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Lunch Break, September 22: Bridgewater Era Begins

Amidst changes for the Minnesota Vikings, one major one will be under center for the Week 4 battle against the Atlanta Falcons. Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will make his first career start at TCF Bank Stadium. The quarterback selected 32nd overall in the May's annual selection meeting, gets handed the reins to the Vikings offense.

Jarrett Bell of USA Today writes about the young signal caller for the Minnesota Vikings first opportunity:

Bridgewater – who didn't lead the Vikings to a touchdown, but didn't commit a turnover, either -- had to deal with all of the challenges of playing on the road, including a few malfunctions of the radio helmet.

That's why so many were raving about his poise.

"I wasn't nervous at all," Bridgewater said. "I mean, this is where I wanted to be. Unfortunately, the way it happened wasn't the way I expected."

Bridgewater, drafted out of Louisville with the last pick in the first round, has had a nice rebound since a disastrous campus workout last March sent his draft stock tumbling.

That was the day that Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner shrugged when I asked him about Bridgewater's mechanics and said, "Nothing we can't fix."

After Sunday's game, when the rookie completed 12 of 20 passes for 150 yards, with an 83.3 passer rating, Turner was impressed with Bridgewater's vision and mobility. The arm was rather lively, too, with Bridgewater drilling a couple of strikes downfield to wideouts Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson.

As for the footwork, he escaped pressure a few times and unlike Cassel – injured after he broke from the pocket and was sandwiched by Curtis Lofton and Kenny Vaccaro – managed to avoid the worst danger. He knows how to slide.

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"I knew he'd be ready," Turner told USA TODAY Sports. "Now he gets the chance to practice all week and get ready for an opponent."

Turner knows his rookie quarterback might be even more lethal with the NFL's best running back at his side. That was the plan that backfired. Peterson's fill-in, Matt Asiata, averaged 2.9 yards per carry in rushing for 35 yards.

"We're all kind of programmed to keep going," said Turner. "That's about all we can do." 

Bridgewater, the youngest player on the Vikings roster, will be asked to grow up quickly to help get Minnesota back on track.

Quick Hitters

  • Star Tribune's Jim Souhan weighs in on Captain Munnerlyn's roughing the passer call here.
  • Vikings.com's Mike Wobschall lists five takeaways from Sunday's loss at New Orleans.
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