EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn.– As Teddy Bridgewater boards the team plane to Seattle this afternoon, one thing is on his mind: moving forward.
The preseason is all about development, and playing the Seahawks Thursday night will be a good opportunity for the Vikings to work on situational football.
"The biggest thing we want to do is get better, in all phases of the game," Bridgewater said following Tuesday's practice. We know we want to get better in the red zone, and we want to be better on third downs. There are different things that may come up [Thursday]. We just want to get better overall.
"It's great to go against those guys – they're a pretty talented team," he added. "We're excited."
Minnesota will look to extend its preseason record to 2-0 after defeating the Bengals 17-16 last week. During that game, Bridgewater connected with Adam Thielen for a 22-yard third-down conversion and with Charles Johnson for a 49-yard touchdown.
The third-year quarterback said both plays reflect an increased level of confidence in his receiving corps. Following the third-down catch, Bridgewater told Thielen that it wasn't a pass he would have probably thrown the season or two before.
"It's just about having confidence and being comfortable – trusting that those guys are going to go out there and make those plays for you," Bridgewater said.
There's been some question about Bridgewater's ability to execute the deep ball, and he's shown on a number of occasions this summer that he's able to make the plays.
"We're going to call those plays, and when they come up, we just have to take advantage of them and hit them, but sometimes, you can't be too greedy," Bridgewater said of his touchdown pass to Johnson. "Sometimes the defense will cover what's down the field and you have to check it down to the back, and that way, you're able to call it again later in the game."
Bridgewater's first touchdown pass occurred in the second quarter of the game. Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner said it's good to see Bridgewater playing fast and making plays early, but he's also cognizant of always responding to each opponent as it comes.
"It's just a mindset to keep working on, so when the game starts you don't miss a play or take a sack when you have a back free in the flat – let it go," Turner said. "[But] sometimes you start a game and you think, 'I'm going to get big plays,' they play you a little different. You really have to take what the defense gives you."
Turner and Bridgewater both said they're not intimidated to play the Seahawks tomorrow. Rather, they see it as a good matchup and opportunity to get better before the regular season kicks off in Tennessee on Sept. 11.
"It's a chance for us to go on the road, have to deal with the crowd noise, have to deal with the environment and play against a very good defense," Turner said. "All this stuff we're doing – whether it's practicing with Cincinnati, playing them, going and playing Seattle – it's getting us ready for the regular season. So, that's what we're using it for."
Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Seahawks.