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Bradley Blog: A New Year And A New Season


First of all, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank all of you fans for the great support we received at the game Sunday. It was an incredible experience. To show my appreciation, I'm going to be at Chickie's And Pete's in South Philadelphia on Friday night from 8-9 PM. I hope you will all stop by.

As for this weekend, you would obviously prefer to play as many playoff games as you can at home. But we're a good road team. We did well on our West Coast trips. I know they weren't against teams that had great records this year, but they're still tough trips. You cross a lot of space, cross three different time zones, so I think we're a good road team, confident. The trip to Minnesota is a short trip. We did well up in New York; that was a road game. I don't think being on the road will be that big of an issue.

I think Jim Johnson does a good job getting the most out of guys. He puts guys in position where they can be successful. If anything that's a tribute to some our success as the year has gone on.

Adrian Peterson is a great back. He's had a great year. He leads the league in rushing yardage. He runs hard and I think coming out of his cuts, he comes out of his break faster than anyone else in the league. It's going to be a big challenge for us.

Even though we held him to 70 yards in our game last season, last year is last year. But I think that shows the scheme is set up right. At least it was last year. I feel confident in the game plan we have and it's going to be a challenge. We have to be confident and that's what we are.

I think Peterson's cuts and his dedication to hit a seam even though most backs would cut it back is what makes him so dangerous. He'll pop in there, slam in there. He might get tied up or lost three runs in a row and the next thing you know he's taking it 60 to the house. Not only is their offensive line good, but he's committed and he has confidence in himself that he can make big plays.

Minnesota's receiving corps is good; they have a lot of catches. Bernard Berrian is a talented player, a lot faster than his 40 time indicates. He flies around; he's a special guy. Tarvaris Jackson's quarterback rating is, I think, near 95, so he's been playing well. Their offensive line is a real strength, especially the left side of their line. They have a lot of weapons.

Definitely, Jackson's scrambling ability is a threat. At times this year, we've been hurt by scrambling quarterbacks, quarterbacks that can make plays with their feet, picking up third downs on us. It's definitely going to be a key for us. I think third down is key and keeping them off track on first and second downs to put them in those long third-down situations. You have to get them out of their comfort zone a little bit.

I was asked a lot of questions on Wednesday about what it feels like to be favored to win. At the end of the day, we're still the sixth seed. We're the lowest seeded team entering the playoffs, so we're not overlooking anybody. We have an underdog mentality and that's the mentality we're taking into each game. That's the reality of where we are right now. We're playing at their place and they are division champs so it's going to be a challenge.

The past six weeks we've been in a playoff mentality and that's the approach we've been taking in meetings and that's how we've prepared for games. I think as far as the pressure from having to play good to keep the season alive, we've been dealing with. But now there's the added excitement that we're in the playoffs.

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