Saturday, May 30, 2015
Blog Page 125

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Teddy Bridgewater at QB Training Camp 2014

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.

It’s been a couple of days since we’ve had a training camp update here on VT. I’ve scoured the internet and curated it below. I will be in Mankato Friday and Saturday at Vikings Training Camp and will have more content to share with everyone at that time. I’ll also be tweeting furiously so make sure to follow me (@brettAnderson87) if you aren’t already.

Quarterback Trio - Vikings Training Camp 2014
Photo courtesy of Chris Price


Let’s get the injury related news out of the way starting with Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson, dealing with a foot injury, was a full participant today for the first time this training camp. The injury is not believed to be serious and Patterson’s absence comes off as precautionary. Still, it’s a good sign he’s back with the team.

Captain Munnerlyn, who is dealing with a minor hamstring injury, was activated off the PUP list but was not a participant in team drills. Like Patterson, the injury is not believed to be serious.

Unfortunately, Robert Blanton got added to the injury list today. Blanton pulled his hamstring during blitz drills. Zimmer did not share with media how long Blanton would be out but it’s bad news for Blanton who had been taking most first-team reps alongside Harrison Smith.

Andrew Sendejo, who had offseason back surgery and hasn’t participated in practice to date, could return as soon as Monday, per Zimmer.

Other injury casualties include Josh Robinson who cut practice short with hamstring tightness and AC Leonard who had a headache. Zimmer did refer to Josh Robinson’s early departure as “preventative.”


Alright, let’s cut to the chase. Everyone wants to know about how the quarterbacks are faring so far. Everything I’ve heard or read is that Teddy Bridgewater has been super impressive and slowly closing (bridging?!) the gap separating himself and Matt Cassel. During last night’s team practice, Bridgewater dazzled many fans and members of the media going 12-for-13 with his only incompletion coming from a drop at the hands of UDFA AC Leonard. Bridgewater’s performance earned him first-team reps in today’s practice.

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Photo courtesy of


With training camp well underway, the position battles are starting to heat up. The highly popular battles like linebacker and quarterback are getting a lot of attention and commentary; however, there are battles that could impact the 2014 team that might be seen as under the radar at the moment.

With tight end Chase Ford entering camp on crutches and the PUP list, the depth chart behind Kyle Rudolph and his new 5 year contact gets a little foggy. Versatile 3rd year man Rhett Ellison is a shoe in to make the team and be a strong contributor with his ability to play either tight end or full back.

The battle for the 3rd tight end spot is currently up for grabs. During my time in Mankato over the weekend, a player vying for that 3rd spot immediately jumped out to me.

Undrafted rookie AC Leonard from Tennessee State seems to be making the most of his opportunity to climb the depth chart while getting plenty of time with the 2nd team offense. Oddly enough, I did not see former undrafted addition Allen Reisner get many reps at all over the weekend. I found this curious if nothing else because of how highly the Vikings thought of Reisner after picking him up from the University of Iowa. Reisner received a lot of attention for ‘catching everything’ as a relatively unknown rookie and after spending time on the Vikings practice squad and with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Reisner was resigned by the Vikings. I think this says something about what Leonard has been able to do with the team in a very short time.

Leonard is an intriguing prospect for a variety of reasons, but he is clearly talented. After starting his college career at the University of Florida, Leonard was atop the Gators’ tight end depth chart that included current Washington tight end Jordan Reed.

Leonard’s time in Gainesville was short lived, however, and he left the program prior to the 2012 season. While at Tennessee State, Leonard displayed his athleticism and receiving ability while hauling in 85 receptions for 1,214 yards and 11 touchdowns over his two years with the Tigers.

There is no doubting Leonard’s receiving ability. Leonard has displayed a nice release off the line and seems to be fluid and athletic in route running. He also possesses the type of speed and acceleration needed to get behind a defense and stretch the field from the tight end position.

After yesterday’s practice, I asked Leonard what type of player he was and what he felt he brought to the Vikings.

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Welcome to Episode #2 of VT Talkers. Fantasy Football drafts are right around the corner for most of  us. (Some of you may have already had some early drafts.) So, I thought it would be great to get two guys in here who are absolute experts when it comes to Fantasy Football and pick their brains with both general fantasy questions and ones specifically pertaining to the Vikings.

Our first guest is Ryan Boser (@Ryan_Boser) who some of you may already know. I met Ryan when we participated in a Twitter Mock Draft together a couple of years back. Since then, Ryan and I have continued to talk and we actually play together in one league. Ryan is a huge Vikings fan and was a big Teddy Bridgewater supporter far before the Vikings drafted him. He is a writer for and an awesome graphic designer / branding expert.

Next we have Sigmund Bloom (@SigmundBloom). I was stoked when Sigmund agreed to participate in this as I am a big fan of the work he does over at If you think the fantasy coverage on sites like ESPN, NFL, CBS, etc. is good, you honestly have no idea. These guys talk about things those networks don’t even consider discussing. From general concepts all the way down to analysis of guys even your most learned fantasy football enthusiast have never heard of, they literally have it all. Sigmund also hosts his own podcast (as well as being on others) called “On The Couch,” which I very highly recommend.

Alright, let’s have a quick refresh on the rules and then jump right into it:

  1. Responses should be less than 140 words. If the responder goes slightly over this boundary, they aren’t disqualified or anything. This isn’t a contest. Really, the restriction is to simplify things a little big and get a straight-forward answer.
  2. There are “Unacceptable Answers.” I will decide what these are on a case-by-case basis. Typically, I will try and think of answers that I deem unworthy. (Primarily because they don’t really answer the question.)

Question #1 – I refuse to take _______

We all have players we would avoid at all costs. I’m not talking about guys that you typically don’t take because you think their ADP (Average Draft Position) is too high and don’t like the value. I’m talking about guys who you refuse to draft. Guys that will never, ever find themselves on your team. Provide a response for quarterback, running back and wide receiver.

Unacceptable Answers:
– “I’ll take anyone if the value is right.”
– “There is no one I despise that much.”

According to Jay Glazer, tight end Kyle Rudolph and the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to a 5-year extension.

Many expected the Vikings to extend Kyle Rudolph but questioned whether it would happen before the season or after. Once more details of the deal are available, we can analyze this move further. As of right now, it looks as though the Vikings have secured one of their best offensive playmakers for years to come. We will keep you updated with additional information as soon as we have it. Congratulations, Kyle!

Update: Well, that was quick. Jay Glazer is now reporting that the deal is 36.5 million / 5 years.

2nd Update: The Vikings have officially announced the contract extension of Kyle Rudolph. The deal is for 5 years and up to 40 million. The base salary is $37.46 million with $19.4 million guaranteed and a $6.5 million signing bonus.

Rudolph’s new deal puts him right with guys like Jason Witten, Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates financially. According to Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network, this makes Rudolph the 5th-highest paid tight end in the NFL.

“I’m extremely excited to get this extension completed and continue my career with the Minnesota Vikings,” said Rudolph. “I’ve said all along that I wanted to stay in Minnesota. I love the fans, the community and, most importantly, I’m excited about where this team is going. I’m looking forward to the 2014 season and helping this organization reach our ultimate goal.”

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