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Sam Bradford using his voice to lead Vikings

Jan 1, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Sam Bradford (8) during the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to Sam Bradford’s personality, his teammates got jokes.

“More vocal is a very, very loose term with Sam,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said Wednesday when asked about Bradford becoming a vocal leader.

Rudolph echoed the sentiments of multiple Minnesota Vikings players over the last year-plus: Bradford isn’t exactly Travis Kelce or Cam Newton when it comes to showing personality.

But this year, he’s been more willing to exude emotion. Bradford practically attacked Rudolph after a touchdown toss against the New Orleans Saints on Monday night. The Vikings’ tight end joked that he didn’t realize how hard Bradford hit him when celebrating.

It wasn’t the first outburst from Bradford this year. In camp, he knocked down Mike Zimmer while celebrating a touchdown during a situational drill.

“I’ve been telling him that he needs to celebrate,” Zimmer said in August. “That’s what I’ve been telling him, ‘You’ve got to show some emotion out there.’ I’m glad he did it.”

 

Bradford, who was awarded NFC Offensive Player of the Week on Wednesday, said that the stability of his situation in Minnesota has allowed him to excuse personality and become a better leader.

“They are more comfortable with me now, I’m more comfortable with them,” Bradford said.

The Vikings’ QB  threw for 346 yards, three touchdowns and scored the NFL’s second highest passer rating in a 29-19 win over the Saints on Monday night.

“Whether it be at practice or in a game, if I see something or we need to talk about something I’m a lot more comfortable making sure it gets communicated,” Bradford said. “Last year I was just trying to figure out what I was doing and make sure I wasn’t messing everything up.”

Part of Bradford’s growing comfort comes from a full offseason with offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who spent time with him in St. Louis and Philadelphia.

“Having been with him everywhere I’ve been, spending time with him, in the meeting room, having conversations on the field and off the field about how I see things and how he see things,” Bradford said. “I think over time that relationship continues to get better.”

“The better relationship you have with a coordinator, with the person calling the plays, the easier it is on game day to understand what I like and what I see well.”





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