Teddy Bridgewater, first round pick from the Minnesota Vikings, finally took actual reps with the first unit offense—after a lot of confusion regarding what it means to split reps and whether or not it had happened in the context of the first team offense.
Regardless of the saltiness of the local media in regards to the national coverage, Bridgewater’s first reps with the first team are at least a signal that the coaching staff is following through on its eventual promise to allow Bridgewater a true chance to compete by giving him snaps with the first team.
He only took five or so snaps with the first team offense in 11-on-11 drills, but there were quite a few snaps he took in place of the first team quarterback in individual drills and 7-on-7 drills, where he clearly outpaced Matt Cassel.
When compared to Matt Cassel or Christian Ponder, Teddy had a stellar day. In seven-on-seven drills, he hit nearly every target, most of them in stride. By comparison, Matt Cassel threw one interception and one near-interception on a dropped ball by Xavier Rhodes. Bridgewater would lead receivers in drills centered around receivers and tight ends running crossing routes out of the seam, while Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel would throw behind or force receivers to jump.
In fairness, it was an unusually bad day for Cassel, who would also see another batted pass and a few more errant throws in 11-on-11 drills. Though Bridgewater’s snaps with the first team were limited, they also looked good. Mike Zimmer downplayed the performance, his reps with the first team were fine; his biggest mistake came with the second team in a session where Dom Williams was rotating in at running back. Pressure forced Bridgewater to backpedal and he threw off his back foot, too far ahead of Williams.
He thus far hasn’t “evenly split” reps with Cassel; the veteran took many more snaps with the first team in every drill, as well as in the scrimmages.
For what it’s worth, Bridgewater has more than proven he deserves to take the lion’s share of first team reps if only to prove that he can hang with the veteran. As it stands he’s been slightly outperforming Cassel in camp, and that means he needs more bites at the apple. If he’s not the quarterback of the future, it’s better to see signs now.