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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings’ GM: Teddy Bridgewater is going to be ‘something special’ down the road

By Andrew Krammer

As the Vikings search the Senior Bowl this week for pieces of this year’s draft puzzle, they’re not going to be hung up on quarterbacks for a consecutive offseason.

A day after more than a hundred college seniors wrap up auditions in Mobile, Ala., Vikings franchise quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will play in his first career Pro Bowl as an alternate. Though if his development continues the way general manager Rick Spielman hopes, he’ll be in annual consideration for the league’s best.

Bridgewater is 17-11 as a starter, helping lead the Vikings in his second season to the first NFC North title since 2009. Individually, his stats don’t jump off the page. He’s been efficient with a career 64.9 percent completion rate, however he’s thrown just 28 touchdowns to 21 interceptions in two seasons. And even though his 88.7 quarterback rating tied for 21st among all passers last season, Spielman still sees the star potential — both on and off the field — that led to him trading back into 2014’s first round to draft him 32nd overall.

“Teddy, he’s just so calm through the ups and downs as he’s growing as a young quarterback,” Spielman told SiriusXM on Thursday night. “His demeanor never changes and the one thing I know is he’s always the first one in the building and the last one to leave the building. That resonates down through that locker room and all those guys see that. I think the key to that position is showing your teammates you’re willing to do everything you can to give them the best chance to win.

“And I know our team and our coaches and myself really believe this kid is really going to be something special down the road here.”

The Vikings feel comfortable with Bridgewater heading into his third season. They’ll look to bolster the pieces around him, and have already looked to bring new ideas onto the offensive staff between veteran hires in Tony Sparano (OL) and Pat Shurmur (TE).

Head coach Mike Zimmer was clear when asked about new faces at quarterbacks this month.

“I think that we always want to look to bring quarterbacks in,” Zimmer said at his season-ending press conference. “Not necessarily to compete with Teddy. Teddy is our quarterback, he’s going to be our quarterback and there’s no doubt about that going forward. But we’re always going to be looking for quarterbacks. I think it’s an important position that whether it be in the draft or free agency or wherever, that we continue to have guys at that position.”

‘Biggest surprise’

Spielman was also asked by SiriusXM hosts Alex Marvez and Mark Dominik about the biggest surprise among the Vikings’ impactful 2015 rookie class.

He pointed to defensive end Danielle Hunter, less than a year after draft him in the third round (88th overall) out of LSU. Hunter finished second among all NFL rookies with six sacks, including 3.5 in a three-game stretch as he established himself in the rotation late in the season. We wrote this feature on Hunter last month.

“We got a lot out of our class this year,” Spielman told SiriusXM. “I think one game we had seven rookies starting one game. I give a lot of the credit to this coaching staff, because we can go out there and try to pick the best athletes and best football players available, but they still have to be developed. And I know coach Zimmer and his whole staff take pride in that. We got a lot of our production from [Eric] Kendricks, but I think the biggest surprise was Hunter from LSU, who ended up, I think, with six or seven sacks this year as a rookie. Our defensive line coach, Andre Patterson and George Edwards, our defensive coordinator, and [head coach Mike] Zim[mer], just to take a kid like that who’s so athletic but didn’t have a lot of production at LSU and to turn him into a pretty good player. So, there’s a lot of positives, but now we have to get prepared and what can we add to get us to the next level.”

The post Vikings’ GM: Teddy Bridgewater is going to be ‘something special’ down the road appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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