When the Minnesota Vikings took Teddy Bridgewater with the final pick of the first round during the 2014 NFL Draft, it was assumed that Bridgewater would likely sit behind Matt Cassel to start the season. It now appears that new coach Mike Zimmer might have a bigger plan for Bridgewater as he said that Bridgewater will get some first-team reps during the team’s organized team activities that begin May 28. It is a development that should get the attention of Vikings fans everywhere.
Is Zimmer really considering the idea of having Bridgewater start from the opening of the 2014 season? Why else would he give Bridgewater first-team reps right away? Could this be a smokescreen trying to motivate Cassel and Christian Ponder? There are a lot of questions to be answered about this decision. Cassel was just signed to a new two-year deal in the offseason and probably wouldn’t be interested in riding the bench for their whole deal or he would have looked elsewhere. Ponder is in the final year of his deal and likely will be on a different team by this time next season.
Bridgewater would likely be better off staying on the bench to begin the 2014 season in all honesty. The Vikings were 4-12 last season and have made some moves that should make them a better football team this season but Bridgewater could use a couple of weeks of seeing live action from the sideline before being thrown in there. The coaches in Minnesota like what Bridgewater has brought to the table so far however so maybe their confidence level is higher than what they expected it to be this soon. If he keeps making plays like these, maybe he does something special in Minnesota.
There is still a long way to go until the 2014 preseason ever gets here with the team’s first preseason game not being until Aug. 8 so there is time. Also, the beginning of the regular season schedule looks incredibly difficult and the team doesn’t want to lose Bridgewater’s confidence within three or four games. There is a lot of hope for the Vikings and Bridgewater heading into OTA’s and training camp. However, expectations probably should be tempered at least a little bit. Bridgewater has a lot of potential and he did complete over 70% of his passes while at Louisville but giving him the time he needs to develop would be the smartest move out there.