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.


Jennings excited to work with Bridgewater, thinks he's in a great spot

Posted by: Matt Vensel under Vikings, NFL draft Updated: May 9, 2014 - 1:20 PM

Greg Jennings wasn’t glued to the television Thursday night during the first round of the NFL draft. But when the Vikings first came on the clock, the draft suddenly had his full attention.

They would pick UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr with the ninth overall pick. Then at the end of the night, they traded up to take Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is expected to eventually be the one throwing the football to the veteran Vikings wide receiver.

“What I know about him is he’s a hard worker,” Jennings said this morning. “He’s a smart kid. And he wants to get better. Just that alone, it makes you want to work with somebody.”

Jennings spoke to youth coaches this morning at a seminar entitled “A Call to Men: The Next Generation of Manhood.” The event was held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Afterward, he chatted with a couple of local reporters, including my colleague, Chip Scoggins.

Jennings said he had no idea whom the Vikings would select when they were up early in the first round of the draft. But he had a hunch it wouldn’t be Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

“I didn’t really think Manziel just because I know the personality of Coach Zimmer,” Jennings said of new head coach Mike Zimmer. “I truly believe that given any player, if they’re willing to work and willing to be better, these two coaches -- two literally head coaches that we have on both sides of the ball -- they can make anybody better. But I just didn’t think, which probably was what their thought was, that Manziel fit what we’re trying to get done personality-wise.”

Jennings, who was referring to coordinator Norv Turner as the offensive “head coach,” continued.

“When you’re making a coaching change and you’re raising the bar of accountability and you look at the past history and it’s tough because myself, you never want to hold anybody to that," he said. "You always want to continue to give someone the benefit of the doubt. But when you’re investing the amount of money that these owners and these clubs are investing, that carries a lot of weight.”

Anyway, back to Bridgewater. Jennings feels the 32nd overall pick is in a great spot here in Minnesota because he can learn from starter Matt Cassel without being rushed into action.

“Cassel is the best. If I were a quarterback, I would want Matt to be like my teacher,” Jennings said. “I would want to be behind a guy like Matt because he approaches the game like a true professional. He’s not afraid of helping those who are pursuing his position. He’s just not. His makeup is, ‘Look, if we can all be better, our team is going to be better.’”

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Los Angeles - LP: C. Frias 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 16
San Francisco - WP: S. Romo 4 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 9
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 6
Washington - LP: R. Detwiler 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 3
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 4 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 3
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 2
Cincinnati - LP: D. Corcino 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks 3
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Sale 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 0
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 8
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 0 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 2
Seattle 0 Top 8th Inning
LA Angels 5
Texas 0 Top 8th Inning
Oakland 1
Philadelphia 5 Bottom 8th Inning
San Diego 1
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
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(3) Alabama
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(18) Missouri
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Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
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Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
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Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
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