The Facts: OC Pat Shurmur believes the Vikings ground game has to improve (after the Vikings posted a league-low 1,205 yards in 2016), and he mentioned a need for both more explosive plays and greater red zone efficiency. One of the biggest reasons Shurmur believes the Vikings can improve, though, is the time Bradford will have to work with his receivers after last fall's spur-of-the-moment union. "When he comes back [for the Vikings' offseason program in April], him having the ability to sit down with the players he's going to play with through the offseason, we'll do things that fit his eye, that fit with what we do," Shurmur said.
Diehards Line: Though Bradford posted the best numbers of his career in 2016, setting an NFL single-season record for completion percentage, he had the league's shortest average target as the Vikings tried to make him comfortable behind a leaky offensive line. Bradford, who joined the Vikings on Sept. 3, will now have a full offseason to develop the kind of timing and compatibility with his receivers that he had to conjure up on the fly last season. "When he came in this year, everything was running parallel and real fast," Shurmur said. "He had to get up to speed with what we were doing, he had to quickly learn the players he was playing with. That connection between the quarterback and the skill players is extremely important, and that chemistry is built really in the offseason. ... That’s where you’re hopeful that you’re going to see a big jump in efficiency in terms of the passing game.” As ESPN's Ben Goessling notes, the Vikings' ability to fix their offensive line will have a major say in how much more explosive they can be, but it should be noted that Bradford threw for 3,877 yards in a situation where very little was ideal. If the quarterback can click with his receivers in 2017, the Vikings' passing game could pick up some speed next season.