In May, only three quarterbacks were taken in the first round of the NFL’s draft. Teddy Bridgewater was the third after the Minnesota Vikings traded back into round one to get the high-potential Louisville prospect. A dual-threat quarterback who can throw with accuracy and velocity and pick up yards with his legs has one hiccup in his game: He plays too slow.
Bridgewater is working on that very thing thanks to offensive coordinator Norv Turner, who is trying to drive the quarterback to a more speedy release.
“Coach [Norv] Turner always tells me I have to be quicker with my decision making,” Bridgewater said. “He has been telling me I’ve got to get back from under center fast. … That’s been the main point for me.”
Currently, Bridgewater is still playing behind Matt Cassel, but could leapfrog the veteran before the start of the regular season. Head coach Mike Zimmer said that all of his quarterbacks need to work harder on their drop back speed and release speed.
The Vikings have not yet released their first depth chart so it’s unclear if Bridgewater will be in front of Christian Ponder, who has lost his job to Cassel. The Vikings will play their first preseason game on Friday night against the visiting Oakland Raiders. Bridgewater is expected to take quite a few snaps in his first NFL appearance.
Last season, Vikings quarterbacks were sacked 44 times on the year, so it’s understandable why the coaches are trying to get the quarterbacks up to “speed”.