Notebook: Bridgewater finally falters

After a very strong start to training camp, Teddy Bridgewater threw his first and second interceptions of camp during full-team work. The defender on one play and one of his receivers talked about the mishap but defended his overall progress.

One day after Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t as accurate as he had been in the first four days of camp, Bridgewater lived up to the assessment.

On the sixth day of training camp, Bridgewater threw his first interception during full-team work … and a short time later threw his second.

The first one came when Bridgewater looked to his right and tried to connect with receiver Rodney Smith. Linebacker Audie Cole diagnosed it, jumped in the path of the pass and made the interception for what likely would have resulted in a defensive touchdown.

Not long afterward the Vikings moved into the 2-minute drill, Bridgewater was trying to get the ball to receiver Adam Thielen for the second straight time and Derek Cox dove for another interception.

“The offense is trying to move the ball up the field, get a score and put points on the board,” Cox said. “My guy, he just ran a slant route and I had good technique, was inside and I made the play.”

Although Bridgewater was generally accurate with his throws on Thursday, the interceptions, especially two in one day, have to be cause for pause among the coaching staff as they continue to work him into some first-team reps.

The majority of Bridgewater’s snaps came with the second-team offense. But, despite the interceptions, he is still garnering the support of his teammates on offense and defense.

“I seen all great passes from him today. He threw a great fade to the back of the end zone to one of our rookie guys,” Jerome Simpson said, preferring to ignore the interceptions. “To me, he’s making great passes. He’s improving every day and calling the plays very good and doing what he’s supposed to do – that’s improve every day in training camp.”

Cox, the interceptor on the second miscue from Bridgewater, said the rookie quarterback has “great ability.”

“I wasn’t thinking about baiting him. Right here, I was thinking play my technique and just help the team get off the field,” Cox said. “That was what was on my mind.”

Before the interceptions, Bridgewater was twice praised by coaches for making the right adjustment at the line of scrimmage and choosing the correct play. Simpson has noticed that, too.

“He’s gotten better at calling the plays and just going through his reads and making plays out there,” Simpson said. “He’s improving every day, from the beginning to right now he’s improved.”


  • The offensive play of the day was a red zone pass from Matt Cassel over the top of Xavier Rhodes for a perfectly thrown touchdown to Simpson in 7-on-7 work.

  • Tight end AC Leonard, who left practice Wednesday for what Zimmer termed then to be a headache, didn’t practice Thursday.

  • Safety Robert Blanton continued to sit out after injuring his right hamstring in Monday night’s practice. He will likely be out another week or more.

  • With Blanton out, Jamarca Sanford and Mistral Raymond received time with the starting defense.

  • Josh Robison returned to practice after being pulled Wednesday for a minor hamstring injury, but he didn’t do any full-team work. Captain Munnerlyn took the first-team reps for Robinson in the base, and Marcus Sherels usually played the outside in the nickel defense with Munnerlyn covering the slot receiver.

  • The Vikings continue to give several players who aren’t likely to start in the regular season a look with the starting unit on defense. On Thursday, rookie Shamar Stephen received several reps with the first team alongside Linval Joseph. So did Tom Johnson. Sharrif Floyd, expected to start at the three-technique defensive tackle, was relegated to mostly second-team work.

  • Blair Walsh was 5-for-6 on field goals during a kicking session and added another make during a quick-change drill.

  • Rookie linebacker Anthony Barr is becoming a more regular fixture with the starting defense and received praise for his positioning on at least one running play that he contained adeptly.

  • With Cordarrelle Patterson in his second day of full-team work while coming back from a foot injury, he was also used in the kickoff return game. So were Sherels, Jerick McKinnon and Jarius Wright.

  • It appeared the Vikings were giving Adrian Peterson the afternoon off. He was dressed in full pads but didn’t practice. In his stead Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata shared first-team reps, with Asiata getting more of them.

    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

  • Viking Update Top Stories