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

NY Mets 1 Bottom 8th Inning
St. Louis 2
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Minnesota 2
St. Louis 1 FINAL
Washington 1
Boston 2 Delayed
Atlanta 4
NY Yankees 10 Delayed
Philadelphia 0
Tampa Bay 0 Cancelled
Baltimore 0
Detroit 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Chicago WSox 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Texas 3:05 PM
Oakland
Cleveland 3:10 PM
Arizona
Arizona 3:10 PM
LA Angels
Miami 5:05 PM
Houston
Seattle 8:05 PM
Kansas City
San Francisco 9:05 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 9:05 PM
San Diego
Milwaukee 9:05 PM
Cincinnati
Detroit 6:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Washington
Boston 6:30 PM
New York
Cleveland 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
LA Lakers 6:30 PM
Toronto
Miami 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Golden State 7:00 PM
Memphis
Sacramento 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Houston
Dallas 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Utah 8:00 PM
Denver
Portland 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Calgary 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Columbus 7:30 PM
Chicago
Dallas 8:30 PM
Edmonton
UCLA 6:15 PM
Gonzaga
NC State 6:37 PM
Louisville
Utah 8:45 PM
Duke
Kent State 9:00 PM
Northern Ariz
Michigan State 9:07 PM
Oklahoma
(15) North Carolina 6:00 PM
(3) South Carolina
(18) Iowa 6:30 PM
(5) Baylor
(9) Arizona State 8:30 PM
(7) Florida State
(14) Stanford 9:00 PM
(2) Notre Dame
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: What should the Vikings do with Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close