Teddy Bridgewater to play with starters in Vikings preseason opener
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MANKATO, Minn. -- The Minnesota Vikings won't start with Teddy Bridgewater as their quarterback for Friday's preseason opener, but they'll pull Matt Cassel and leave the rest of the starters in at some point, per coach Mike Zimmer.
Norv Turner emphasized on Tuesday his intent to see Bridgewater behind the starting offensive line as he continues to evaluate the rookie quarterback, this time from upstairs in the coach's box at TCF Bank Stadium.
"When the lights come on, it's a different deal," Zimmer said. "It will be good for [Bridgewater] and how he reacts to seeing defenses that he hasn't seen very much of. How he has to readjust the blitz, how he has to get the ball out and make the right calls; how he plays under pressure. I anticipate he's going to play very well."
Cassel is the Vikings' top quarterback as he's taken the lion's share of first-team reps and is listed at the top of the team's unofficial depth chart. However, the Vikings want to test Bridgewater in game situations without handcuffing him with second-team players.
Defensively, the Vikings have thrown many different looks at Bridgewater during practice to see how he reacts, per Zimmer.
"It takes time with young guys, but he has so much talent and so much ability," Zimmer said. "He's such a good kid, works so hard that it'll come...When he's in there, I try to give him a lot of different things because I know that's kind of what he's going to see. He's handled it well.
"There's times obviously he's gone the wrong place or throwing the ball wrong or got the protection the wrong way obviously, but that's why we practice."
"Told the team to be ready to play the whole game if I feel like it," Zimmer said.