Bridgewater: We have high expectations, but a long way to go

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Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is doing his best to temper expectations for the 2015 season.

The return of Adrian Peterson and the addition of wide receiver Mike Wallace to bring a deep threat to the offense, along with the return of Bridgewater, has many experts looking at the Vikings as a potential sleeper playoff team in the NFC this season.

But through it all, Bridgewater has remained cautious and while he acknowledges that the ceiling for the club is very high, he notes there's a lot of work to be done.

"I have high expectations for myself, and this team has high expectations, also," Bridgewater told USA Today. "Right now, we're not as good as what we think. We know that the ceiling is very high and the expectation level is very high – not only for the players, but from a coaching staff also. We know what's being asked of us, but we have a long way to go."

That's not the normal rah-rah stuff you normally hear from teams as the regular season draws near. But as Pro Football Talk notes, the Vikings have finished with losing records in four of the last five years – including last season when they finished 7-9 in Mike Zimmer's first year, while primarily using Bridgewater as a rookie, without the team's biggest offensive weapon in Peterson.

According to Viking Update, it shows that Bridgewater is already maturing as a leader in just his second season in the NFL.

"He didn't say much in his interview, but Bridgewater spoke volumes, both in terms of what the Vikings can accomplish and what they have accomplished to date. For that reason, he has taken the next step in his maturation as a player and his ability to be a spokesman for the Vikings and a face of the franchise – not by what he can say about the team's potential, but his realization that the Vikings have all the pieces to the puzzle in place, but have yet to arrange the pieces to complete the puzzle." 

Bridgewater's development on the field was evident at the end of last season, when he completed 70 percent of his passes over the final six games, tossing 10 touchdown passes to just six interceptions, and leading an offense that averaged 24 points a game during the stretch.

But it might be his leadership that can help turn the young Vikings into the playoff team some are starting to expect.

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