Who would've been better?

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J. Kapp 11
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Who would've been better?

Post by J. Kapp 11 »

They posed an interesting question on Purple Daily the other day, and I thought it might be a fun topic here on VMB. Especially since it's kind of the dead part of the season until training camp starts.

Here it is:

If their knee injuries had never happened, which Vikings quarterback would've had the best career?
— Daunte Culpepper
— Teddy Bridgewater
— Sam Bradford

Better yet, rank them 1 to 3.

Couple of asks.

1. Support your opinions.
2. Keep it civil. Nobody is wrong or right on this.
3. Please, please, PLEASE do not bring up Kirk Cousins.

I'll throw my thoughts in later. Want to hear some of yours first.

Who do ya got?
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by VikingsVictorious »

1 Culpepper
2 Bradford
3 Bridgewater

I know it's popular to hate of Bradford, but that guy had talent if he could have ever stayed healthy.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by VikingLord »

J. Kapp 11 wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 11:20 am They posed an interesting question on Purple Daily the other day, and I thought it might be a fun topic here on VMB. Especially since it's kind of the dead part of the season until training camp starts.

Here it is:

If their knee injuries had never happened, which Vikings quarterback would've had the best career?
— Daunte Culpepper
— Teddy Bridgewater
— Sam Bradford

Better yet, rank them 1 to 3.

Couple of asks.

1. Support your opinions.
2. Keep it civil. Nobody is wrong or right on this.
3. Please, please, PLEASE do not bring up Kirk Cousins.

I'll throw my thoughts in later. Want to hear some of yours first.

Who do ya got?
1 - Culpepper
2 - Bradford
3 - Bridgewater

Without doing more statistical comparisons, my ranking is based on their big play potential and relative ceilings. Culpepper takes the top spot under that criteria because he was physically unique compared to Bradford or Bridgewater. He was big, had a very strong arm, and I felt he forced defensive coordinators to account for him more than either Bradford or Bridgewater could based on that. He wasn't elite processing the field post-snap and he had an issue with fumbling, but I felt like Culpepper had the potential to be a true franchise QB.

I put Bradford above Bridgewater because both of them were similar in terms of their overall games, but I feel Bradford had greater arm talent as a passer. As a result, Bradford could fit the ball into tighter spaces and was capable of making more plays.

Bridgewater's greatest strength was his overall composure and accuracy. However, his physical tools were those of an average NFL QB. I feel like Spielman drafted him where he drafted him because Bridgewater's QB class was weak overall and either someone fell in love with Bridgewater's "intangibles" pre-draft (I thought I read somewhere, maybe even from you Kapp, that Zimmer was a huge Teddy fan) and the Vikings felt they needed to take a swing on a QB similar to what they did when they drafted Ponder in the 1st. I think Teddy was and is a true system guy and a team player. He'll take coaching and won't stray far from the gameplan if he does at all. On the flip side, he'll only wow you as much as you want to be wowed. On a conservative offense, that won't be often.

I think the three careers more or less support that general ranking. Bradford was drafted 1st overall the year he came out, earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in his first season, but never made a pro bowl and never dominated as one would hope a #1 overall would dominate. Culpepper was drafted 11th overall the year he came out and made 3 Pro Bowls over his career. Bridgewater came off the board at #32 and made one Pro Bowl (so far) in his career.

Culpepper threw for over 30 TDs twice in his career, while Bradford threw for 20 or more twice and Bridgewater has never thrown for over 20 in a year.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by Maelstrom88 »

1. Culpepper was a stud physically who was figuring it out.

2. Bradford threw a very pretty, accurate ball and had mobility.

3. Teddy was a good leader with above average accuracy.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by J. Kapp 11 »

VikingLord wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 3:26 pm
J. Kapp 11 wrote: Thu Jul 07, 2022 11:20 am They posed an interesting question on Purple Daily the other day, and I thought it might be a fun topic here on VMB. Especially since it's kind of the dead part of the season until training camp starts.

Here it is:

If their knee injuries had never happened, which Vikings quarterback would've had the best career?
— Daunte Culpepper
— Teddy Bridgewater
— Sam Bradford

Better yet, rank them 1 to 3.

