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Updated: July 30th, 2014 6:49pm
Notebook: Teddy Bridgewater, Anthony Barr get initial first-team reps

Notebook: Teddy Bridgewater, Anthony Barr get initial first-team reps

by Andrew Krammer
1500ESPN.com
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Audio Clip
7/27/2014
1500 ESPN's Purple Podcast episode 2: Camp observations and Adam Thielen
The second episode of 1500 ESPN’s Purple Podcast with Andrew Krammer, Derek Wetmore, Judd Zulgad and Phil Mackey. It includes an Adam Thielen interview, including telling him that he’s the early leader in the clubhouse for #MrMankato. He’s got a decent shot to earn a spot on the Vikings roster as a wide receiver and special teams player, after spending time on the practice squad last season. He played college in Mankato and now is hoping to earn his stripes in training camp on the same fields. --- Before the interview, Andrew was asked about his observations during practices and walk-throughs: How is the linebacker situation playing out? Is Chad Greenway really in consideration for the middle linebacker position? Or is he a better candidate for the weakside? How will Jasper Brinkley fit? Is he the starting MLB? How does Anthony Barr fit and what do you envision will be his role? --- We’ve seen a strange package with Harrison Smith this weekend at practice—what do you read into that? How does Everson Griffen fit in? An observation about Griffen going head-to-head with Matt Kalil. --- Norv Turner on Saturday brought up Matt Asiata as one of the most impressive players he’s seen in the early part of camp. Should we read into that? What do the coaches think of Jerick McKinnon? How will he fit on the team?
[Click to listen]
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MANKATO, Minn. -- The sun-baked crowd got what they wished for when Minnesota Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater lined up under starting center John Sullivan on Wednesday.

Both Bridgewater and rookie linebacker Anthony Barr took first-team reps in 11-on-11 contact drills for the first time since they were selected in the NFL Draft's opening round.

"[Bridgewater] didn't look quite as accurate as he had throughout the whole camp," coach Mike Zimmer said. "But again, I'm looking at a lot on the defense."

Bridgewater took four snaps with the top offense, completing 2-of-3 passes - one each to Kyle Rudolph and Adrian Peterson, who dropped Bridgewater's lone incompletion. The Vikings mixed in a reverse to Cordarrelle Patterson on Bridgewater's other first-team snap.

Barr worked alongside Chad Greenway and Jasper Brinkley with the first-team linebackers as Audie Cole was relegated to relaying plays with the second team.

"Only time I noticed [Barr] was when he was late on a blitz," Zimmer said. "And I talked to him about it."

There were clear risers and fallers on the depth chart after the Vikings coaching staff discussed handing out more first-team snaps on Tuesday to certain guys.

Cornerback Marcus Sherels worked with the first-team defense alongside Xavier Rhodes, while safety Mistral Raymond played alongside Harrison Smith for most of the day with Robert Blanton (hamstring) out. Rookie cornerback Jabari Price also continues to see first-team reps in the slot for Captain Munnerlyn, who was activated off the PUP, but continued to sit out team drills.

Patterson (foot) returned to practice after participating in individual drills on Monday. 

No more Greenway looks at MLB

Greenway's snaps as the middle linebacker in a base defense have apparently ended as Zimmer wants to hand those reps off to other candidates such as Brinkley, Michael Mauti and possibly Cole.

"I haven't seen enough of the other guys is really what it is," Zimmer said. "We as coaches have to see exactly what we have at that spot. It's going to be a big contention for us. I told Adam, my son, today to make sure to grade on paper every one of these practices. Write down the mistakes, write down the mental errors and so we're on our p's and q's with that."

In a video posted on Friday on Vikings.com, Zimmer can be seen jawing with Greenway about the potential for him at middle linebacker.

"You know who Dhani Jones is?" Zimmer asks Greenway as he's warming up. "He led the league for me in tackles while playing middle linebacker...the more you can do the longer you stay around, right?"

Nicked up

Blanton watched from the sideline in shorts as the Vikings held their third practice in pads on Wednesday. The third-year safety had taken first-team reps alongside Smith for most of training camp before injuring his hamstring on Monday night.

Blanton had a would-be sack during Matt Cassel's 11-on-11 period when he blitzed off the edge at
Blakeslee Stadium during the night practice.

"Blanton has a little hammy he hurt during the blitz period [on Monday]," Zimmer said. "I don't know how long it'll be."

When asked if he'd be out a while, the ever-evasive Blanton gave a few reporters a "no."

But Blanton wasn't the only Viking added to the injury report as cornerback Josh Robinson left practice early with hamstring tightness, with Zimmer adding his exit was "preventative." Tight end
AC Leonard also left due to a headache, per Zimmer.

Sendejo return?

Zimmer may have a depth chart ready sometime next week leading up to the first preseason game on Aug. 8, but Andrew Sendejo will be short on time to make an impression by then. 

Sendejo, who hasn't practiced since offseason back surgery, could return as early as Monday, per Zimmer.

"That's what I've been told," Zimmer said. "That's what we're hoping for."

Late hits

• Charting throws at Day 5 of training camp: Matt Cassel 9-for-14, Teddy Bridgewater 12-for-15 and Christian Ponder 1-for-1.

• Neither Cassel nor Bridgewater were overly accurate on Wednesday, with receivers and running backs bailing them out at times. The Vikings kept passes short, with at least six of Bridgewater's 12 completions coming fewer than five yards downfield.

• One of Bridgewater's incompletions was knocked to the turf by defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd.

• Running back Matt Asiata dropped a Cassel pass on a screen play. Running back Dominique Williams also dropped a Bridgewater pass.

• Cornerback Xavier Rhodes dropped a would-be interception thrown by Cassel.

• Kurt Coleman got some first-team looks alongside Smith.

• The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed former Vikings cornerback Kip Edwards on Wednesday. Edwards played under current Bucs defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier when he coached the Vikings last season.

Andrew Krammer covers the Minnesota Vikings for 1500ESPN.com. He previously covered the Gophers men's basketball team for the Minnesota Daily.
Email Andrew | @andrew_krammer
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