‘Constant grinder’ Teddy plans working break

Teddy Bridgewater could take five weeks off before training camp, but he won’t.



The time in between the end of mandatory minicamp and the start of training camp, when coaches and players can’t comingle in a working relationship because of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, players are on their own for five weeks preparing for the season in their own way.

Some work themselves hard to come into camp in peak condition looking to make an early impression. Veterans tend to take it easy. Teddy Bridgewater would have every right to take some down time to clear his head, enjoy friends and family and give himself some R&R before the start of the 2015 season officially kicks off with players reporting to camp in Mankato.

The Minnesota Vikings’ second-year quarterback is not that kind of guy.

Brad Childress carved out his own unique niche in Vikings lore by coining the phrase, “Don’t be the guy!” – a reference to not being the player that results in Chilly being awakened in the middle of the night to learn of a player arrest.

Teddy won’t be the guy.

Bridgewater spoke to the local media Tuesday on the first day of mandatory minicamp, less than 24 hours after Johnny Manziel was the butt of a joke as a professional wrestler “cut a promo” in Cleveland.

Bridgewater is all business heading into his first training camp as the unquestioned starting QB for the Vikings.

“This time that we’re going to have off before training camp, I want to take advantage of it,” Bridgewater said. “I’m going to continue to work out so that when I do arrive down in Mankato and see you all again that I make sure that I’m sharp.”

For a player who has yet to start an opening-day game – Bridgewater’s first opening-day start actually will be an opening-night start at San Francisco under the bright lights of Monday Night Football – he is intending to be as ready as he possibly can be. That not only means bringing a sharp game in September, it means working in June and July while others are kicking back and relaxing.

“I try to be a constant grinder, so I’m going to try to continue to work the whole time,” Bridgewater said. “I had an entire offseason, from January to the beginning of workouts, so I had enough time to rest back then, so now it’s time to shift my focus to the season.”

Bridgewater was preparing just as hard for his rookie season, but that was due to his unfamiliarity with Norv Turner’s offense. He’s a year into the program now and, as students of the game tend to do, he is feeling a lot better about where he’s at now than a year ago – when GPS was helping him get to Winter Park.

“I have more of a feel for what the coaches are trying do here, as far as game plan-wise,” Bridgewater said. “Last year, I was kind of learning my way around game plans and getting a feel for coaches Norv and Scott Turner and what they’re asking of us. But having a year under my belt, I can see why he’s calling certain plays and where he wants to go with the football, whether it’s a situational play call or just a play call whether it’s first-and-10 or second-and-10. Having an understanding of the coordinator, I think I’m that far ahead this year.”

Minicamp ends Thursday. For Bridgewater, the studying doesn’t end.

He won’t be the guy.


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