For most of the off-season, new Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell has made it clear that four of the five points are assigned up front, with only the proper guard placement in place. After two weeks of boot camp, it looks like this may not be the case anymore.
O’Connell says there is still competition for the position. Bradbury says he was good at running but admits some difficulties in protecting passes. He says he thinks he’s strong enough but constantly needs better technology.
– Mark Craig (@markcraignfl) August 6, 2022
According to Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (among others), O’Connell announced Saturday that there are he isin fact, there is competition at the center between incumbent Garrett Bradbury and others, notably signed free agent Chris Reed and Austin Shelman.
On the other hand, Kevin Seifert points out that O’Connell is not “concerned” about Bradbury but that there is room for improvement.
O’Connell said he was not worried about Bradbury but made clear that there was progress to be made. More to come later after practice once the power in the media room is restored. Thunderstorms!!
– Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) August 6, 2022
Bradbury’s story so far appears to be the same as it was in the first three years of his career in Minnesota. He’s very good as a blocker for running, especially when he can get out into space a bit, but he gets hit really bad at protecting passes.
The Vikings declined to pick Bradbury for the fifth year earlier this season, so Bradbury is basically playing for his next contract, whether it’s for Minnesota or another team (with the latter making a major appearance at this point). Reid has never played a position in a regular season game and Schlottmann has only made one start to his career at that spot, but they clearly use to push Bradbury. . . or potentially replace it.
I don’t think this comes as a huge surprise or anything else. Again, Bradbury had his moments, but they were too few and too far apart. With the new system not having any really strong ties to Bradbury, they would probably put him on the bench if they thought another player would be an improvement over what Bradbury could offer.
Sure, we still have quite a bit of camp and three pre-season games, but it doesn’t look promising for Garrett Bradbury’s prospects going forward at this point.