Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press
Last season, the Minnesota Vikings trotted out the three-headed quarterbacking monster of Matt Cassel, Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman, and damn, was that monster ineffective in the worst of ways.
In a related story, the Vikings went 5-10-1 and finished in last place in the NFC North.
Out of the three passers, Matt Cassel performed the best, and he was re-signed this offseason. The prevailing thought process was that the 32-year-old would be under center for the Vikings in Week 1 after holding off whichever young passer the team would draft.
Well, the Vikings traded back into the bottom of the first round to select Teddy Bridgewater, and after minicamps and OTAs, it would rank as a surprise if Bridgewater didn't end up as the team's starter heading into the season.
Bridgewater has been praised by teammates and coaches alike, with offensive coordinator Norv Turner saying this, per Brian Hall of FOXSports.com:
One of the things that has been the most impressive to me is, I knew (Teddy would be) 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. 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.
Right after the draft, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune that Bridgewater "will play when we feel like he’s ready, if he’s the best guy, which we hope that he will be. We always want to have competition."
The writing is on the wall for Cassel, who has failed to sparkle for the vast majority of his NFL career. In fact, he was recently named by ESPN's Ron Jaworski as the worst (presumed) starting signal-caller in the league, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.
Look for Bridgewater to win the job in convincing fashion. It would be both an upset and a negative commentary on Bridgewater if Cassel were to claim the role.