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Spielman: Bridgewater Could Let It Loose More in 2016

Posted Feb 23, 2016

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — A major goal in 2015 for Teddy Bridgewater was to protect the football, but this year he might be tasked with “letting it loose” more in his third pro season.

"I think just the biggest thing that you want to see is maybe him letting it loose a little more," Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said. "I don't want to call him cautious, but he took very good care of the ball because we don't want to turn the ball over.

“I don't want to speak out of turn for the coaches, just letting it loose a little more, giving some guys a chance to make plays even though it may not look like it's open,” he added. “I think that comes with time, the more and more the quarterbacks are in the league."

Bridgewater threw for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015, while throwing just nine interceptions.

He started all 16 games and threw for 300-plus yards on two occasions.

In November, Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner talked about Bridgewater making plays even when his receiving options appear covered.

Tight end Kyle Rudolph had six catches for 67 yards against Arizona in Week 14, which Turner said was a byproduct of Bridgewater making anticipatory throws.

“Kyle is not a guy that’s going to get great separation, but he’s a big-body presence,” Turner said. “(Bridgewater has) thrown the ball where, we had one on the sideline, third down, the defender almost got a hand on the ball, Teddy put it out in front. [Rudolph is] a big man. He went up and got it and ran down the sideline.”

Bridgewater, a first-round pick in 2014 out of Louisville, helped lead the Vikings to an 11-5 record and NFC North title in 2015, improving his record as a starter to 17-11.