Scoggins: Cassel plays like the veteran he is, Bridgewater like a rookie

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 9, 2014 - 1:00 AM
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Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel passes the ball to running back Matt Asiata in the first quarter.

Photo: Mark Vancleave, DML - Star Tribune

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Teddy Bridgewater hadn’t even taken a snap in his first NFL preseason game Friday night when he received a hero’s welcome from a Vikings fan base starved for a savior at quarterback.

Ted-dy! Ted-dy! Ted-dy!

Hey, no pressure, kid.

“I was so tuned into the game that I couldn’t hear anything that was going on around me,” he said.

If the Vikings quarterback competition was a popularity contest, Matt Cassel wouldn’t win if he handed out free drink coupons at the stadium entrance while promoting peace and love.

Alas, fans hoping to see Bridgewater light up his NFL debut like a bonfire and take a Usain Bolt lead in the quarterback competition were forced to show some patience.

Bridgewater received his baptism as a pro, but Cassel bolstered his case to be the starter as the Vikings opened their preseason schedule with a 10-6 victory over Oakland at TCF Bank Stadium.

In other words, nothing that transpired came as a huge surprise. Cassel looked like a veteran, Bridgewater like a rookie.

“At this point, I feel very comfortable with the offensive scheme,” Cassel said.

Preseason openers usually provide as much excitement as a yawn, but the Vikings quarterback competition and Bridgewater’s debut delivered a measure of intrigue.

From the start of training camp, the competition has felt legitimately open-ended, to the point that preseason games were advertised as critical in deciphering the pecking order.

Cassel got the edge in Round 1.

Playing only the opening series, Cassel completed five of six passes for 62 yards in guiding the first-team offense to a touchdown. He connected with three different receivers on passes that covered at least 13 yards.

Bridgewater replaced Cassel on the second series and received a warm ovation as he jogged onto the field. Fans started a “Ted-dy” cheer.

“They should be excited about Teddy,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “They’re going to cheer about him for a long, long time.”

He will have better nights than his first one. Penalty flags flew on four of Bridgewater’s first five plays. Later, he was stripped on a sack in the red zone. He finished 6-for-13 passing for 49 yards with two sacks in almost two quarters of play.

“I felt like it went pretty good,” he said. “There were some missed opportunities. I’ll be able to come back next week and play more aggressive.”

One preseason game shouldn’t cause an overreaction to any development, but Cassel remains the safe bet to open the season as the starter. And that’s not a bad thing.

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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
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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 - LP: J. Paxton 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: C. Wilson 5
Texas - WP: R. Ross Jr. 6 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Doolittle 1
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 5 FINAL
San Diego - LP: E. Stults 2
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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
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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