The Minnesota Vikings’ wide receivers have had the habit of staying late after practice and catching balls on the JUGS machine since the start of the regular season. They always said they wanted to get as much work in as possible.
That routine has changed a little lately as there has been a new piece added to the group staying late – Teddy Bridgewater. The quarterback has been staying after practice more lately to work with the wide receivers.
“If I maybe miss a throw in practice or something like that, stay behind, just try to make the corrections before we go home or head back in the locker room,” Bridgewater said. “It’s just trying to make sure that we leave no stones unturned on the day. We have a great group of guys who love to work hard, love to be perfect. That’s what you want in that group.”
The player that seems to work with Bridgewater more than any of the others after practice is rookie Stefon Diggs. But when you talk with either of those two players, that may actually not be a good thing because it means they are missing on plays that they feel they should be hitting in practice.
“If something doesn’t hit in practice we got to get it after practice to make sure we’re on top of it,” Diggs said, “because we don’t have the time in practice because everybody got to keep rolling through the script. So after practice we have to put that extra time in to make sure we’ll be on point.”
It is impressive, though, to see that both these two young players – Diggs in his first year and Bridgewater in his second – have the attitude to want to stay late and put in the extra work. Even though both of these players have found success early in their careers, they know that there is still plenty of room to improve.
They want to make sure that they are on the same page on every play. They talk out the plays they didn’t connect on during practice and then run them until they get them right.
That increased understanding between one another has led to a mutual respect out on the football field, and the two now seem to have a good connection.
“On the practice field you have that trust with your guy that you put the ball where we practice at, I’m going to catch it,” Diggs said. “So it’s just a give-take relationship.”
Even though both players are very young, they seem to have a good understanding of the work they need to put in to find success at the professional level, and that’s obviously good news since both Diggs and Bridgewater appear to be in a spot where they will be fitting into long-term roles with the team.