Couple of asks.

1. Support your opinions.
2. Keep it civil. Nobody is wrong or right on this.
3. Please, please, PLEASE do not bring up Kirk Cousins.

I'll throw my thoughts in later. Want to hear some of yours first.

Who do ya got?
1 - Culpepper
2 - Bradford
3 - Bridgewater

Without doing more statistical comparisons, my ranking is based on their big play potential and relative ceilings. Culpepper takes the top spot under that criteria because he was physically unique compared to Bradford or Bridgewater. He was big, had a very strong arm, and I felt he forced defensive coordinators to account for him more than either Bradford or Bridgewater could based on that. He wasn't elite processing the field post-snap and he had an issue with fumbling, but I felt like Culpepper had the potential to be a true franchise QB.

I put Bradford above Bridgewater because both of them were similar in terms of their overall games, but I feel Bradford had greater arm talent as a passer. As a result, Bradford could fit the ball into tighter spaces and was capable of making more plays.

Bridgewater's greatest strength was his overall composure and accuracy. However, his physical tools were those of an average NFL QB. I feel like Spielman drafted him where he drafted him because Bridgewater's QB class was weak overall and either someone fell in love with Bridgewater's "intangibles" pre-draft (I thought I read somewhere, maybe even from you Kapp, that Zimmer was a huge Teddy fan) and the Vikings felt they needed to take a swing on a QB similar to what they did when they drafted Ponder in the 1st. I think Teddy was and is a true system guy and a team player. He'll take coaching and won't stray far from the gameplan if he does at all. On the flip side, he'll only wow you as much as you want to be wowed. On a conservative offense, that won't be often.

I think the three careers more or less support that general ranking. Bradford was drafted 1st overall the year he came out, earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in his first season, but never made a pro bowl and never dominated as one would hope a #1 overall would dominate. Culpepper was drafted 11th overall the year he came out and made 3 Pro Bowls over his career. Bridgewater came off the board at #32 and made one Pro Bowl (so far) in his career.

Culpepper threw for over 30 TDs twice in his career, while Bradford threw for 20 or more twice and Bridgewater has never thrown for over 20 in a year.
Teddy was definitely Zimm's guy.

Mike Zimmer in 2018, after Teddy left via free agency:
I always told him, ‘You and I are going to be together forever. My career is going to go as long as your career goes.’ But it just didn’t work out that way. I always remembered Teddy as the quarterback who went 11-5 and beat Green Bay up there for the division.
Paul Allen, around the same time:
Mike Zimmer is the biggest Teddy Bridgewater fan I think I’ve ever met in my life. Mike loved Teddy the person, and loved how Teddy played the game, where he’s not gonna kill the game, but he’s probably not gonna explode.
I'd probably put Bridgewater #3 on the list, too. But here's my caveat. In the 2016 preseason, Teddy was magnificent. He threw a 50-yard TD pass to Cordarrelle Patterson for his only series in the first game against the Bengals, then went 12-for-16 for 169 in a half against the Chargers. I know, I know ... it's preseason. But there was something different about the offense. It looked to me like the Vikings had transformed from being Adrian Peterson's team to Teddy Bridgewater's team, and he was leading it beautifully. I remember how pumped I was for the season. Diggs had established himself. Thielen was coming into his own. Rudolph was still productive. It just makes me wonder ... would Teddy have taken that step? The Vikings were already scary on defense by this point, and with any kind of offense, they were in position to really do some damage.

Then again, it's hard to discount what actually occurred. His stats over his career say he probably wasn't going to be more than he's turned out to be. But man, did that season look promising until his knee exploded.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by CharVike »

Bradford - Accurate passer who couldn't stay healthy. Never did much with us. I guess being 2-0 in 2017 was his highlight. He did have all the physical skills and that's why he was picked No 1.
Bridgewater - I never would have selected him in round 1. The first time I saw him I thought what? He'll get broke in half and has no arm. I do think if he would have stayed healthy he would have been perfect for what Zim's view of offense is. Hand it off to AP all day and kick a few FGs and let the D play. Teddy is a smart player who lacks the physically ability to be no more than a backup, tutor type. He'll be a coach someday.
Culpepper - Jumped on the throw it deep to Moss train but wasn't ever going to be much. I was done with him after the shut out in the Champ game with 2 HOF WRs. That's almost impossible to do. I guess his greatest skill was launch it deep and hope a guy finds it.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by fiestavike »

