Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press
As reported by ESPN.com's Ben Goessling in June, Vikings coaches have stated that there will be an open competition at quarterback during training camp.
Zimmer reiterated that at the first day of training camp on Friday. Vikings.com writer Mike Wobschall quoted Zimmer as saying the following:
"I don't have a starter in mind yet. They're going to determine who the starter is on the practice field, how they go about their business, how they perform in the preseason games."
Cassel is penciled in as the starter to begin camp, but he and rookie first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater have pretty much split reps through the first weekend of camp, according to Eric Edholm of YahooSports.com. Christian Ponder is getting much fewer reps and figures to be the third-stringer.
Cassel was re-signed this offseason to be the bridge to whenever the Vikings' next starting quarterback was ready to take over. That next quarterback is Bridgewater, and the next month will go a long way toward determining when he's ready to take over.
Both players are saying and doing the right things as camp gets underway. Cassel is a veteran who surely understands the situation he's in: The starting job will remain his as long as he can prove he's the Vikings' best option at the position.
Bridgewater has begun camp in an impressive fashion and quickly has the Vikings believing they have their quarterback of the future. It just remains to be seen as to when that future begins.
General manager Rick Spielman was quoted by Matt Vensel in a profile on Bridgewater in the Star Tribune as saying:
"He’s been extremely impressive in his approach, not only what he’s doing on the field, but what he does off the field."
And while it might have been coach-speak hyperbole when offensive coordinator Norv Turner told Wobschall, according to NBCSports.com, that the Vikings quarterback situation was, "as good as you could ask for," the truth is they have a veteran and a rookie who will compete for the starting job and a third-stringer who's led the team to the playoffs.
Most really good NFL teams have an established starter at the most important position on the field when training camp begins. The Vikings don't, but they're taking the smart approach to find out exactly who their starter should be.