A relatively boring training camp filled with normal boring training camp business finally produces something worry-wort fans can sink their teeth into. Those gosh darn pesky interceptions.
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There were three of them Saturday night at Blakeslee Field, two by No. 1 QB Matt Cassel, one by No. 2 QB Teddy Bridgewater. In the team’s last three days of practice, Cassel and Bridgewater have each thrown a total of three picks.
Great coverage by our new-look Mike Zimmer-led defense or terrible execution by our quarterbacks?
Some might chalk it all up to the normal growing pains you’re going to experience with two quarterbacks who are still learning a new offense. Others may see the interceptions as a sign of looming issues.
In Cassel’s case, interceptions are nothing new. Cassel has thrown a lot of them in his career. He could charitably be referred to as a tad interception-prone.
Bridgewater wasn’t interception-prone in college, but that’s just the thing: all we have to go on is college. The rookie is still feeling his way in the pros and it could be the interceptions are just part of the process. Or it could be that the NFL game is just too fast for him and this is going to be an issue.
Are you worrying yet?
The question was put to Matt Cassel and he shrugged it off. “Not at all,” he said (via the Pioneer-Press) when asked if he was concerned about all the picks.
The rookie Bridgewater had a very different response when asked the same question:
"“It’s a huge concern,” Bridgewater said. “Playing quarterback, you always want to take care of the football, and that’s the way that you have success playing quarterback, and the guys believe in you when you’re taking care of the football.”"
That right there is the difference between a veteran who knows when to blow off a question and a rookie who is still eager to say all the right things. In two or three years, Bridgewater will be blowing off such questions as well.
As a fan, it’s not so easy for me to just ignore these things or explain them away with a bunch of cliches. It’s possible that this is just growing pains. Or maybe the defense really is going to be good. Or, maybe, our quarterbacks are both turnover machines.
Maybe Cassel and Bridgewater both suck.
I don’t know how much to worry, I just know I need to worry. I was beginning to wonder when this would start to feel like a normal Vikings training camp. We’re finally getting there.