Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, Anthony Barr, and Teddy Bridgewater shared their thoughts on the season and answered questions about camp, the draft, and the experiences of the incoming rookies.
Mike Zimmer says the team is “getting better” after finishing up Phase II of training. The entire Vikings team participated including the incoming rookies and hopeful walk ons.
Zimmer was impressed with Bridgewater’s “presence and command on the field” and liked how he’s practicing and studying. Teddy will still need to battle to become the starter despite his fourth place ranking in rookie jersey sales. Coach Zimmer continued to complement Bridgewater’s work ethic, “he would say the whole formation, the whole play, what it’s on and just repeat it as he goes. That was impressive…” While Coach Zimmer claims that the biggest hurdle to the NFL transition is “learning the different terminology” he seems to have high confidence and praise for Bridgewater’s growth.
On the Vikings first pick of their 2014 NFL Draft, Anthony Barr, Coach Zimmer joked that Barr has grown from a fawn to a doe from his atypical college experience, only playing two years of college football.
Barr responded, “I guess I am very happy to be a doe.” Barr’s determination to absorb information and gain professional experience was his focus, “The quicker I learn my assignments the faster I will be able to play.”
Bridgewater was also was appreciative of the opportunity to work out with the veterans. “Matt (Cassel) and Christian (Ponder) have been here for a while now, those guys have taken me under their wing and been teaching me whether it’s from a field standpoint or a film standpoint just trying to catch me up to speed.”
“Everything comes easy to me,” said Bridgewater, “but at the same time it’s also a challenge to actually get better each and every day because the guys around you are continually getting better also, so you just have to continue to go the extra mile and just put the extra time in to study so it wasn’t too much.”
Bridgewater says learning Norv Turner’s offense hasn’t been a challenge and he is ready to go the extra mile. “You have nothing to do but learn football, so that’s been my mindset so far and I’m going to continue to learn it.”
Bridgewater stands highly confident, as any incoming rookie quarterback needs to be. But will this confidence stick? In this year’s draft he fell from an expected top five overall pick to 32nd overall. The impact draft day can have on player’s careers can drain the soul out of any potential NFL quarterback but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. Teddy also has some friends by his side that are helping to mold him into the into a true NFL quarterback. Christian Ponder stands tall with a record of 12-14 as a starting quarterback, while his other “wing” Matt Cassell holds a record of 3-3 as a Minnesota Viking.
Bridgewater remains optimistic about the Viking’s upcoming season, as would any quarterback playing with Adrian Peterson. Hopefully Bridgewater can break the chain of “success” in Minnesota for newly acquired quarterbacks after Josh Freeman set the bar so high last year. With such upcoming talents of people like Cordarrelle Patterson and the increasing health of Greg Jennings, maybe AP will finally get some weight taken off his shoulders and we hope that Teddy likes the cold.
More stories you might like