Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw his third interception in training camp during Saturday night’s practice in a red zone situation. All three turnovers occurred within the last week, while he went through OTAs, minicamp and the start of training camp without an interception.
To some, Bridgewater’s interceptions might a sign that he’s struggling. To offensive coordinator Norv Turner, he has a different perspective.
“I think he’s playing at an awfully high level,” Turner said when asked about Bridgewater’s interceptions.
Turner said he’s placed Bridgewater in situations he won’t be faced with in a game to figure out what exactly the rookie can do. Both Bridgewater and Cassel have thrown over 150 passes with three interceptions each, according to Turner. He said each had an interception on a bad read, a wide receiver mistake and a great play defensively.
“There’s no full speed rush like a game, but I’m excited about what Teddy’s doing,” Turner said. “I’m really excited about how Matt’s playing. We’re not going to win every play. If we had not thrown an interception, you guys would be wanting to know what’s wrong with the defense and why aren’t we intercepting any balls.”
Turner said head coach Mike Zimmer has a plan in place to play Bridgewater with the first team during the preseason. Bridgewater has been mixed in with the first team offense during 11-on-11 periods over the last week in an open competition with Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder for the starting quarterback position. Turner did not mention whether Bridgewater would be involved with the first team offense during the preseason opener against the Raiders on Friday, but he wants to see Bridgewater management skills in his first game.
“He doesn’t have to be sensational, he just has to make good decisions,” Turner said. “He needs to protect the ball, get our group in and out of the huddle, get in the right play, get in the right protection. That’s the biggest thing about managing the game. He’s going to make plays. When he had an opportunity out here, he’s made plays. He’s made big plays throwing the ball up the field, and he’s made big plays checking the ball down.”