Quarterback Sam Bradford hasn’t had a whole lot of time to develop a chemistry with receiver Laquon Treadwell.
And it showed on Saturday as the Vikings went through their first training camp practice in full pads. Especially on the deep throws.
In three instances — two one-on-one drills and one in team drills — Treadwell got open behind the defense, but Bradford clearly overestimated the second-year wideout’s speed as he overthrew him all three times.
Speed, or lack thereof, has been one of the primary question marks lurking around the 2016 first-round draft pick. Injuries also contributed to Treadwell having only one catch for 15 yards as a rookie.
“I didn’t get a whole lot of work with him [in 2016],” said Bradford, who arrived via trade from Philadelphia eight days before the start of the regular season. “Just based on the guys we had in the rotation. I think when you’re not involved in the offseason and when you’re not involved in training camp, that’s one of your limitations that you just kind of get the reps with the guys you know are going to be out there running the plays on Sundays.”
Bradford went on to say he thinks Treadwell has “come a really long way, just from what I’ve seen since I got here last year to this point.”
And that is true. Treadwell has been working as the No. 3 receiver with the first team. And with Michael Floyd suspended for the first four games of the season, Treadwell should get ever opportunity to maintain that role heading into the season.
“He’s big, he’s physical, he’s got strong hands,” Bradford said. “It seems like he does a really good job of making contested catches when he has the opportunity. it’s nice to have a guy like that who you can put on the back side and know that you can throw it into some tight windows and know that he’s got the ability to come down with it.”
But the deep ball has not looked like a strength for Treadwell. Perhaps Bradford will dial it in better with Treadwell. Or perhaps Treadwell just isn’t a guy one should send deep.
“He did a good job getting behind the defense [Saturday],” Bradford said. “And then it’s just me giving him an opportunity to make a catch. it’s one of those things of just working through those deep balls. Just trying to figure out what trajectory the ball has to be on. I think it’s a little bit different with each guy. It’s just part of developing chemistry.
“The more time you have with someone the more you kind of figure them out. I think it’s hard to put an exact time frame on something like that. But hopefully it’s something that comes pretty quick.”