Craig: Turner's watchful eye has Vikings' Bridgewater on fast track

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 30, 2014 - 1:14 PM

Teddy Bridgewater is a quick study, as Norv Turner proudly shows.

hide

Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner didn’t shy away from Teddy Bridgewater after the quarterback’s disappointing Pro Day.

Photo: Jerry Holt • Jerry.holt@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Norv Turner clicked the play button on his big-screen TV remote control and 40 years of coaching experience came rushing out of him. A reporter who trails his expertise by 40 years sat nearby listening, learning and wondering how hard it must be to reach a point where the chaos of an NFL play not only makes perfect sense but can be visualized before the ball is even snapped.

Sometimes, Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater wonders the same thing. Like when the ball is snapped during practice and he can hear Turner, the offensive coordinator, talking to himself.

“As soon as we line up, he’s standing behind us mumbling,” Bridgewater said. “You can’t hear him, but you know he’s telling you where to go with the ball, what to do with the protection. He sees things before they happen.

“You drop back to pass and he’s still mumbling. But you don’t pay attention because of everything going on. You try to block him out, but one of these days I’m going to actually figure out what he’s mumbling about.”

That’s the idea. And Turner believes it will happen sooner rather than later. Otherwise, the Vikings wouldn’t have traded back into the first round of the NFL draft to select Bridgewater 32nd overall.

The Star Tribune sat down with Turner earlier this offseason to watch practice tapes of Bridgewater. Here are some of the highlights that help explain why Bridgewater is a Viking:

Quick release, quick mind

“Look at this one,” Turner says. “The tight end is running an 18-yard out. Teddy drops. One, two, three, four, five and, bam, the ball’s out. See how quick that was. This is the No. 1 thing with him. He’s got such a quick release, and he makes quick decisions. That ball is out before the tight end makes his cut, and it’s thrown where only he can catch it.

“This helps every guy on the team. It helps the receivers and it obviously helps the linemen when you get back and get rid of the ball.”

Sensing defenders

A receiver is running a deep post. Bridgewater, according to Turner, originally was supposed to throw the ball about 4 yards deeper and more inside. But he accurately senses the need to “put it on the receiver,” per Turner’s coaching, rather than lead the receiver into two lurking defenders.

Later, on a slant pass, Bridgewater “puts it on” a receiver again.

“This shows Teddy’s presence and then, bang, his quickness to get it out,” Turner said. “And he’s not as quick now as he’s going to be. His feet aren’t good here. He’s too slow with his feet, but he’s quick with his arm. When a guy is naturally quick, you can speed that up with coaching.”

Tight pocket? No problem

A short option route is called on third-and-3. The pocket collapses and Bridgewater has no room to step into his throw.

“But see here, he doesn’t have to move his feet to throw it well,” Turner said. “You have to be able to play that way. There are guys who need a lot of room in the pocket to throw, and then there are guys who don’t need any room. I call this an NFL throw, as opposed to a college throw. You can bring 100 guys in here and every one of them could make a college throw.”

Arm strength

“People question Teddy’s arm strength,” Turner said as he clicked to the next play, a deep ball. “But right here, we have a ‘9’ route against man. He’s standing on his 15. And the ball is caught at the 34, 35 yard line. So it’s a 47-yard throw.

  • related content

  • Souhan: There's more to this Vikings fan than the face paint

    Tuesday July 29, 2014

    Sure, Erin Darsow literally wears her Vikings pride on her face, but don’t lump her and her peers with troublemakers.

  • Vikings retain prominent attorneys as possible Kluwe lawsuit looms

    Tuesday July 29, 2014

    The Minnesota Vikings on Tuesday retained two prominent attorneys with expertise in jury trials and gay rights, while the lawyer...

  • Vikings cornerback Rhodes focused on trusting instincts

    Tuesday July 29, 2014

    Rhodes has all the talent to become an All-Pro cornerback. But there’s a barrier that the second-year corner will have to hurdle.

  • Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater constantly receives pointers from veteran offensive coordinator Norv Turner, and he has been impressed with how quickly Bridgewater has progressed. “He’s got such a quick release and he makes quick decisions,’’ Turner said.

  • Bridgewater has a quick release, and Turner is working to improve the rookie’s footwork.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Vargas 7:07 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 3:00 PM
San Jose
Boston 6:00 PM
Toronto
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Montreal
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Dallas 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Nashville
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Florida 8:00 PM
Arizona
Washington 9:00 PM
Calgary
Connecticut 21 FINAL
(18) East Carolina 31
Miami-Florida 30 FINAL
Virginia Tech 6
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Los Angeles 1:30 PM
Seattle
D.C. 3:00 PM
Montreal
Toronto FC 6:30 PM
New England
Portland 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Colorado 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close