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5 Takes on Teddy Bridgewater

The Vikings are evaluating all positions at the NFL Scouting Combine, but there's no question quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be leading the team for the foreseeable future.

 "This is Teddy's team," Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman told "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen in a 9 to Noon show interview Friday morning.

"I think that [increased aggressiveness] comes with maturity," Spielman continued. "He's going into his third year in the system, and you've seen him make that jump from his rookie year to last year – you've seen him become more comfortable. I think the longer he's here – and he'll be here a very long time – this is going to be Teddy's team."

No matter where you go, Bridgewater is a hot conversation topic.

NFL analysts flocked to Indianapolis to assess collegiate athletes this week, and Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall caught up with a number of them to get their takes on the Vikings 2015 season, the team's future, possible draft selections and, of course, Bridgewater.

Here are five things league experts had to say about Minnesota's starting quarterback heading into year three:

Rich Gannon: Teddy's an unselfish player

Former quarterback and SiriusXM host Rich Gannon, the 2002 NFL MVP, said there's "a lot to like" about Bridgewater, including the improvement Gannon saw in Bridgewater's second season with the Vikings.

"I think the thing I love about Teddy Bridgewater is, he's a very unselfish player at that position," Gannon said. "I think he realizes that if it means handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson 30 times in a game to win, he'll do it. I think he takes great care of the football – his completion percentage is [65.3] percent."

Gannon did say two areas he would like to see Bridgewater improve are throwing the ball down the field and gaining strength in the pocket.

"But I think the arrow is turning in the right direction," Gannon added. "When you look at where he was in year one as opposed to year two – his familiarity, his comfort level with [offensive coordinator] Norv Turner's offense, and I think as they get better around him, particularly up front. They have to get better on the offensive line – that will certainly help Teddy in year three."

Ian Rapoport: Bridgewater poised for next step

For NFL Media analyst Ian Rapoport, it's not about whether or not Bridgewater can reach another level. Rather, it's about the balance of Minnesota's offense when that happens.

"If Teddy is going to take the next step, which I think he is absolutely poised to do, what does the offense look like?" Rapoport pondered.

"Is it being more aggressive on first down?" he continued. "Which is kind of taking the ball out of Adrian's hands a little bit, which is OK as long as you're making yards. I'm just curious to see what the offense looks like as [Teddy] morphs into the franchise quarterback that the Vikings think he is."

Josina Anderson: Honeymoon period is over

NFL reporter Josina Anderson said that 2016 will be a major prove-it year for Bridgewater.

"My personal feeling is that he needs to show a good marked improvement in his third year. Particularly in handling pressure situations, I do feel like the honeymoon period is over with him. It's really time, obviously with the help of his wide receiver assets, to take it to another level, especially because Adrian Peterson is not getting any younger."

Tom Pelissero: More good than bad

NFL Media analyst Tom Pelissero said when the Vikings look at Bridgewater, there's "more good than bad."

Pelissero recalled a conversation he had with Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph following Minnesota's win against Chicago on Dec. 20.

"One of the things I remember Kyle Rudolph hammering into my head […] was, 'Look at the situations that Teddy Bridgewater is in, in terms of passing the football,' " Pelissero said. "Everybody in the league knows the Vikings are going to be a 'pound-it' team. They're going to run on first down, they're probably going to run on second down. So if the run game isn't effective, all of a sudden you're going to be in some third-and-8, third-and-9 situations, and those are not conducive to the passing game. That's difficult for any quarterback, because all of a sudden the pass rushers can be turned loose, the blitz packages open up, and all those sorts of things."

Bucky Brooks: 2016 will be Bridgewater's year

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks smiled when asked about Bridgewater and his impact on the Vikings.

"Teddy Bridgewater is an outstanding player," Brooks said, adding that Bridgewater hasn't reached his ceiling yet.

"He hasn't necessarily reached his potential on what I think he can be, but I like the way the team is built around him," Brooks said. "I like how he's been slowly brought along, and he's not having to do too much as a young player. I think we'll see him mature and become a really, really good player in year three."

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