Minnesota Vikings Training Camp Thoughts – Saturday, July 26
"Teddy, Teddy, Teddy!"
Yep, Teddy Bridgewater is impressing Minnesota Vikings fans already.
Training camp on Saturday was oozing with energy surrounding Bridgewater, the Vikings second first-round pick last May. Scouts had their doubts about Bridgewater after a disappointing Pro Day and was labeled as average at best. But when I asked new offensive coordinator Norv Turner about the rookie out of Louisville, he compared it to taking Drew Brees early in the second round at pick No. 32 after the San Diego Chargers selected LaDainian Tomlinson with the fifth pick in the 2001 Draft.
"A lot of people didn't think Drew was tall enough or think he threw the ball hard enough or didn't think the way he played in college didn't transfer to this league and time has shown that, that pick was a great pick. I think that Teddy was available and we made the trade to get him and certainly felt that was the right thing to do and time will tell if that was a steal," Turner says.
Bridgewater was looking confident in walkthroughs and in practice Saturday at Minnesota State-Mankato's football facilities. He was playing with the second-team and making a few deep throws to his receivers. Fans were loving what they were watching. Bridgewater wants the job and he certainly isn't showing that he is going to just give Matt Cassel the job.
Matt Cassel is ahead of Bridgewater for now and is practicing with the first-team. Christian Ponder, who is possibly the odd man out, is taking third-team reps. Cassel was sharp, taking command of the offense, and even Ponder was making a few over the shoulder throws.
In the ground game, Adrian Peterson was himself on the practice field. He was high-spirited and running with fresh legs. Meanwhile, the passing game was missing one of their top targets as Cordarrelle Patterson was on the sidelines with a foot injury.
"You know Coach Zimmer did a good job of talking to everybody about of leaving the medical stuff to him and the trainer. I'm not a doctor and trainer and you know I know Cordarrelle is chomping at the bit. He wants to get going. I think I hope it will be sooner than later," Turner adds.
To me though, Zimmer and Turner were looking like brilliant hires made by the Vikings.Turner was by far more vocal, yelling out plays to his quarterbacks and taking command of the offense. Zimmer was walking around practice quietly, but one could tell that after watching the this team the last few days, both the offense and defense is energetic.
Overall, the vibe around Vikings camp was exciting and players were buying into Zimmer and Turner's system. And it sure seems like the Vikings are going in the right direction.
**Sam Tastad was in Mankato on Saturday for ESPN 99.1. For comments, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.