Shortly after his selection on Thursday night, Garrett Bradbury got his first opportunity to visit with the media in the Twin Cities via a conference call. I’m sure that the Minnesota Vikings will formally introduce him at a press conference on Friday, but for now we can provide you a transcript of all of the questions that he was asked, along with his answers.
Thanks to the Vikings’ PR staff for providing this transcript to us.
I can’t put into words how excited I am. This has been a dream of mine for a long time. I can’t explain how crazy it is. There are so many people I want to thank- Mr. [Rick] Spielman, Coach [Mike] Zimmer. I am kind of speechless right now. Just super excited to come to Minnesota. Learn about Skol Nation, meet everyone and just become part of the team and I’m excited to play football again.
Q: Do you want to be the starting center or is it ok if they put you at guard?
A: I am coming up there saying, “I want to play football again.” I am coming up there saying, “I am an offensive lineman. I am ready to play, I am ready to help this team win, I am ready to protect the quarterback, run the football.” If they want me to play any of those positions, I am happy to play. I want to be on the field. I want to play on the offensive line. I want to help this team win. That is truly where I am at right now and just excited to get started.
Q: How much contact did you have with the Vikings in the pre-draft process?
A: I had a film with them at the combine. I talked to Mr. Spielman at the Senior Bowl actually. I talked to the offensive line coach as well. I had really good meetings with them. I am super thankful, super excited. It’s hard to put in words. I also want to thank the Wilf family and everyone involved with the Vikings organization. I’m just super excited.
Q: What do you know about the Minnesota Vikings?
A: I know Coach Zim has a bunch of history. A lot of good football players on the team. I’m really excited to get up there and get to work. I know this has been a process but I’m excited to get to work and play football again.
Q: Who was your favorite baseball catcher and how did playing that position help you play football?
A: I was a huge Jorge Posada fan with the Yankees. Loved the Yankees. My dad used to go to New York a lot and bring me home stuff. I still love the Yankees. I think it helped a little bit in terms of mobility, being able to bend, in terms of communication. You are kind of the leader back there behind the plate. I got to call pitches. I got to control the infield in terms of where they were going. Just verbally put everyone in their position. As an offensive lineman, you have to be able to communicate. You have to have all five guys on the same page. In terms of communication, that helped the most.
Q: Did you get the impression from the Vikings that you were a schematic fit with what they are looking to do with Gary Kubiak and Rick Dennison?
A: That is awesome and I am super excited about that and the fit to come. Going through this process, I wasn’t really trying to piece together where I thought I was going to go. I was really just taking it one day at a time, talking about just trusting this process and being where you see yourself. I just wanted to make sure I was doing what I needed to do to be where I needed to be. There are so many mock drafts that you see. There are so many speculations. Talking to guys that were drafted from N.C. State last year, they were like, “Don’t pay any attention to that. Don’t buy into that. Teams have drafted guys that they’ve hardly talked to.” I was completely open ears, hoping to hear my name called. It’s truly a dream come true. It’s truly a dream come true.
Q: Is durability one of your traits as you rarely came off the field?
A: Yes, I never want to come off the field. That is one of the reasons I kind of moved to offensive line from tight end and defensive line. In high school I was a tight end and defensive line. I didn’t want to come off the field. I was on the field every play on offense, defense. Coming in as a tight end, I was probably looking at about 20 snaps per game, at best. At offensive line, you don’t come off the field. That is something we pride ourselves in. Every offensive line, that is the best trait you can have is durability. That is something that obviously everyone takes pride in and is competitive with as a lineman.
Q: How did the move from tight end to offensive lineman come about?
A: It took a lot of coaching, it took a lot of great teammates. Coach [Dwayne] Ledford, my offensive line coach, and my offensive line graduate assistant, almost like a centers coach sometimes, did a phenomenal job. We just went to work. We weren’t where we needed to be three years ago. We had a bunch of great teammates alongside of me. I think we just got better. We had a great defensive line. “Iron sharpens iron” is true. We just had a lot of battles in practice. Got better through the years. It took a lot of coaching and a lot of great teammates.
Q: How important was the Senior Bowl and the combine in this process to get your draft stock up?
A: It’s another piece of the puzzle. It’s a four-month job interview. You just want to show everyone who you are throughout these steps. For Senior Bowl, we got to play football. We got to play in an NFL offensive line system, coaching staffs. Had a blast at that. The combine is a little different. You have to train for some technique things, and a 40, which hopefully an offensive lineman doesn’t have to go 40 yards full speed unless you’re celebrating. It’s just another step in the process and you have to treat it like a professional because that’s the goal. You just try to attack it and show people who you are.
Q: Have you ever been to Minnesota?
A: I have not been to Minnesota. I’ll be there tomorrow and I can’t wait.