In his last days as a “rookie,” Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was making his rounds up and down the Super Bowl’s Radio Row when he paused long enough to consider what it would be like if the Vikings were to play in this game for the first time since Jan. 9, 1977.
“I can envision it,” Bridgewater said. “That’s the plan. This right here is what you play for. Not 7-9. No one is satisfied with a 7-9 season. The ultimate goal is to be on this stage and be here.”
This is the second time Bridgewater has been to the Super Bowl to partake in the festivities.
“I went to New York last year for some reason,” he said. “I get very excited when I look about about our chances of playing in this game one day. You play for these moments and to have memories like this with your teammates.”
Bridgewater is in town mainly because he’s one of five finalists for the Pepsi Rookie of the Year Award, which is selected by a fan vote. The vote won’t be announced until about 9:15 local time (8:15 central), but there is speculation that Bridgewater has won the award because of a post on NFL.com that contained a headline saying Bridgewater won the award.
Pepsi representatives on Radio Row this morning said the winner hasn’t been announced, revealed or confirmed by anyone. Teddy was cool with that when he talked about being a finalist along with Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans, Bengals running back Jeremy Hill and Bills receiver Sammy Watkins.
“It would be a huge honor,” said Bridgewater, who fell from the projected No. 1 overall draft position to No. 32 a year ago. “Especially when you look back last year at this time and all the scrutiny that I was under. It also speaks volumes about the support I have from the fans because they make all of this happen.
“I know it’s a special group of talent that was up for the award. I’m just thankful that I have the fan base that I have to even be considered for this award. They’re the reason I’m here.”
Bridgewater threw for 2,919 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.4 percent of his passes, third highest by a rookie in NFL history.
Beckham caught 91 passes for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. Evans had 68 catches for 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns. Hill ran for 1,124 yards and nine touchdowns. And Watkins had 65 catches for 982 yards and six touchdowns.
Bridgewater also talked about his offseason plans when it comes to furthering his development and the progress of the team’s offense as well.
“I’m just going to study all of my mistakes and also the good plays that I made as well,” he said. “I’m working out in Florida. And we’re going to try and get something going here in the near future where all of the receivers, the tight ends and me get together for some workouts.”
Asked if that would take place down in Florida, Bridgewater smiled.
“It’s a secret,” he said. “It may be florida. It may be California, Texas, maybe Minnesota. It’s a secret.”
Bridgewater didn’t offer a Super Bowl pick, but he did comment on the two quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Russell Wilson.
“Not only two great quarterbacks, but two great competitors,” Bridgewater said. “Two guys who just have that will to get it done and win football games.”
As his time on Radio Row inside the Phoenix Convention Center was winding down, he was asked if he enjoys that experience and is looking forward to walking the “red carpet” at the Phoenix Art Institute for tonight’s awards ceremony.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s fun getting my brand out there and walking the red carpets and smiling for the camera. But I’d rather be playing in the big game than partaking in the event.”