuff. We typically kind of just play and do what we do and don’t worry too much about the other team.”
Eagles coach Doug Pederson, meanwhile, is taking the same path.
“I'm not going to change anything,” Pederson said. “Will we tweak some stuff? Yes. We still have to get ready. ...Sam [Vikings QB Sam Bradford] has obviously a good understanding and knowledge of what we do on both sides of the ball. I think where it becomes valuable for a coach when a player knows you is just knowing personnel. I think just understanding the types of guys that are here. He's been a teammate for a couple years here. I think that becomes more valuable than the Xs and Os. If I know Sam, and I know the quarterback position, he's got to get ready for this defense and get himself ready to go, as well.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen