Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: Vikings' rookie QB Bridgewater is bridging the gap

  • Article by: MATT VENSEL , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 28, 2014 - 8:44 AM

A soft landing

The family motto, the one about things getting greater later, was tested after a poor pro day. Bridgewater, once considered a squeaky-clean prospect, ended up being scrutinized as much as anyone in the draft.

Then, before landing in Minnesota, Bridgewater had to wait four hours on draft night for his name to be called, and not before he watched the Vikings pass on him once and heard the unconfirmed reports that they tried to trade up to select Texas A&M scrambler Johnny Manziel instead.

Privately, Bridgewater was telling friends and family that he hoped to land with the Vikings, who gave off a family vibe during his interactions with them. And while he admits that being the predraft punching bag for draft analysts ticked him off, he is happy with how everything turned out.

“Of course, it motivates you for one. But I tried to put all the predraft process, what happened, behind me,” he said. “Because hey, I’m here in Minnesota now. What was said back then doesn’t affect what I do tomorrow or what I do the next day. It happened and I’m glad it’s over with. And now I can just focus on being the best Minnesota Viking that I can be.”

The anti-Manziel

Before the draft, while national media buzzed about the star power Manziel could bring to a lifeless organization, at least one prominent analyst voiced concerns about Bridgewater’s ability to be the face of a franchise.

So far, though, Bridgewater has kept a smile on a face with people tugging him from every direction.

On reporting day here, the cheers for Bridgewater were as loud as for anyone, and he smiled as he signed autographs for many of the hopeful fans. The following day, he patiently flipped a football for several minutes until a photographer got the perfect shot. Hours later, he patiently answered questions — many of which he had already answered the day before — inside a sizable scrum of reporters.

While Manziel has provided countless clicks for websites such as TMZ and Deadspin — and reportedly has partied his way from a quarterback competition into the doghouse in Cleveland — the Vikings are not expecting to see Instagram photos of Bridgewater holding a bottle of champagne while floating on an inflatable swan or pretending a giant stack of dollar bills was a telephone.

Bridgewater’s kind of scene is a good dinner and a quiet night in with his playbook.

“He’s been extremely impressive in his approach, not only what he’s doing on the field, but what he does off the field,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said.

Bridgewater, who learned to be a self-starter while having to fend for himself when his mother was at work, believes he will succeed in the NFL if “he says within his character, stays true to himself.”

Opportunity knocks

In high school, Bridgewater snagged passes from future University of Miami quarterback Jacory Harris as a sophomore while he waited for his turn in the huddle. At Louisville, he again patiently prepared to play, but early in his freshman year when an injury sidelined starter Will Stein, Bridgewater pounced, never surrendering the job.

Now, he is learning on lessons learned in the past — in life and in football — while battling Cassel and Christian Ponder to start. Cassel had the leg up when the Vikings arrived in Mankato, but Zimmer said he would have no reservations about starting the 21-year-old Bridgewater, who had a strong spring and impressed the coaching staff with his study habits and his deep ball, if he is the best fit for this team.

“We’re really not afraid to do anything,” Zimmer said.

All business now, Bridgewater has said all the right things about the quarterback competition and how he just wants to get better every day — you know, not making the same mistake twice.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 8 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 5 FINAL
Baltimore 4
Toronto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 2 FINAL
Cleveland 4
San Diego 3 FINAL
Seattle 4
Chicago WSox 6 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Kansas City 13 FINAL
Texas 2
Oakland 9 FINAL
San Francisco 2
Wisc-Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Milwaukee 8
Arizona 6 FINAL
Colorado 3
Univ of Minnesota 6:05 PM
Minnesota
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Phoenix 6:00 PM
Orlando
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Toronto
Utah 6:30 PM
Boston
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Denver 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Detroit 7:00 PM
New Orleans
LA Lakers 7:00 PM
Miami
Philadelphia 7:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Memphis 7:00 PM
Houston
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Winnipeg
NY Rangers 7:00 PM
Detroit
Pittsburgh 9:00 PM
Colorado
Montreal 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Longwood 65 FINAL
Presbyterian 61
Campbell 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Liberty 12 1st Half 12:00
UNC-Asheville 13
Ohio State 15 1st Half 11:06
Penn State 12
Maine 6:00 PM
Albany
Duquesne 6:00 PM
Fordham
George Washington 6:00 PM
George Mason
Tennessee 6:00 PM
LSU
Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Louisville
SE Missouri St 6:00 PM
Morehead State
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Hartford 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Wagner 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Long Island 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
La Salle 6:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Providence 6:00 PM
Seton Hall
UCF 6:00 PM
South Florida
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
UMBC 6:00 PM
Vermont
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Bryant
Richmond 6:30 PM
Massachusetts
Wake Forest 7:00 PM
Duke
Purdue 7:00 PM
Michigan State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Pittsburgh
St Bonaventure 7:00 PM
Saint Louis
New Mexico St 7:00 PM
TX-Pan American
Houston 7:00 PM
Tulane
Howard 7:00 PM
NJIT
SIU Edwardsville 8:00 PM
Eastern Ill
St Johns 8:00 PM
Marquette
TCU 8:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Cincinnati 8:00 PM
Tulsa
USC 8:00 PM
UCLA
Miss State 8:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Utah State 8:00 PM
Wyoming
Air Force 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Nebraska 9:00 PM
Illinois
Colorado State 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:00 PM
San Jose St
San Diego St 10:00 PM
UNLV
Oregon 10:00 PM
Oregon State
UC Santa Barbara 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Toledo 64 FINAL
Northern Ill 68
Wake Forest 69 FINAL
Boston College 53
Eastern Illinois 35 FINAL
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 69 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
NC State 56
Massachusetts 35 2nd Half 7:14
St Bonaventure 36
Auburn 38 2nd Half 15:34
Florida 26
Penn State 10 1st Half 10:52
Indiana 19
Clemson 5:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Davidson 6:00 PM
La Salle
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
Lafayette
Boston U 6:00 PM
Colgate
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
James Madison
Delaware 6:00 PM
Elon
Drexel 6:00 PM
Northeastern
Hofstra 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Towson 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
Akron
Ball State 6:00 PM
Central Michigan
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Bowling Green
Western Mich 6:00 PM
Eastern Michigan
Ohio U 6:00 PM
Kent State
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Illinois-Chicago 6:00 PM
Wright State
Alabama 6:25 PM
Vanderbilt
Detroit 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Purdue 7:25 PM
Wisconsin
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close