Whether they were drafted in the first round or signed as an undrafted free agent, there’s a learning curve that every rookie experiences when he makes it to the NFL.
Lions tight end Eric Ebron feels like he’s already scaled it, but another NFC North neophyte knows there’s still work to do. Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been hearing from offensive coordinator Norv Turner and head coach Mike Zimmer about the need to speed up his game if he’s going to thrive against NFL defenses.
“Coach Turner always tells me I have to be quicker with my decision making,” Bridgewater said, via the Pioneer Press. “He has been telling me I’ve got to get back from under center fast. … That’s been the main point for me. Just playing faster, progressing faster and just getting rid of the football faster.”
Bridgewater hasn’t faced a defense that’s trying to plant him in the turf yet and that will be the easiest way to figure out the benefits of getting the ball out as quickly as possible, so it’s something worth watching when the Vikings kick off their preseason schedule later this week. If he doesn’t progress quickly on that front, the chances of Matt Cassel starting could increase because it’s a core part of Turner’s system and one that the Vikings aren’t likely to sacrifice in the early part of the season just because Bridgewater isn’t there yet.
Then again, Zimmer said it’s been an issue for all of the quarterbacks so Bridgewater may not find himself too far behind as he tries to adjust his game to NFL speed.