ST. PAUL, Minn. — Teddy Bridgewater and Vikings teammates made their first road trip — er, field trip — of 2016 on Thursday when they loaded up in buses at Winter Park and traveled to Linwood Monroe Arts Plus Lower Elementary School for the 11th annual Vikings Playground Build.
Bridgewater spoke with members of the media about the event and organized team activity practices. The Vikings completed their sixth of 10 voluntary sessions earlier Thursday and are scheduled to have four next week.
Asked how he was selected for painting, as opposed to other tasks that were more labor intensive, Bridgewater joked, "They usually give all the fashionable guys the painting opportunities, so look at me, I'm a pretty hip guy."
"They probably put the wide receivers and quarterbacks together for the most part," Bridgewater added. "We're having some fun over there, painting and being creative."
Here are five thoughts from No. 5:
1. Missed the competition
It's been nearly five full months since the Vikings season ended in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Bridgewater, who quarterbacked the Vikings to an 11-5 mark and the NFC North title in his second pro season, has missed the opportunity to compete.
"We haven't played football since January, so to be back out there and going against the defense has been very competitive," Bridgewater said. "Our defense is pretty good. We know that, so going against those guys is very competitive."
2. Collaboration with coworkers
The Vikings have continued to build around Bridgewater, adding veteran offensive linemen Alex Boone and Andre Smith via free agency and selecting receiver Laquon Treadwell in the first round. Bridgewater said he is focusing on self-improvements to improve the job he does to help others to their jobs.
"I want to continue to get better, continue to do my job so that the guy next to me is able to do his job well," Bridgewater said. "It's my third year of playing for [Head Coach Mike] Zimmer. I know what to expect. I know what he wants from his players, and understanding his message is going to continue to help elevate this team."
3. Situational football
Bridgewater said the Vikings have used OTAs to focus on different scenarios, and he wants to respond to this year's tasks from Zimmer.
"He wants me to take command, continue to lead the guys," Bridgewater said. "We've been learning how to practice, and understand the different situations, understand what situational football is. That's been our focus so far at OTAs, and I think we've been doing a good job for the most part."
4. "A reason"
Treadwell became the seventh receiver ever drafted by the Vikings in a first round when he was tabbed 23rd overall. Bridgewater said he likes what Treadwell can add to the position group.
"There's a reason he was drafted in the first round," Bridgewater said. "We expect things from him this year and can't wait to get him out there. He's going to continue to get better."
5. Work to be done
Asked for a deeper assessment of Treadwell after six practices, Bridgewater said, "I don't think I'm a credible person to judge players and things like that, but so far, I've been pretty impressed."
"Like all of us, we all have some work that needs to be done," Bridgewater said. "As an offensive unit, we're going to continue to eliminate mistakes, be detailed in our run game, in our pass game, and those guys on the outside have been challenging each other each day. That entire room, those guys are just competing every day. They're all just flying around."