EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Teddy Bridgewater said Wednesday that he frequently studies film and surveys different veteran quarterbacks across the NFL, observing the unique elements "that they bring to the table."
"I watched Peyton Manning, whether he's beating you at the line of scrimmage, it's a chess match," Bridgewater said. "Aaron Rodgers, he's making all of the throws. Tom Brady, he's a mastermind, he's making all of the throws also, he's calm in the pocket. I just try to take different things that those guys do well and try to apply it to my game. That's what makes me different, also."
Bridgewater said he "definitely" has an admiration for Chargers QB Philip Rivers, who is in his 12th NFL season.
"He's a guy I've seen a bunch of tape on," Bridgewater said. "Coach [Norv] Turner was able to coach him early in his career. I've seen numerous throws that Philip Rivers makes, he's a great quarterback and he's one of the best quarterbacks in this league."
The learning experiences through film study are fine, but Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said he wants "Teddy to be himself."
"There's a lot of things I respect about Philip Rivers, but I want Teddy to be Teddy," Zimmer said. "I don't want him to try and be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning or Philip Rivers. I want him to be him and really what Norv [Turner] is coaching him to do and Scott [Turner]. I think that's important for us and for our whole football team is be us."
Here are four other points from Bridgewater's media session:
1) Peterson picking up steam
Bridgewater has played two games with Adrian Peterson with much different results. The Vikings committed to the run early and often Sunday against the Lions, and Bridgewater complemented the ground-and-pound (29 rushes for 134 yards by Peterson) with efficient passing (14 of 18 for 153 yards with a TD and rating of 120.6).
"We knew that it was going to take some time for him to get going and it's going to take some time for us to get going as a team," Bridgewater said. "(The performance against the Lions is) what we expect from Adrian. He's a guy that's done tremendous things in this league and is going to continue to do even bigger things for us. Whether he's hot, it makes the game easier. I'm just glad to have him back there."
2) Prep work paid off
Bridgewater, who took one sack Sunday, spoke after the game and on Wednesday about quarterbacks breaking down film of Detroit with offensive linemen. He said he felt "very comfortable" and was impressed by the way the line started.
"You put the tape on, you watch them, we we're running the football we had lineman down the field getting to the second level, blocking linebackers, driving defensive linemen down the field," Bridgewater said. "That's what we like to see."
3) Over-thinking can be problematic
Two days after the anniversary of his first regular season action, Bridgewater was asked to assess how far along he's progressed.
"The biggest difference is I'm just playing faster, thinking less," Bridgewater said. "Allowing the game to come to me, I'm not trying to force throws, I'm not trying to be too perfect. Last year I tended to overthink things and always wanted to be right. Sometimes you just have to go out there and play the game for itself. I think that's something that I'm doing a better job of doing."
4) 24-hour rule also applies to wins
The Vikings made it a major point to move past their season-opener in San Francisco, by applying the "24-hour rule" to dwell on the loss before shifting gears to Detroit last week. They limited enjoyment of beating the Lions to 24 hours this week before turning to San Diego.
"You put Detroit in the past, you have to have that same mindset heading into the San Diego game, you want to start fast, convert third downs and do things like that," Bridgewater said.