Notebook: Bridgewater sees growing pains as offense takes more risks
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MANKATO, Minn. -- Cheers of "Teddy! Teddy!" roared through the announced crowd of 9,300 at Blakeslee Stadium as the rookie quarterback dropped back before firing a dart from the redzone into the arms of Chad Greenway.
Teddy Bridgewater has thrown four interceptions across the last three training camp practices, but none hurt him more than the one he tried to squeeze into Greg Jennings in the endzone that ended his lone series with the first-team offense on Saturday.
"I have to put my head around faster, everything happens faster in the redzone," Bridgewater said. "Chad made a great play, but still part of my progression wasn't there. I should've gone off from it. I saw Greg pop wide open and thought I could squeeze it in there."
Bridgewater's growing pains are partly due to the Vikings putting him in tougher situations as training camp progresses. He saw first-team reps for the first time on Wednesday and the offense has grown from the initial install of check downs, screen passes and dump offs to taking more shots downfield.
"It's a huge concern," Bridgewater said. "Playing quarterback you always want to take care of the football...For me, it's all about not making the same mistake twice. With the interceptions the past couple days, I'm going to work hard to try to cut that down."
Projected starter Matt Cassel threw two interceptions on the day, one deep down the sideline intended for Cordarrelle Patterson that was partially underthrown and landed in the arms of Marcus Sherels. Cassel's second interception came off a diving grab by Xavier Rhodes, who blanketed Jarius Wright down the sideline. You can watch the play here.
The Vikings have three practices left before their first preseason game against the Oakland Raiders on Aug. 8. Players are off on Sunday.
"Coach [Norv] Turner always tells me I have to be quicker," Bridgewater said. "That's a situation where I have to understand we have points on the board."
• Charting quarterback passes on the night: Cassel threw 20-for-31 with two INTs and Bridgewater completed 12-of-20 passes with one touchdown and one interception. Two of Bridgewater's incompletions were drops by running back Dominique Williams and receiver Adam Thielen.
• Bridgewater finished his two-minute drill with the second-team offense 6-for-7, with his only incompletion being a spike to stop the clock. His final pass landed in the arms of Rodney Smith near the front pylon for a touchdown.
• Cassel threw 4-for-7 in his two-minute drill with the top offense, ending his with a pass that sailed over the back of the endzone and into the crowd.
• Rookie Brandon Watts vowed to practice on Saturday night after he left Friday's practice early with an apparent leg injury, but he was not in pads as he watched from the sideline.
• Cornerback Josh Robinson (hamstring), safety Robert Blanton (hamstring) and tight end AC Leonard (head) also sat out.
• A major way to make the final 53-man roster is by making impressions on special teams. Saturday's field goal unit included Justin Trattou, Tyler Scott, Mike Remmers, Jabari Price, Vlad Ducasse, Corey Wootton and Sharrif Floyd.
• Blair Walsh converted 8-for-8 field goals, including makes from 51 and 53 yards.
• Plugging and playing continued as linebacker Gerald Hodges, safety Kurt Coleman, defensive tackle Tom Johnson and cornerback Marcus Sherels all saw first-team reps with the defense.
• Guard Jeff Baca worked with the second-team offense ahead of Ducasse at times on Saturday.