Matt Cassel has been getting most of the first team reps as the Vikings undergo Organized Team Activities as part of their offseason program. Cassel is the presumed starter for the Vikings under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner while rookie Teddy Bridgewater gets up to speed on the NFL game.
If things were up to Turner though, Matt Cassel would already have plenty of experience in his system. Turner tried to get Cassel to become a Cleveland Brown before he signed with the Vikings in 2013, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.
“I think that would have been, at the time, a good move for us,” Turner told the Pioneer Press. “I gave my evaluation [for the Browns to sign him.] I thought he would have fit. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.”
Instead of having Cassel under center, Turner was forced to parade a revolving door of quarterbacks out on the field in Cleveland. Cassel, meanwhile, started six games for the Vikings, going 3-3.
One year later, the pair is finally together and working to improve the Vikings offense.
While Cassel is clearly not a long term solution under center for the Vikings, he was more than serviceable last year with the team. Cassel proved much more adept than Christian Ponder at getting all the Vikings weapons involved in the passing game, and he showed off surprising deep ball accuracy.
With Norv Turner propping him up now, Cassel should provide formidable competition for Bridgewater heading into training camp. Norv Turner, even though he reportedly pounded the table for Bridgewater, is a clear fan of Cassel’s work as well, so there should be a true quarterback competition in Mankato this summer.
In Bridgewater does end up getting the nod for week one, he will have earned it. With a promising rookie and a proven veteran under center, the Vikings can now say they boast one of the better one-two punches at quarterback in the league, a statement that would have seemed like lunacy just two offseasons ago.