Not drinking the Sam Bradford Kool-Aid yet
Sam Bradford has officially received the nod to start at quarterback tonight for the Vikings, and I'm not sure what I think.
In case you weren't paying attention, after the Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater to a horrific injury, they quickly acquired Bradford from the Eagles for a 1st round pick in 2017 and a conditional 4th round pick in 2018. Although many fans in Minnesota lost their minds over what they gave up, it was a necessary move for a team that is striving for a deep playoff run.
Sam Bradford has always been an intriguing player. He was drafted 1st overall in 2010 after an outstanding collegiate career at Oklahoma, but he has never quite lived up to the hype as a professional.
Part of it has been the injuries, but it hasn't helped that he has been on some pretty bad teams. Last season, he managed to put up over 3,700 yards passing, and 19 touchdowns in just 14 games with the Eagles, so the possibility for a solid season is definitely there. He just needs the right system.
Maybe the Vikings are that system. It is possible that this is one of the best situations he has ever been in. They don't need him to be a touchdown-slinging quarterback. They just need him to control the offense and not turn the ball over. It also should put him at ease that he has a game changer in the backfield.
What I'd be concerned about is the fans expecting too much of him, especially right away. People forget that, although more mobile, Teddy is not a legendary quarterback that was lost. In fact, Bradford's numbers have been better statistically. It sucks whenever you lose the guy you viewed as your leader, but Bradford is going to be exciting to watch tonight, and it's gotta be better than the Josh Freeman experiment, right? Let's hope so.
Personally, I'm stuck somewhere in between the Sam Bradford lovers and haters. I'm just trying to be realistic. I'm prepared for an average season out of him, but one that comes with plenty of wins (think the Trent Dilfer-led Ravens).
I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid yet, but I may just start sipping it.