1. Bridgewater
2. Culpepper
3. Bradford.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by Foreman44 »

1 Culppepper
2 Bradford
3 Teddy

1. How good would have culpepper have become
2. Bradford would be good
3. Teddy would probably be what he is today.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by StumpHunter »

Bradford Career stats before the injury (6 seasons):
62.3 %, 6.6 YPA (dead last during that timeframe), 3.4 TD % (dead last), 84.5 passer rating (3rd to last), 32-45

Teddy's career before the injury(2 seasons):
64.9%, 7.2 YPA, 3.4 TD%, 87 passer rating, 17-11

Teddy since the injury:
67.8%, 7.3 YPA, 3.8 TD%, 93.4 passer rating, 16-19

Teddy won more and put up better stats than Bradford both before and after his injury and I don't think people realize just how bad a QB Bradford was for his ENTIRE career, not just after the injury. A very mediocre season in 2016 doesn't change that.

It is tough to argue Culpepper not as #1, but people forget just how bad he was without moss in 2005:
2-5, 6 TDs, 12 Ints, 72 passer rating. Brad Johnson came in after the injury, went 7-2 and nearly saved the season so it wasn't like that team was horrible either.

1. Culpepper
2. Teddy






3. Bradford
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by J. Kapp 11 »

So for me, it goes like this:

1. Sam Bradford — I still to this day believe Sam Bradford was the second- or third-most talented passer I’ve ever seen. His start with the Vikings in 2016, coming in cold and knowing nothing about the Vikings’ offense or personnel, was incredible. Of course, that season completely fell apart, but I don’t blame Bradford for that. Then in 2017, he opened the season with one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen a quarterback play. Unfortunately, the guy just couldn’t stay on the field. But I wonder how good that 13-3 team would’ve been with a healthy Sam Bradford.

2. Teddy Bridgewater — This one is purely speculative, but it sure looked like TB was poised to break out in 2016. Alas, we’ll never know. Teddy was a class act in the locker room and a true leader, with a bit of a clutch gene (4 fourth-quarter comebacks in 28 games with Minnesota). He wasn’t as physically gifted as others, and that may well have held him back.

3. Daunte Culpepper — Here’s the thing about Culpepper. He really only had one great season, in 2004. That was his only season with a 100+ passer rating, For his Vikings career, he averaged only 22 TDs per season but 14 picks, and despite his mobility was sacked about 3 times per game. His career passer rating with the Vikings was just 91.5. He had a winning record as a starter only in his first year as a starter in 2001. And in 2005, he was having one of the worst seasons in Vikings history before he went down with that gruesome knee injury, with 12 picks in 7 games and a 72 passer rating. We remember the 4,700-yard season and the spectacular plays, but he had plenty of bad plays. And his refusal to rehab his injury with a competent NFL medical staff brings his dedication into question for me.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by StumpHunter »

J. Kapp 11 wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 9:22 am So for me, it goes like this:

1. Sam Bradford — I still to this day believe Sam Bradford was the second- or third-most talented passer I’ve ever seen. His start with the Vikings in 2016, coming in cold and knowing nothing about the Vikings’ offense or personnel, was incredible. Of course, that season completely fell apart, but I don’t blame Bradford for that. Then in 2017, he opened the season with one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen a quarterback play. Unfortunately, the guy just couldn’t stay on the field. But I wonder how good that 13-3 team would’ve been with a healthy Sam Bradford.
2016 was the worst scoring offense the Vikings have put out on the field of the past decade, in large part because of the Oline, but the QB should take some blame for that as well.

During that season Bradford's ADOT target was dead last at 6.6, a number that is good for 3rd lowest among qualifying QBs since 2005. He threw it short A LOT.

