Gannon predicts big year for Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater


Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater looked sharp in the Vikings preseason opener Sunday night in the Hall of Fame Game.

He played just one drive and connected on 5-of-6 passes for 44 yards. Bridgewater didn't throw either a touchdown or an interception on the drive.

ESPN's Ben Goessling notes that Bridgewater was especially solid at coming off his primary receiver to finding secondary options and help the Vikings keep moving the chains. Bridgewater's only incompletion was a low throw to newly acquired receiver Mike Wallace.

Following the game, in an interview with ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, Bridgewater seemed happy with how he performed on the field, but knows he's going to be counted on to lead the offense.

"I just have to continue to take command of the huddle," said Bridgewater. "Today was a good feeling, to get back out there," said Bridgewater.

Bridgewater's rookie season for Minnesota was very successful. He threw for 2,919 yards and 14 touchdowns in 12 starts for the Vikings last season. The numbers were solid, and they helped Bridgewater win the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award, which is voted on by fans.

But some of Bridgewater's biggest days may still be to come.

CBS NFL analyst and former Vikings quarterback Rich Gannon told the Pioneer Press' Charlie Walters that he sees a big difference in Bridgewater after stopping by Vikings training camp last week.

"I think he's been in the weight room and is a little bit stronger and gotten bigger physically. Having a year in the system and having a better understanding, he can play faster from under center."

The biggest difference, according to Gannon, is the return of Adrian Peterson. The 2012 NFL MVP missed the final 15 games of last season, while dealing with the fallout from accusations of child abuse.

Gannon told Walters that Peterson's return will allow Bridgewater to be more effective in the play-action game and that Vikings receivers will see more single coverage on the outside.

Even Bridgewater seems excited about that.

"We are just excited for that entire running back room," Bridgewater told Paolantonio. "When Adrian does get back out there, [I] can't wait."

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