Teddy Bridgewater to take 1st-team reps with Vikings

May 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

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Teddy Bridgewater will have his chance to become a starter in the NFL.

Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Friday, according to the Star Tribune Bridgewater will receive a share of first-team practice repetitions during the team’s organized team activities, in an attempt to have a complete quarterback competition.

For now, however, all rookies will begin at the bottom of the depth chart.

“They’ll start at the bottom,” Zimmer said. “It doesn’t mean that they’ll end up there, but you have to line them up somewhere. They’ll start at the bottom, but we’ll see where it goes from there.”

What are Zimmer’s first impressions of Bridgewater?

“Good, I really like him,” Zimmer said. “He’s a really nice kid and he’s catching on. I like how hard he’s been studying, working, how good he wants to be. A lot of this stuff is different for him now, too, the terminology, the playcalls, and (quarterbacks coach) Scott (Turner) is coaching the heck out of him.

“It’s been good. He’s throwing the ball good. I think he’s got a good presence, a good command of the way he’s taking things and it was good for him to be out here with the veteran quarterbacks last week for a few days and then we kept all the rookies out a little bit longer for an extra session with them to try to catch them up, so I think that all of that stuff is good and we’re trying to make sure we get all of those guys caught up.”

With Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder already on the roster, there’s no hurry to rush Bridgewater into playing time.

“I really don’t care where his jersey ranks as far as sales or anything like that,” Zimmer said. “No, we’re going to bring Teddy along at the right time. I’ve said this before; I want competition at every spot. And watching the quarterbacks that we have, I feel that they’ve improved a lot in the short time since we had the first minicamp to where they are now. I feel like they’ve improved a lot throwing the football. I feel they’ve improved a lot with their footwork, so we’ll see where all that goes.”

Just a few days into Bridgewater’s professional career, Zimmer is taking the right approach with his rookie quarterback. It makes sense to give Bridgewater first-team reps in spring training; that way, he can see how the rookie competes with the starting offensive line, running backs and pass catchers. He’ll also see how much more work Bridgewater may need before moving up the depth chart.

What will matter most for Bridgewater is taking advantage of those first-team practice repetitions. If he can show poise and command, Bridgewater will have a chance to eventually beat out Cassel and Ponder for playing time.

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