Despite making some experts nervous pre-draft with a poor Pro Day workout, Teddy Bridgewater is proving to the Minnesota Vikings that he can indeed make every NFL throw needed.
Questions were raised about whether or not Teddy Bridgewater was worth a top draft pick in the 2014 draft, when he showed up at his Louisville Pro Day throwing all out of sorts. During his workout, his passes were errant and his deep ball was off target. This didn’t register with what fans and scouts had seen throughout his college career, where Bridgewater saw his yards per attempt increase every year in college, and he almost topped 4,000 yards during his Junior year. But at his Pro Day? You never would have guessed that his talents would transfer to the NFL.
Despite this misgivings, the Minnesota Vikings drafted him late in the first round, confident that they could turn those concerns around. And early returns seem to indicate they’ve been able to do just that, with new Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner already exclaiming that Bridgewater “can make all the throws he needs to make.”
From a recent Pro Football Talk article:
“One of the things that has been the most impressive to me is, I knew he’d be very accurate, I knew he’d make great decisions, quick decisions, but he’s been outstanding throwing the ball deep, which some people thought that was going to be an issue,” Turner said, via FOX Sports North. “I think in the six or eight weeks we’ve had him on the field, I think he’s been put in a position where he’s had to make most of the throws he would have to make and I think he can make all the throws he needs to make.”
For anyone who has watched highlights from rookie camps and OTAs, it’s easy to agree with Norv. Teddy Bridgewater has looked like his college-football-self, rather than his Pro Day performance. His accuracy has been spot on, and he’s been able to make every throw in his repertoire, and in Norv’s required list of throws for a quarterback in his offense, as well.
And what’s most impressive about that, is the TYPES of throws required in Norv’s offense. They include, but are not limited to:
- The Jump Pass: Required for any Super Bowl appearing quarterback, ala Super Bowl winning Tarvaris Jackson.
- The Side Arm Shuffle: A harried, desperate near-under hand toss to an unawares tight end or full back rolling out for a two yard gain.
- The Arm Punt: Perfect by former Norv Turner protege Phillip Rivers, the Arm Punt is exceptionally when used on fourth and long, where an interception is just as ridiculous as a normal punt.
- The Toe Splitter: A savvy, veteran throw typically seen by Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, where all of your receiving options have been stripped away and you are forced to throw the ball at the feet of a receive who is not paying attention. Usually results in a punt.
- The Wrong Break: A perfectly timed interception that appears to be the fault of the receiver, since the quarterback will flash a hard arrow with his hands in the opposite direction of where the receiver just ran.
- The Ponder: A deep, two yard out that requires the arm strength of a 50 yard bomb down field, but thrown just as equivalently far across the body for a much less impressive gain.
As you can see, Norv is just as comfortable with Teddy Bridgewater making this highly sought after NFL throws as he is with any other quarterback. Long story short? It shouldn’t be long before Bridgewater is the Vikings starting quarterback, fitting right in with a long history of purple quarterback excellence.