Bridgewater took measured offseason approach

Teddy Bridgewater didn’t want to work too much with a throwing coach outside the organization.

Teddy Bridgewater had a successful rookie season for the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, completing 64.4 percent of his passes for 2,919 yards, 14 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and ending the season with a 85.2 passer rating.

The challenge now becomes building on that going into his second season in the NFL. The Vikings reassembled this week for organized team activities, their first time on the practice field for a full-team practice this spring, and Bridgewater is already feeling confident after two days of work, especially since Norv Turner is returning with the same offensive system.

“It’s a great feeling, for one, knowing that I have a year under my belt,” the quarterback said. “But also I have another year in this system. And the guys, we all know what the expectation level is, so each day we come in and work. We have our hard hats on and we come in ready to work hard.”

But Bridgewater’s hard work didn’t just begin at the start of OTAs. Instead, it started this offseason. He admitted that he would relax – mostly because his coaches told him he had to – but he also continued to work out and study film.

“I just spent most of my time either relaxing or working out,” Bridgewater said. “Studying some film, studying our plays so I could come back sharp and it’s been great to be back so far.”

But this is his first full offseason as an NFL player and it is a lot different than any other one he has experienced. When college quarterbacks declare for the draft, they often work with specialized throwing coaches to try and improve their technique. That isn’t, however, what Bridgewater wanted to do this offseason.

He was trying to stay away from passing coaches as much as possible because he didn’t want to change what his NFL coaches have already taught him. Instead, he would just communicate with the Vikings coaching staff about what they wanted him to do.

“For the most part I try not to get with those guys – try not to get with the passing coaches,” he said. “Because I know what our coaches want me to do so they just continue to communicate with me and we discuss my progress and go from there.

“I’m trying to continue to do what will make me better in this offense. And I talk with coach (Scott) Turner constantly, on a daily basis, and he’s telling me to be quicker and things like that. And I know that sometimes you get with those passing coaches and they try to change your passing techniques, but they don’t know our system. So I just continue to do the things that are within our system and it’s been helping me this far.”

Bridgewater did say that it is a very delicate balance when it comes to working with passing coaches. He wants to be able to do just what the Vikings coaches tell him, but NFL coaches are limited in their contact with players during certain parts of the offseason, and the passing coaches do still have things to offer.

But now that he is back in OTAs he doesn’t have to worry about working with passing coaches. He can continue to learn from his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and see what they still have left to teach him.

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