On Saturday, the Minnesota Vikings pulled the trigger on a big trade that netted them quarterback Sam Bradford. The plan, obviously, is for Bradford to become the Vikings’ primary starting quarterback.
However, if this report is true, it appears that plan is going to be on hold for at least a week.
Yahoo! Sports, citing the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, is reporting that Shaun Hill will be getting the start on Sunday when the Vikings head to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans in the 2016 season opener.
By the time this Sunday rolls around, Bradford will have only had four practices with the Vikings’ offense. According to the article, Bradford will be armed with a simplified version of the offense in the event that he has to enter the game.
In the MMQB article by Peter King that I cited in an earlier post about Bradford, it comes to light that Vikings’ offensive coordinator Norv Turner has experience with this kind of thing. Back in 1993, when Turner was the offensive coordinator of the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas brought in veteran Bernie Kosar to back up Jason Garrett following an injury to Troy Aikman. Kosar got to Dallas five days before the Cowboys’ matchup with the (then) Phoenix Cardinals. Ten minutes into the game, Kosar relieved Garrett and led the Cowboys to a 20-15 win. How did Norv do it?
Kosar was programmed with 67 plays, all of which were typed neatly on his wristband. Turner would call down the play he wanted to tight ends coach Robert Ford, and Ford would signal the number to Kosar—for instance, holding up two fingers, then six, for play number 26 on the wristband—and Kosar would translate the number to a play, and make the call. Worked pretty well.
I don’t think this is an awful idea for the Vikings, if it turns out that this is how it’s going to happen. Give Bradford enough time to ensure he’s comfortable with the offense and make sure he has every opportunity to succeed before he leads the team out onto the field. I’m pretty sure that, whenever Bradford takes the field, it isn’t going to look like the Josh Freeman Experience from 2013 because. . .well, seriously, I don’t think anyone could be that awful.
It doesn’t look like we’re going to see the Vikings’ big acquisition until Week 2 at the earliest. Hopefully Shaun Hill can help lead this team past the Titans without any serious issues arising.