In Cleveland, the Browns are trying to knock Johnny down. In Minnesota, the Vikings are trying to build Teddy up.
Contrary to the “you’re a backup, act like it” message the Browns have sent to the 22nd overall pick in the draft, the Vikings apparently will employ the “you’re a starter, act like it” approach to the man taken 10 spots later.
Via ESPN.com, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said that Bridgewater will get some first-team reps during the upcoming full-squad OTA practices. The sessions begin May 28.
Presumably, veteran Matt Cassel will get the rest of the first-team reps.
It’s always smart to not install a rookie quarterback as the starter from the get-go, because he then has only one place to go — down. Make him the backup and let him climb the ladder if/when he shows that he can.
The “if” becomes a given, if the front office wants to justify the faith in the player that resulted in him becoming a first-round pick. For Bridgewater, whose confidence may have been shattered by a pre-draft process that saw him slide from the top five to the seventh five, a show of faith from the coaching staff could be precisely what he needs to blossom at the next level.