The one thing he did really well that season was pickup 1st downs on 3rd and short, and the Vikings were 5th in 1st down percentage when passing in that situation. He did really well throwing that short, 3 yard slant to Diggs or Rudy in that situation. Unfortunately for the Vikings he also chose to throw those 3 yard passes on 3rd and long and the Vikings were 3rd to last in converting 3rd and 6+ in 2016.

On top of that, a fifth of his TDs that year came in garbage time in games where he played like garbage for most of 4 quarters.

He was a very mediocre QB in 2016 and that was the best season of his 7 year career. If he had stayed healthy in 2017, the Vikings might not even make the playoffs based on all evidence prior to that season.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by J. Kapp 11 »

StumpHunter wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 10:55 am
J. Kapp 11 wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 9:22 am So for me, it goes like this:

1. Sam Bradford — I still to this day believe Sam Bradford was the second- or third-most talented passer I’ve ever seen. His start with the Vikings in 2016, coming in cold and knowing nothing about the Vikings’ offense or personnel, was incredible. Of course, that season completely fell apart, but I don’t blame Bradford for that. Then in 2017, he opened the season with one of the greatest games I’ve ever seen a quarterback play. Unfortunately, the guy just couldn’t stay on the field. But I wonder how good that 13-3 team would’ve been with a healthy Sam Bradford.
2016 was the worst scoring offense the Vikings have put out on the field of the past decade, in large part because of the Oline, but the QB should take some blame for that as well.

During that season Bradford's ADOT target was dead last at 6.6, a number that is good for 3rd lowest among qualifying QBs since 2005. He threw it short A LOT.

The one thing he did really well that season was pickup 1st downs on 3rd and short, and the Vikings were 5th in 1st down percentage when passing in that situation. He did really well throwing that short, 3 yard slant to Diggs or Rudy in that situation. Unfortunately for the Vikings he also chose to throw those 3 yard passes on 3rd and long and the Vikings were 3rd to last in converting 3rd and 6+ in 2016.

On top of that, a fifth of his TDs that year came in garbage time in games where he played like garbage for most of 4 quarters.

He was a very mediocre QB in 2016 and that was the best season of his 7 year career. If he had stayed healthy in 2017, the Vikings might not even make the playoffs based on all evidence prior to that season.
Thanks for trashing my pick. You just can’t help yourself, can you?
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by StumpHunter »

J. Kapp 11 wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 12:20 pm
StumpHunter wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 10:55 am
2016 was the worst scoring offense the Vikings have put out on the field of the past decade, in large part because of the Oline, but the QB should take some blame for that as well.

During that season Bradford's ADOT target was dead last at 6.6, a number that is good for 3rd lowest among qualifying QBs since 2005. He threw it short A LOT.

The one thing he did really well that season was pickup 1st downs on 3rd and short, and the Vikings were 5th in 1st down percentage when passing in that situation. He did really well throwing that short, 3 yard slant to Diggs or Rudy in that situation. Unfortunately for the Vikings he also chose to throw those 3 yard passes on 3rd and long and the Vikings were 3rd to last in converting 3rd and 6+ in 2016.

On top of that, a fifth of his TDs that year came in garbage time in games where he played like garbage for most of 4 quarters.

He was a very mediocre QB in 2016 and that was the best season of his 7 year career. If he had stayed healthy in 2017, the Vikings might not even make the playoffs based on all evidence prior to that season.
Thanks for trashing my pick. You just can’t help yourself, can you?
I just strongly disagree with the first part and explained why.

The other two parts of your post I agree with.

Culpepper probably was on his way out the door even prior to that injury and it is tough to discount what Teddy was doing with both Diggs and Thielen on the field for pretty much the first time in that 2016 preseason.

In the end it is likely none of the three were going to be a long term answer even without the injuries, with the caveat that Teddy's injury cost us a 1st in a draft with Mahomes in it.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by fiestavike »

StumpHunter wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 8:29 am Bradford Career stats before the injury (6 seasons):
62.3 %, 6.6 YPA (dead last during that timeframe), 3.4 TD % (dead last), 84.5 passer rating (3rd to last), 32-45

Teddy's career before the injury(2 seasons):
64.9%, 7.2 YPA, 3.4 TD%, 87 passer rating, 17-11

Teddy since the injury:
67.8%, 7.3 YPA, 3.8 TD%, 93.4 passer rating, 16-19

Teddy won more and put up better stats than Bradford both before and after his injury and I don't think people realize just how bad a QB Bradford was for his ENTIRE career, not just after the injury. A very mediocre season in 2016 doesn't change that.

