Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings 4 Downs: Bridgewater, playoffs, Sanford, more Bridgewater

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: July 7, 2014 - 12:26 PM

Every Monday morning during the offseason we’ll take four questions from Twitter for our weekly mailbag using the #VikingsST hashtag.

Word is bond. Bridgewater has looked very impressive up to this point and there’s a noticeable difference when he throws the ball compared to Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder. The touch has always been there but his passes don’t flutter out of his hands. It’s a smooth, quick release that even the untrained eye will tell in training camp that Bridgewater throws a better ball than Ponder and Cassel.

As offensive coordinator Norv Turner mentioned during minicamp last month, Bridgewater’s deep ball has been surprisingly good. The biggest issue has actually been overthrowing, not underthrowing, at this point. This will be the biggest position battle in training camp and the winner will have nice set of weapons around him in what should be an exciting offense to watch this year.

At the moment, I’m thinking 6-10 or 7-9, but leaning on the latter for the time being. While the NFL is strangest league where there’s always a team from the bottom that makes the playoffs the following season, but I’d be shocked if the Vikings accomplished that in Zimmer’s first year.

7-9 would be a strong start to Zimmer’s tenure however. My biggest concern is how the Vikings will progress defensively. An improvement is inevitable when it was ranked 31st in total defense last year, but how much can Zimmer fix in one season?

Oof, this is tough. One factor to consider is that Harrison played a lot more near the line of scrimmage during OTAs and minicamp. With that said, it’ll be either Jamarca Sanford or Andrew Sendejo. Both haven’t been full participants this offseason, which gave Robert Blanton and Curt Coleman first team opportunities next to Harrison.

I’d give Sanford a leg up over Sendejo because of the experience at the moment, but it’s not by much. Sendejo played well last season and both will benefit playing in this aggressive defense.

He looks the same. Skinny knees and all. #HowsTeddyLook

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 84 4th Qtr 10:24
Portland 88
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 1 3rd Prd
Vancouver 2
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
NJIT 78
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73

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