Craig: Cassel confident in remaining Vikings' No. 1 QB

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 13, 2014 - 11:05 AM

Teammates appreciate that trait; they want a QB who is poised under pressure.

There are times when you want to spin Matt Cassel around and check for the pull string that would explain why he sounds more like a 6-4 Ken Doll than a competitive athlete who has seized control of the Vikings quarterback competition heading into Week 2 of the preseason.

“You know how it is at quarterback,” left guard Charlie Johnson said. “They have to say all the right things.”

Usually, reporters come away from Cassel with empty notebooks and a fuller appreciation of Brett Favre’s loose lips. But there are times when Cassel will offer a sentence that comes subtly wrapped in the kind of unwavering confidence that teammates are looking for, at least until rookie first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater fills himself with enough know­ledge and experience to reach his high potential.

For Cassel, it’s a confidence that stops comfortably short of cockiness or unattractive one-upmanship directed at a teammate.

“It’s something all of us respect in Matt,” Johnson said. “You want the guy who is going to be polite and respectful, but also has a way of saying he’s in charge.”

Cassel did that on Aug. 2 following a night practice at training camp in Mankato. He was asked how it had felt to watch Bridgewater take all of the first-team reps in the team red zone segment that night.

“That’s normally what happens wherever I’ve been,” Cassel said. “The No. 2 guy, you’ve got to get him ready to play. He’s going to get reps with the 1s and this is the time of year to do it.”

Cassel’s grip on the No. 1 job was strengthened with a crisp performance in the Vikings’ 10-6 preseason-opening victory over the Raiders on Friday. Playing just one 10-play series at TCF Bank Stadium, Cassel completed five of six passes to four targets for 62 of the 70 yards the offense marched en route to a touchdown.

“To be honest with you,” Johnson said, “it felt like a practice.”

Bridgewater also played 10 snaps with the first team, but fell understandably short of the efficiency level reached by a 10-year veteran. A procedural penalty and a red-zone sack were among the reminders that patience is needed while watching rookie quarterbacks.

Afterward, Cassel was complimentary of Bridge­water, but he also made it clear that he expects to play more than 10 reps when the next preseason game arrives on Saturday.

“It’s a new system,” he said. “The more reps I get, the more comfortable I’ll be when the season starts.”

Bridgewater said he senses that Cassel has embraced a mentoring role in his development.

“I’d say the relationship with Matt is a veteran-rookie relationship,” Bridgewater said. “He’s one of those vets who has his best intentions for the team.”

It must be difficult to help the person who probably has more natural talent and is earmarked to replace you at a yet-to-be-determined point over the next 12 months. Right, Matt?

“Competition is competition,” he said. “But at the end of the day, we’re teammates.”

Then came that subtle confidence.

“If I play well,” he said, “the rest of it takes care of itself.”

  • VIKINGS VS. ARIZONA (EXHIB.)

    7:30 p.m. Saturday • TCF Bank Stadium •

    TV:  Ch. 11 (100.3-FM, 1130-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston - LP: B. Workman 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: G. Cole 3
Toronto - LP: A. Sanchez 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 3
Washington - WP: G. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: B. Hand 2
Los Angeles - WP: P. Rodriguez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: N. Ramirez 4
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: S. Deduno 1
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Freeman 3
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 6 FINAL
Colorado - WP: L. Hawkins 7
Philadelphia - LP: K. Kendrick 3 FINAL
San Diego - WP: R. Erlin 7
Seattle - WP: T. Wilhelmsen 3 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: K. Jepsen 1
Tampa Bay 14 FINAL
Atlanta 56
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
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
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
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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 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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Adrian Peterson ever play for the Vikings again?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close