Impressed with the rookie’s recent play, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said Friday that former Louisville star Teddy Bridgewater will take some first-team reps during organized team activities later this month.
The 21-year-old Bridgewater, whose underwhelming showings caused his stock to plummet, was taken by Minnesota with the 32nd overall pick.
Bridgewater will compete with veterans Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder to start for the Vikings.
“[Bridgewater] is throwing the ball good,” said Zimmer, 57, who replaced Leslie Frazier as Minnesota’s leader on January 15. “I think he’s got a good presence, a good command of the way he’s taking things. It was good for him to be out here with the veteran quarterbacks a little bit last week for a few days.”
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Bridgewater, who shined in Louisville’s 36-9 rout of Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl, concluded last season with 31 touchdowns, against four interceptions, for 3,970 yards.
Blessed with a tremendous arm and great mobility, Bridgewater also completed an astounding 71.0% of his 427 attempts.
Most importantly, the 2013 Sugar Bowl MVP again proved to be a natural headman who can quickly sense pressure in the pocket.
Granted, there is not a squad in the American Athletic Conference that will ever be confused with the 1985 Chicago Bears on defense.
Still, Bridgewater was utterly brilliant over 39 contests as a Cardinal and his performances can’t be overlooked.
Minnesota fielded the league’s 15th ranked attack and finished in the basement of the NFC West at 5-10-1.
However, surrounded by dynamic playmakers like Adrian Peterson, Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson and Kyle Rudolph, Bridgewater should thrive in the “City of Lakes.”
After outplaying Cassel and Ponder this summer, Teddy Bridgewater will exhibit “good command” and help the Vikings challenge for a playoff spot.by