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5 From No. 5: Bridgewater Focused on Rhythm in Pocket

MANKATO, Minn. — Teddy Bridgewater said Sunday that he is focused on trusting that his receivers will be in a certain spot when he releases the ball. If Bridgewater is worried about seeing them get to the spot, he said it's too late.

"It's all about playing in rhythm," said Bridgewater, who has connected on multiple deep passes so far in camp. "As long as you're playing in rhythm, what's going on around you doesn't even matter.

"You hit that fifth step, the ball should be out. You hit that seventh step, the ball should be out," he added. "Having that clock in your head, it factors out the pass rush."

Bridgewater threw for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns last season as the Vikings went 11-5 and won the NFC North.

This offseason, Bridgewater organized two separate sessions with teammates in Florida to work on passing routes and further develop rhythm.

Here are four other highlights from Bridgewater's session with the media:

Strong first impressions

The Vikings have used multiple combinations on the offensive line so far, but Bridgewater has liked what he's seen from the big men up front.

With new offensive line coach Tony Sparano bringing a new energy into the group, the quarterback said the unit will have a chance to show its stuff in today's practice when they gear up in full pads.

Left tackle Matt Kalil, left guard Alex Boone and right guard Brandon Fusco have been with the first-team offense for the entirety of camp. John Sullivan and Joe Berger have both worked at center while Andre Smith and T.J. Clemmings have slotted in at right tackle.

"I've been pretty impressed from what I've been seeing," Bridgewater said. "I think the guys up front get the message that competition is going to make the team better.

"I'm excited for that group," he added. "They get to put the pads on this afternoon and quiet some of that noise, some of the chatter that's been going on. I can't wait to see those guys compete."

Proving his worth

Add Bridgewater to the list of Vikings who have been impressed by rookie wide receiver Laquon Treadwell.

Bridgewater said the 23rd overall pick in April's draft has looked sharp in camp so far, adding that he's excited with what Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner has in store for the rookie.

"I think he's going to help us out a lot," Bridgewater said. "There's a reason we drafted him in the first round.

"He has nice size, a big catch radius," he added. "He's a guy that if you look at Coach Turner's track record, back in the day he had those big receivers who would go across the middle and do different things."

Bridgewater also complimented Treadwell on his work ethic, noting his commitment to staying after practice each day.

Group approach to improving

Bridgewater said Sunday that one of the best aspects of his wide receivers group is their ability to look out for one another.

Posed a question about Charles Johnson, Bridgewater said he appreciates how Johnson, Stefon Diggs and Cordarrelle Patterson help each other with the technical aspects of their game away from the field.

"Charles, Diggs, Cordarrelle, they help elevate all the guys' games," Bridgewater said. "Each one of those guys does something different. When you put the tape on (they ask each other), 'Man, how'd you do that?'

"Charles is telling Cordarrelle how he did one thing and now Cordarrelle can implement that into his game or vice versa," he added. "It's a group that challenges each other, they help each other and they're going to be big for us this year."

Hey, Teddy!

Bridgewater was the topic of what became an Internet sensation in May when 7-year-old Obadiah Gamble invited the quarterback to his birthday party using an entertaining music video.

The song, Hey, Teddy, blew up on social media, especially after Bridgewater visited Obadiah at his house where they played catch and ate birthday cake.

Asked about the video Sunday, Bridgewater said his mom and other family members constantly bring it up.

"Every time my mom sees me she says, 'Hey, Teddy. Hey, Teddy,' " Bridgewater said with a smile. "Every time one of my family members sees me it's the first thing they say.

"No one can sing it like Obadiah," he added. "It was a great experience. And it is a catchy phrase."

Obadiah later created a second music video thanking Bridgewater for responding to his video and coming over to hang out.

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