Sam Bradford set an NFL record by completing s 71.6 percent of his passes last season, and his tight end, Kyle Rudolph, thinks Bradford is going to have an even bigger year starting Monday night against the Saints.
"I think the biggest and most obvious thing is going to be the comfort that Sam will have in our system and being with our team for a whole offseason," Rudolph wrote in the first of a weekly blog he's writing for Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. "He has been around our coaches all year and has managed to get the reps that he couldn't when coming in late last year."
Bradford got just 13 days of practice with the Vikings before being thrown into the fire as the Vikings' starter in Week 2 last season.
As Sports Illustrated recently noted, Bradford played well despite:
- Not working with a full playbook.
- No offseason with the Vikings.
- Adrian Peterson getting injured.
- A rushing attacked that finished last in the NFL.
Somehow, Bradford finished with 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions.
ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Jon Gruden, who will be on the call for Monday's season opener, raved about Bradford in an interview with Vikings.com.
“Bradford, he should get a medal. He might be one of the toughest guys we’ve got playing," Gruden said. "Forget about the 70 percent completion percentage. He got pummeled last year. He showed up, had to learn an offense, very short notice. He won some games for the Vikings. He took a lot of shots, major shots, and I commend him for getting up and keeping the Vikings alive until deep in the season. He needs to be protected better for him to flourish like Drew Brees has. He just hasn’t had that.”
More reasons Bradford should be even better this season:
- An entirely new offensive line.
- Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray in the backfield.
- Stefon Diggs is healthy.
- Laquon Treadwell gets a fresh start.
- Michael Floyd joins the offense after a four-week suspension.
It's almost game time. If you're not ready, watch this.