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Teddy Bridgewater Takes First Team Reps For Real And Looks Good

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.

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  1. I think this May be one of the very few times in a rookie vs veteran QB Battle where the rookie may win the battle due to. 1) Playing better under pressure in live situations when there is no red shirts & quick whistles and 2) not turning it over. Very rare the rookie is better than the vet in these important traits.

    My only question for Teddy is he explosive or just a game manager? Hoping for the whole package…

    1. Teddy had 2 interceptions today, don’t get too excited. He looks like a 3-4 interception a game qb right now.

      1. He did? Well I’ll consider that a good thing…Shows he still needs work. I’d be more worried if he hadn’t thrown one yet. Can’t wait to see some preseason action!

      2. Nice. 3-4 a game. That would be an incredible accomplishment. A pace like Peyton Manning put up TDs last year.

      3. He’s had only two interceptions total throughout camp and you’re already pegging him to significantly surpass the most ints ever thrown in a season? C’mon man!

  2. Game manager always implies to me that a QB is mediocre and is charged with not losing games. Teddy is above above average in preparation, field recognition (football IQ), and accuracy. From what I can see he has the moral fiber and likability to be a leader and role model. He is everything I have wanted in a QB and I believe he is poised to be a field general capable of attacking and exploiting defenses, more than a game manager.

  3. My problem with Cassel is that he has had 10 years to learn when to throw, when not to throw, how to lead a receiver, and how to throw overhand instead of “overhand with a sidearm motion” that makes the ball jump out funny with an initial low trajectory (easier to bat down). If 10 years and multiple coaches is not enough to train you differently, you are unlikely to be much better than your mediocre history.

    Bridgewater has that rare natural feel for throwing in-stride, the Rodgers-Brees method that seems so hard to teach. I want him to sit for a year, but it is becoming hard to sustain that view because he is simply better than the others.

    Myself, I think they should trade Cassel and stick with one type of package that includes read-option as a possibility.

    1. i’d prefer TB sit, too, if not a full season, at least for some time; that’s been the better formula in the past, but recently, we’ve seen QB rooks do well starting sooner, and TB does appear to have the presence to handle it. i’m concerned, though, that he might get burnt out this year, considering that he really hasn’t taken any time off away from football

      in any case, it’s great that he’s looking good in camp

  4. I’d like to see TB sit for a while, but I also trust Zimmer (and really, Turner) to make the right decision. Neither one seems particularly susceptible to pressure from rubes, and given Turners history of never starting a rookie QB, at least not early on, I doubt he’ll push to have Bridgewater start unless he believes it will be best for his long term development.

  5. Tom Brady said a perfect practice isn’t perfect because you have to test your limits and see what throws you can fit and what you can’t. If you aren’t making mistakes you aren’t learning as effectively as you could be. I hope TB holds nothing back and has no shame about throwing picks, unlike Ponder who while intelligent and capable, tucked his proverbial tail between his legs and was too afraid and discouraged about mistakes.