Vikes 'excited' by Teddy Bridgewater

Updated: August 5, 2014, 7:10 PM ET
By Ben Goessling | ESPN.com

MANKATO, Minn. -- The next phase of the Minnesota Vikings' quarterback competition between Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater begins Friday night, when the Vikings play their first preseason game.

And as they decide whether Bridgewater can be their starting quarterback as a rookie, the Vikings plan for him to see time with their top offense at some point during the preseason, offensive coordinator Norv Turner said Tuesday.

[+] EnlargeMatt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater
AP Photo/Ann HeisenfeltVikings coaches want to see rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in action with the first team, a spot Matt Cassel has been at thus far in camp.

"We need to play Teddy with the first line," Turner said. "We need to mix a lot of players. I think we're still trying to work that out in terms of how we want to do it. I know Coach [Mike] Zimmer has a plan in place. It will be a number of plays, and we want to see Teddy play. He needs to play to get through that the first time going out."

Bridgewater mostly has played with the Vikings' second team during training camp. Cassel entered camp as the Vikings' No. 1, claiming most of the first-team snaps.

The rookie and former Louisville star acknowledged that he was concerned with his own play late last week, after throwing three interceptions in the span of two practices. But he was 8-of-10 passing in 11-on-11 work Monday.

As he looked at the body of the rookie's work during training camp, Turner said the number of interceptions didn't concern him.

"There's a lot of things we're doing with Teddy that we would never call in a game," Turner said. "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. Those two guys [Bridgewater and Cassel] in competitive situations have over 150 passes, each of them.

"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 that either fell down or ran a poor route. One of them I thought was a great play. If you throw three interceptions in over 150 attempts, you're playing at a high level. Now, there's no full speed rush like a game, but I'm excited about what Teddy's doing."

The Vikings host the Oakland Raiders on Friday night in their first exhibition game at TCF Bank Stadium, their temporary home on the University of Minnesota campus. In Bridgewater's first live action, Turner said he "just want(s) to see him manage the game."

"He doesn't have to be sensational," Turner said. "He just has to make good decisions. He needs to protect the ball, get our group in and out of the huddle, get in the right play, get in the right protection. That's the biggest thing about managing the game.

"He's going to make plays. When he had an opportunity out here, he's made plays. He's made big plays throwing the ball up the field, and he's made big plays checking the ball down."

Ben Goessling

ESPN Minnesota Vikings reporter

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