As the Vikings prepare to open the 2019 season with the official kickoff to training camp tomorrow, they're looking back at the offseason programming that they ran and walking away with high hopes surrounding their first round draft pick, center Garret Bradbury.
Kirk Cousins mentioned yesterday that Bradbury carries himself like a veteran, the coaching staff has mentioned that he's one of the most mature rookies they've and hearing from Bradbury himself this week as rookies reported, you can see how his work ethic is impacting those opinions.
While most players in the league were enjoying their final days of freedom before camp Bradbury was attending an offensive lineman summit in Dallas, Texas with 40 other NFL lineman including Eagles Tackle Lane Johnson, Broncos guard Ronald Leary and others.
"It was a unique opportunity and I had a really good time down there," Bradbury explained this week. "To hear from guys that have done this for seven eight nine years was huge for me entering year one. I was just notebook open, pen to paper the whole time and hearing from a center like Ryan Jenson who was huge so just picking their brains there is so many guys here to learn from and they are willing to help which is huge"
Bradbury met the media earlier this week. You can watch his podium session below or catch the full transcript below thanks to the Vikings PR team...
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Vikings Center Garrett Bradbury
Q: Kirk Cousins—OTA’s, and mini camps—to have him here to start off the rookies, what does that mean to you to work with him and reset early?
A: It’s huge to just build that chemistry and he's really taken a lot to understand the protections and everything that we do, so kind of talking that through with him and the coaches has been huge. Getting more comfortable with him and I mean I can't take enough snaps with the quarterback and other guys next to me, so thankfully, he's here and excited to leave him there and move forward.
Q: Was it hard to get back into it today or just like getting on a bike?
A: Ideally you want it to be just like getting on a bike. Everyone goes home for a few weeks and trains and stays ready, so you can just come back like you never left and jump back into it and keep running the plays.
Q: How was it training with the veterans and other O-lines in Texas?
A: It was a unique opportunity and I had a really good time down there. Duke (Manyweather) put a really good show on and several NFL veterans. Just to hear from them and we talked through a whole bunch of different topics and it was highlighted that we talked through different defensive players, and more than that, Duke just opened it up to what are some recovery techniques, what are some off the field things that mentally, physically. To hear from guys that have done this for seven eight nine years was huge for me entering year one. I was just notebook open, pen to paper the whole time and hearing from a center like Ryan Jenson who was huge so just picking their brains there is so many guys here to learn from and they are willing to help which is huge
Q: Before the entire squad shows up, what do you and Kirk Cousins want to focus on?
A: I mean ideally you want the whole group around. We get three practices in before the whole group comes and individuals just want to work on everything I can those few days, but at the end of the day the offensive line is unique because you need that comradery that unity getting those reps together.
Q: What kind of benefit is it having someone who has played the center position next to you?
A: Pat (Elflein) has been awesome. I can't say enough good things about Pat. He's obviously played the position and played guard and understands offensive line play. He was a rookie two years ago, so he kind of can mentor me in things that helped him and what didn't help him. He's been awesome for me and I am just trying to learn a lot from him and older guys like him.
Q: How is the whole transition going?
A: It's just trusting the preparation and I’ve been studying the playbook a lot and I just need to be confident with my calls. That's just what it boils down to. If I’m kind of hesitant with the call, if I’m late with the call, it just screws the other guys I’m playing with. I need to get up to the line, trust what I’m seeing and what I’m seeing at the moment and just make a call and go with it because with offensive line, if everyone is on the same page then it's going to be a pretty good play. Just understanding that I need to make a call early and be confident with it and vocalize it, communicate to everyone on the line and get reps with these guys.
Q: What's one challenge playing in the NFL?
A: It’s just a new system. I mean I think the coaches have been great and encouraging, (Rick) Dennison and (Andrew) Janocko, have been huge with the offensive linemen. It's a new system for everybody which is great because we can kind of throw things off each other and learn together throughout this and there is a wealth of knowledge in the O-line room, but it’s a new system for them at the same time. We are kind of learning together which has been good as a rookie so I'm helping them, their mainly helping me, but we can kind of bounce ideas off each other and thoughts.
Q: Do you feel like you have a leg up at all since you played in an outside zone for so many years? What are the differences in a college outside zone system and what you are going to run here?
A: There is just a little bit more detail. You need to understand the defenses a little more, but I don’t know that it is a leg up. It is just a play that I love running as an offensive lineman and it is a really good scheme. Obviously, these coaches have ran it a lot for several years, so I think the guys in the locker room that haven’t been a part of it understand how good it can be just from the OTA’s that we have had, so I think everyone offensively is really excited about this different kind of run scheme and pass team offensively that we are doing.
Q: You feel like this is something you have waited your whole life for with the expectations of others?
A: Yeah, I think expectations and pressure, you don’t listen whatever other people are saying. I mean, I have my own expectations to accomplish this first year and this offensive line and this offense in general. It starts with training camp and so that is where all my attention is, that’s where my efforts and my focus are learning this play book, working through training camp with these guys, building some continuity among the offensive line with Kirk (Cousins) and just offense in general. Everyone can say what they want but that is what I am focused on right now.
Q: Have you asked Pat Elflein or any of the other veterans that weekend how to handle that or rookie season or have you not talked about that part?
A: Everyone is still coming back. Everyone kind of enjoyed their off time but everyone is just taking it one day at a time. Just don’t pay attention to it. I haven’t extensively talked to them about it but I will learn as we go, especially from talking to those guys a little more but we had a few good weeks during OTA’s and we have a good season ahead of us so there will be plenty of time to learn from them.
Q: On the field, what are some of the things that Pat Elflein has helped you with the most?
A: Little technique things. You have great coaching obviously from Coach (Rick) Dennison and (Andrew) Janocko but to hear from a player in between plays, watching film or by ourselves is just a little different. He is a guy who has started two full seasons in the NFL, so hearing things that he does week in and week out against different guys in the NFL is huge.
Q: How did the opportunity come for you to go to Texas and take part in that event?
A: The guy who runs it, Duke (Manyweather), reached out to me. Rashod Hill, one of our tackles trains with Duke and last year was the first year and he went last year. He told me how good of an experience it was so I went down and stayed with Rashod and had a really good time. Just hearing about what it was, I figured I had a few weeks off and it would be great, it was the weekend before I came out here. To get my mind ready, set back on football
Q: Anything you want to try from it when you get on the practice field? How does the process work?
A: Yeah, like I said there were a whole lot of topics that we talked about. Just trying to take little pieces from everything, from every different guy and understanding that I’ve got a long way to go. Hearing the mental thought process that some of the NFL centers have for each play pre-snap. Understanding that I need to get my play book, you never have it, you never understand it. You always learn more and kind of grow more.