Do not... I repeat, DO NOT sleep on Teddy Bridgewater.
Yes, I know. The team is saying all the right things. "We support Matt Cassel", "We're confident in Matt Cassel", "We're so confident in Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater might not even see the field this year."
Is anybody else buying this, because I sure don't.
I know its important not to kick the legs out from under your current starting quarterback until you're sure your new starting quarterback is ready to take over. But let's be real. First, Matt Cassel isn't bringing anything new to the table. You already saw what he could do last year. And although it wasn't putrid, it didn't exactly inspire either.
Forgive me. I stand corrected. It inspired the Vikings to run right out and draft a first round quarterback. I refuse to believe any excuses that it was a best-player-available pick or he was just too good to pass up. The Vikings drafted him because they need a difference-maker.
Teddy Bridgewater is a difference-maker.
If Matt Cassel starts the season, which I doubt, he won't make it out of September. The Vikings have about as brutal a start to the 2014 season as you could ask for. It won't take the new staff too long to ask why they're bothering to lose games with a veteran when their rookie could be gaining some experience.
And Teddy Bridgewater has the ability to excite. He was brought up in a pro-style offense. His completion percentage was ridiculous last year, throwing at a 70% clip with 28 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. And he did it while moving around in the pocket to buy time for himself.
Commentators try to argue that the competition wasn't that good. Perhaps that's true but his receivers weren't that good either.
For many, he was a sure-fire number one pick. Then his stock crashed. Why? Loss of skill? Bad season? Even a bad game?
No. His stock dropped because he didn't show up to the combine and he had a bad pro-day.
How many times do we tell ourselves not to pay too much attention to the combine or the pro-day. Scouts will all tell you, its game film that matters. So Teddy Bridgewater goes out and puts together some of the best game film out there and people ignore it because of a pro-day.
I've seen this before. A couple of years ago, I watched as a phenominal quarterback walked into the University of Wisconsin and absolutely dismantled the Big 10. People said the Big 10 really wasn't that good. People said he was too short. People looked at a couple of numbers and dismissed him. He was projected to go in the third round of the NFL draft. Before that draft, I wrote an article stating whoever took Russell Wilson was going to get a steal.
I'm writing it again. People passed on Teddy Bridgewater. People, once again, looked at a couple "off" numbers and decided to give up on him.
Well, good news for him. The Minnesota Vikings schedule turns tasty for the second half of the season and the young quarterback should be licking his chops. Teams should watch for this. They should be paying attention. Yet as I'm writing these words, I know the NFL is still sleeping on Teddy Bridgewater.
Maybe its better this way. While they're ignoring him, he'll get to prove himself by blowing teams off the field and playing for a division title.