Mike Zimmer Won’t Call Matt Cassel the Starter (Even Though He Is)


True to his reputation as a staight-shooter, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is following through on his promise not to finalize the depth chart until training camp is underway. The official line from Zimmer is that every position is still up for grabs, including quarterback, where Matt Cassel finds himself in some kind of competition with rookie Teddy Bridgewater and afterthought Christian Ponder.

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“I want to give everybody an opportunity and make sure that it’s a legitimate opportunity for all of them,” Zimmer said Tuesday via USA Today. “Then we’ll start narrowing down the reps as we get going. But it won’t be for a while.”

Yeah, about those reps. Matt Cassel got most of the first team ones in OTAs, with Bridgewater and Ponder relegated to second and third string (when Bridgewater wasn’t in California fulfilling his rookie premiere event duties).

A little thing like that is bound to create the impression that Cassel is the man who has been tabbed to start. But Zimmer insists on fighting that impression. His mantra? Open competition for all.

“The thing that I want to guard against most is rushing into a decision where we make a decision quickly as opposed to making the correct decision,” Zimmer said. “So, our main focus now is making the correct decision, not so much for the fans or the media or anybody else on this football team. And that’s really in regards to all the positions, not just the quarterback position.”

Whose team is this? Mike Zimmer’s team. And if Mike Zimmer says there’s no starting QB yet, there’s no starting QB yet.

Sure Zim. We’ll play along.

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