It is tough to argue Culpepper not as #1, but people forget just how bad he was without moss in 2005:
2-5, 6 TDs, 12 Ints, 72 passer rating. Brad Johnson came in after the injury, went 7-2 and nearly saved the season so it wasn't like that team was horrible either.

1. Culpepper
2. Teddy






3. Bradford
Sam Bradford was a genuinely terrible NFL QB. His pocket presence was -5 out of 10. He literally had no reaction to pressure except to backpedal like Soda Popinski until he could unload the ball. A classic example of arm strength and stats being confused with competent QB play.

Culpepper was extremely limited and kept to half field reads most of his career, as I recall. He did bring some extra components that made him somewhat dynamic, but very few QBs have had success with that formula.

Teddy was far and away the best and most complete QB of the three. It's hard not to wonder what would have become of the vikings if he hadn't been injured and played out that season. Zimmer and Spielman might still be here, and still be on the same page. I have the sneaking suspicion that differences on handling that QB position were ultimately the undoing of that regime.
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Re: Who would've been better?

Post by CharVike »

fiestavike wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 2:19 pm
StumpHunter wrote: Fri Jul 08, 2022 8:29 am Bradford Career stats before the injury (6 seasons):
62.3 %, 6.6 YPA (dead last during that timeframe), 3.4 TD % (dead last), 84.5 passer rating (3rd to last), 32-45

Teddy's career before the injury(2 seasons):
64.9%, 7.2 YPA, 3.4 TD%, 87 passer rating, 17-11

Teddy since the injury:
67.8%, 7.3 YPA, 3.8 TD%, 93.4 passer rating, 16-19

Teddy won more and put up better stats than Bradford both before and after his injury and I don't think people realize just how bad a QB Bradford was for his ENTIRE career, not just after the injury. A very mediocre season in 2016 doesn't change that.

It is tough to argue Culpepper not as #1, but people forget just how bad he was without moss in 2005:
2-5, 6 TDs, 12 Ints, 72 passer rating. Brad Johnson came in after the injury, went 7-2 and nearly saved the season so it wasn't like that team was horrible either.

1. Culpepper
2. Teddy






3. Bradford
Sam Bradford was a genuinely terrible NFL QB. His pocket presence was -5 out of 10. He literally had no reaction to pressure except to backpedal like Soda Popinski until he could unload the ball. A classic example of arm strength and stats being confused with competent QB play.

Culpepper was extremely limited and kept to half field reads most of his career, as I recall. He did bring some extra components that made him somewhat dynamic, but very few QBs have had success with that formula.

Teddy was far and away the best and most complete QB of the three. It's hard not to wonder what would have become of the vikings if he hadn't been injured and played out that season. Zimmer and Spielman might still be here, and still be on the same page. I have the sneaking suspicion that differences on handling that QB position were ultimately the undoing of that regime.
The Vikings under Zim would have always followed his philosophy. Pound the rock, play D and kick FGs. Early 70s. You won't go anywhere playing like that unless you create an all time great D like the Ravens or Bears. Bridgewater took us to the playoffs and we got beat 10-9. We were up 9-0 heading into the 4th qtr and then Zim's D folded and let the Hawks take the lead. How many times have we seen that BS. Then at the end Teddy took us on a great drive and Walsh missed the game winning FG. How many times have we seen that BS. That game right there was the perfect game for Zim. Just win it at the end with a FG. The problem with keeping it close is that your team is one bad play/mistake away from falling behind. Once you have a team under control don't stop and try to burn the clock up. Bury them so they can't get up. He did the same in the miracle playoff win. Big lead, sit on ball and then his D folded. Teddy would have functioned fine in that style of football. He's smart, a leader and his teammates gravitate towards him. Zim got a bad break losing Teddy. That was his QB. They had a great relationship. Zim hated every QB after him and especially his last one. That problem and his D falling completely off the table did him in.