A reporter’s opinion that Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been “struggling” in camp was verbally swatted into the upper deck by offensive coordinator Norv Turner on Tuesday.
“I just have a different perspective than all of you … because I look at it differently,” Turner said. “We are doing a lot of things. There’s things we’re doing with Teddy that we would never call in a game. We’re trying to find out where he’s at in terms of what he can do. I think he’s playing at an awfully high level.”
No. 1 quarterback Matt Cassel and Bridgewater, the No. 2 quarterback, each has thrown three interceptions during 11-on-11 competition the past week.
“Those two guys have, in competitive situations, both had over 150 passes,” Turner said. “That’s 300. That’s over half a season. They’ve each thrown three interceptions.
“One of them, for each guy, was a bad quarterback decision. One of them, for each guy, was a receiver either fell down or ran a poor route. And one of them, I thought, was a great play [by the defense]. So, if you throw three interceptions in 150 attempts, you’re playing at a high level. … It’s not like a game, but I’m excited about what Teddy is doing. I’m really excited about how Matt is playing.”
Peterson to sit Friday
Coach Mike Zimmer said he expects every healthy player except running back Adrian Peterson to see action in Friday night’s preseason opener against the Raiders. Peterson hasn’t received a preseason carry since 2011 because, well, he’s Adrian Peterson. But he’d like to see some action before the preseason ends.
“With the new offense, you might want to get out there and get a couple plays in,” Peterson said. “But that’ll be something that I’ll sit down with Zimmer and talk about. [But] once you know the offense, you pretty much know the offense. You go out there and run full speed in the regular season.”
Zimmer said he expects the other healthy starters to get more than one series of work. He also said Bridgewater would see a significant amount of playing time.
Turner said he wants to see Bridgewater play with the first unit after Cassel is pulled.
“I like what our second line is doing,” Turner said. “But we need to play Teddy with the first line.”
More rest for aging
Zimmer is a hands-on teacher who isn’t shy when it comes to correcting his players. But he’s also gaining points with the established veterans.
A few days after resting Peterson and linebacker Chad Greenway, Zimmer had left guard Charlie Johnson, center John Sullivan, right tackle Phil Loadholt and defensive end Brian Robison sit out Tuesday’s practice.
“Just trying to take care of their bodies a bit,” Zimmer said. “And it doesn’t hurt for some of the younger guys to get a few more plays.”
Stepping in were rookie left guard David Yankey, center Joe Berger, defensive end Corey Wootton and tackles Austin Wentworth and Mike Remmers.
First depth chart
The first depth chart of the season was released Tuesday. Let’s just say Zimmer’s excitement level about this didn’t match the media’s.
The team’s initial release listed the starter at left corner as Captain Munnerlyn/Josh Robinson. What’s up with that, Coach?
“Munnerlyn missed a bunch of time early [in camp] and Robinson [has] missed a bunch of time late,” said Zimmer, referring to two of the hamstring injuries that have dogged his secondary. “So let them keep [competing]. … We just line guys up and go.”
Later in the day, the team’s website listed Munnerlyn as the starter and Robinson as the top backup.
Seven rookies are listed among the top two at their positions. Linebacker Anthony Barr is a starter, while undrafted left tackle Antonio Richardson, Yankey, Bridgewater, defensive end Scott Crichton, weak-side linebacker Brandon Watts and cornerback Jabari Price all are listed as top backups.
Crocker move planned
A day after he reached out and essentially pulled 34-year-old safety Chris Crocker out of retirement for a third consecutive season, Zimmer said the move had “kind of been planned all along, to be honest with you.”
“He’s been with me for [the past seven years],” Zimmer said. “He’s a good kid. He’s smart. Extremely smart. There’s a pretty good relationship there. His wife is pregnant, so he needs to name his kid Mike.”