May 9, 2014; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (left) and head coach Mike Zimmer pose for pictures at Winter Park Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Pompei Reveals Why Vikings Were Comfortable with Teddy Bridgewater


The road to taking Teddy Bridgewater was a long and winding path for the Vikings, even though the team thought he was the draft’s best quarterback after the college season was over.

After the college season though, questions emerged after Bridgewater’s shaky pro day. His arm strength and deep ball were questioned and his weigh-in didn’t impress scouts who were concerned about his potential durability at the NFL level.

The Vikings were there for Bridgewater’s shaky pro day, but they got over it. Bridgewater doesn’t have the greatest arm strength, but Norv Turner didn’t care. And Rick Spielman saw him take a helmet to helmet shot from a future NFL linebacker and get right back in the huddle.

If you wanted to find out the full details of how the Vikings became comfortable with Teddy Bridgewater, please check out this excellent piece by Dan Pompei of Sports on Earth.

Pompei details how the Vikings were able to alleviate their concerns about Bridgewater and become comfortable with the idea of making him the team’s quarterback of the future. If you are critical of the Bridgewater pick, it’s worth a look. Obviously, the piece does not mean that Bridgewater will be a successful NFL quarterback, but it at least helps you understand the Vikings thought process with Bridgewater leading up to the draft.

If you don’t want to take the time to read the whole piece, I’ll just share some highlights:

  • Turner wasn’t worried about Bridgewater’s arm strength. Turner watched the tape of Bridgewater’s pro day weeks after attending it live, and “saw no evidence of insufficient arm strength,” according to Pompei.
  • Turner was impressed by Bridgewater’s quick delivery. Pompei mentioned that Brad Johnson had a Pro Bowl season under Turner even though he was considered to have averaged arm strength. What Johnson did have though, was a quick release.
  • Pompei wrote that another Turner quarterback came into the NFL on the small side with durability concerns. Turner also took him with the 32nd overall pick. And that quarterback, Drew Brees, has yet to miss a game due to injury even though he and Bridgewater had roughly similar weights coming out of college.
  • The Vikings believe that Bridgewater can still improve. Brees matured physically in the NFL and the Vikings believe that Bridgewater, at 21 years old, could do the same.

So while the Vikings had the same concerns most analysts had about Bridgwater leading up to the draft, the front office and coaching staff were able to alleviate those concerns after careful consideration. Even though the Vikings did try to trade up to take Johnny Manziel, it’s clear they didn’t up their offer to Philadelphia because they were very comfortable with taking Teddy Bridgewater.

Will Bridgewater be able to back up the confidence the Vikings have in him? That’s the one question the team is still looking to answer.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Minnesota Vikings Norv Turner Teddy Bridgewater

  • MikeH123

    This was a helpful article but there was nothing to reconcile that Bridgewater
    had the worst completion percentage over 15 yards even though he was most
    efficient quarterback in this draft class. I am now concerned Norv Turner may
    have talked himself into believing Bridgewater could fit into his vertical
    offense (that favors a sturdy pocket QB with a strong arm) even though
    conventional wisdom says he better fits a dink and dunk offense. My guess is
    Bridgewater eventually succeeds but not in Turners vertical offense.

    • Mike Bridges

      I watched several Louisville games the last couple of years and he impressed every time. I used to be fairly skinny and had a noodle arm, in my late 30′s. I wanted to be part of a certain Softball team but, I had the arm strength of a kid! I began getting into weight lifting pretty heavily, under the tutelage of my best friend, who, was a weight lifter. Even tho, I just played Softball, my overall strength greatly improved, as well as my size. Gone was the noodle arm, and after learning the proper technique of hitting a slow Softball, I could also hit 300′+ HRs. Not only did my arms get much bigger, so did my shoulders, lats and back. Once I learned it was all about bat speed and follow thru, I could hit a HR anytime I wanted. Now, I know he plays Football and it’s far far FAR more physical and so forth but, the point is, once I put on muscle and I learned how to hit better, I could throw the ball farther and faster, and I could hit harder and swing faster and I then learned proper techniques. Teddy will gain weight and muscle. The finest nutrionalists and trainers will work with him to ensure he does. Drew Brees is in fine shape, and is certainly not a small QB. He had the proper people helping him to achieve goals! Teddy will get bigger, and stronger and his QB Coach, S. Turner, will help him with better throwing techniques, and Teddy’s deep ball will improve! If he’s allowed to NOT play his first year, he can work on all those things and when he does take over the QB position, he will, fit the bill, so to speak! The Teddy B. we see now does not have to be the same one in the Autumn of 2015! Teddy could still be a pretty good QB his rookie season. I’ve read that the Coaches feel that Teddy could come out of Training Camp, QB1, as he is, WHY?, because he already possesses one very important tool…..his SMARTS! He’s a very smart QB and he can read Defenses like a vet. In College, he was calling audibles and making adjustments, himself, and that’s rare in CFB. Teddy can be a star QB in the NFL, and it’s been sooo long since we had one of those in Minnesota. If there was a rookie that should be worried about durability, that QB would be Johnny Manziel. His running could get him hurt in the NFL. Tarkenton was a scrambler. That meant MOST of the time when he broke out of the pocket, he stayed behind the LOS but, kept himself upright in order to hit any receiver that works himself open. That’s the difference between Tarkenton and Manziel….Manziel opts to run instead of staying ‘alive’ behind the LOS to hit open receivers.

      • MikeH123

        Perhaps, Teddy will be able to get bigger and stronger, but it still seems strange the Vikings would draft such an unfinished product (for the vertical offense) in the first round for the highest football league in the world based on the assumption he can lift weights especially since they don’t know how it will effect his accuracy, etc. Even though Manziel is more of a runner than Tarkenton, they shared elusiveness (compared to runners like RG3). Tarkenton and Manziel have eyes in the back of their head, which is likely largely why Tarkenton said Manziel is the player most like him.

    • jacknine

      So you would prefer a QB with a lower completion rate on shorter throws? Newsflash, good QB;s make their living in the intermediate range, throws that are past the 1st down marker, and here TB excels. As for his slightly lower completion pct on deep passes, it was greatly impacted by the required progression at Louisville, short to long, meaning the deep throw was the last choice, not the first.
      Its time to get over Manziel going to the Browns.