Teddy Bridgewater is entering the often-hyped third NFL season of a player’s progression. What will it bring?
The answer to that question depends on the answer to several other unknowns:
- Only time will tell if the offensive line gives him more time to set up, read and throw the football this year. Last year, he was one of the most-sacked quarterbacks in the NFL.
- How will the additions of Pat Shurmur and Tony Sparano as offensive assistants influence the scheme and play-calling of Norv Turner?
- What will the loss of Mike Wallace, addition of Laquon Treadwell and continued development of Stefon Diggs mean to the wide receiver corps?
Those are all legitimate inquiries for anyone wanting to see Bridgewater prove it before he is automatically thrown into the offseason lists of ascending quarterbacks, breakout players or potential top-10 quarterbacks.
But perhaps the biggest help – literally and figuratively – to Bridgewater this season could be the acquisition of guard Alex Boone. He didn’t need much time with Bridgewater to form an assessment of him before the Vikings start to convene for real full-team practices next week.
Boone got to know Bridgewater’s personality during offseason conditioning and called him an “awesome” quarterback.
“I love him because he is the prototypical quarterback – he’s a great guy, he’s great to be around. He doesn’t overstep his boundaries,” Boone said. “He’s always coming up, ‘Hey, great job, good to see you’ and stuff like that.”
Bridgewater put the onus on himself in assembling his receiving corps this offseason for workouts at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. The year before, Rudolph brought many of the tight ends and receivers with Bridgewater for workouts in California.
This year provided a little more opportunity for teammates to push fans Bridgewater’s way.
“They all bug him all the time and we just try to direct everyone toward Teddy,” Rudolph said with a wry smile. “He was the one taking all the pictures and saying hi.”
But Rudolph believes that Bridgewater’s initiative to bring the group together earlier this year shows another step in his maturation as a quarterback and, perhaps just as importantly, a leader.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/vikings/story/1671498-vikings-creating-depth-at... “Absolutely … that leadership and the character that it shows in Teddy to organize it all offseason, try to get as many guys together as we could, it speaks volumes to the steps that he’s taken the last few years,” Rudolph said. “A lot of times the franchise quarterback and leader of the offense is forced on young quarterbacks. They’re drafted high and thrown in right away and that wasn’t the case with Teddy.
“When we got back here after his first season, about a year ago now, he just seamlessly took over as the leader of our offense. I think that just speaks to his personality, his work ethic and the leadership background that he’s had his whole life.”
In addition to Rudolph, Bridgewater had Diggs, Charles Johnson, MyCole Pruitt, Jarius Wright, Adam Thielen, Cordarrelle Patterson and Terrell Sinkfield in for workouts and camaraderie over the course of a week in Florida.
The itinerary included weight room and field workouts that lasted 2½ to three hours, and then more entertaining outings in the afternoons or evenings.
Boone and the offensive line weren’t part of those workouts, yet Boone still portrays great enthusiasm for Bridgewater’s abilities.
“The plays he makes are unbelievable,” he said, “and I’m hoping we can kind of expand that and make it more and give him some more opportunities.”