A Major Problem for Vikings Continues

If Vikings OL Improves, It'll Be at a Discount
Jun 8, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. © Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Week 2 of training camp is underway. The Vikings have pads beginning this week, which means one thing — real football is starting. And as pads go on, a major problem for the Vikings continues.

This is the first week we will get a real look at the defensive and offensive lines. The offensive line is a crucial position group to watch. First-year general manager KAM looks to solve a problem that has plagued the Vikings for years.

However, the Vikings have not yet solved one of the biggest problems. That problem? Garrett Bradbury cannot anchor and hold up against bull rushes from bigger defensive linemen.

During one on one drills, Harrison Phillips rocked Bradbury.

Now, as I have said before, you can’t look at anything in training camp too seriously. You need to take everything with a grain of salt. Most importantly, you must look for trends, not a one-day occurrence.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that one person’s good rep is another person’s bad rep. Although, when it comes to Bradbury and his struggle to anchor against a bull rush, we have plenty of evidence of that. It appears that this problem is going to continue to occur.

This is very disappointing, to say the least. Bradbury had worked hard all off-season to add some weight to his frame to prevent this very thing from occurring. While it is early in training camp, if this problem continues, the Vikings could be in for a struggle.

What Games Bradbury Will Struggle With The Most

Decision on Vikings Offensive Lineman Looms
Garrett Bradbury

How much of an impact will Bradbury’s issues with anchoring have on the season? This is a tough question to answer. First off, the Vikings will likely try to cover up some of his deficiencies.

However, eventually, Bradbury will be one-on-one with a bigger defender. In fact, teams will likely scheme to get that exact matchup to wreak havoc on the Vikings’ offensive plans. So, which games should we be most concerned about?

  • Week 1 – Kenny Clark (Packers)
  • Week 2 – Fletcher Cox (Eagles)
  • Week 10 – Jordan Phillips (Bills)
  • Week 15 – DeForest Buckner (Colts)
  • Week 16 – Dexter Lawrence (Giants)
  • Week 17 – Kenny Clark (Packers)

The way the schedule and current rosters appear, these six games are the most worrisome. Each of these guys is bigger and well known for being monsters on the defensive line. Bradbury struggling against these guys could seriously inhibit the Vikings’ ability to make a run at making the playoffs.

How the Vikings Cover Up Bradbury’s Problems

Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings will have to scheme their protection to protect Bradbury during these games. How will they do this?

Well, it will depend on Darrisaw and O’Neill holding up on the edges. If both of these guys can hold up without needing help, the Vikings can shift protections to have either of the guards double team the nose tackle.

With Cleveland or the starting right guard assisting in blocking the bigger defensive tackles, Bradbury can breathe a little easier. Although, Bradbury could still turn it around during training camp. This is definitely something to keep an eye on throughout the rest of training camp and the preseason.

If the Vikings cannot solve the problem, the decision not to sign a veteran center like JC Tretter could go down as one of the worst decisions of the 2022 offseason.

Mitch Massman is a life-long Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3