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 before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.

Zimmer: Vikings QB competition still open

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: June 17, 2014 - 12:07 PM

Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel has received the majority of the first team reps during OTAs, followed by Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder.

Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said at the start of the team’s mandatory minicamp on Tuesday that it doesn’t necessarily mean Cassel will be the starter or even the favorite heading into training camp.

“I’ve never said that,” said Zimmer when asked about whether Cassel is the favorite. “I know I’ve heard other people say it, but I’ve never said it.”

Zimmer continues to remain consistent with his stance that it will be an open competition at quarterback, as well as the other positions heading into training camp.

“I want to give everyone an opportunity and make sure it’s a legitimate opportunity for all of them,” Zimmer said. “Then we’ll start narrowing down the reps as we get going. But it won’t be for a while.

“The thing I want to guard against the most is rushing into a decision where we make a decision quickly as opposed to making the correct decision. Our main focus now is making the correct decision not so much for the fans or the media or anybody else on the football team.”

The biggest challenge the Vikings face is splitting reps between three quarterbacks, but Zimmer said he spoke to offensive coordinator about how they plan to give all three quarterbacks a fair shot during training camp.

“We’ve got time,” Zimmer said. “Everybody wants to rush into things but it’s more important that we make the right decision. When we do, then we’ll go with it and hope it’s the right call.

*Zimmer said everyone is at Winter Park for the mandatory minicamp. Offensive tackle Matt Kalil and nose tackle Linval Joseph will still be limited during the three-day session, but Zimmer expects both to be full participants at the start of training camp. Kalil had minor knee surgery in the offseason and Zimmer said Joseph also had an offseason procedure.

“They're not totally cleared yet, but we're working them into things,” Zimmer said. “They won't be going much in the team stuff, but they'll be going individual a little bit more."


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