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Monday Morning Mailbag: Previewing The Start of OTA's

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How is Teddy's offseason approach going? Is he looking to add some bulk to his frame or is working more at his long throwing? -- Josh Hanegraaf Burnsville, MN

Bridgewater told me last week that one area he's working on is "finishing throws." I took that to mean stepping into throws and maintain proper mechanics through the entire motion. With that being said, Bridgewater is still at an early enough point of his career where he's trying to improve on literally every facet of his game. If you sat the Vikings coaching staff down and asked them if there is any area of Bridgewater's game that is fully developed and needs no more improvement, I think the answer would be no. Bridgewater would be the first to acknowledge that, too. With the better part of two seasons of starting experience under his belt, including a division-winning 11-5 season in 2015, Bridgewater has built a great foundation upon which to start.

I really like all the offseason and draft acquisition to our squad. Looks like we have depth and competition in most positions, except one. Do we see any moves at bringing in a backup quarterback in case Teddy gets injured? -- T.C. Brandt

I don't. With Shaun Hill and Taylor Heinicke, my sense is the Vikings like what they have at QB behind Bridgewater. I can see why, too. Hill knows the offensive system, is a great resource for the other two young QBs in the room, and can enter a game and get you out of it If the starter goes down. Heinicke was an undrafted free agent last year who is still on the team now, which is saying a lot for a player considering mid-round QBs have a hard time keeping a roster spot. It's hard enough to acquire one QB you like, so that the Vikings have three who they are happy to have is a good position in which to be.

What are you looking for from the additions on offense during the upcoming OTAs? -- Cullen Dillard

The ability to assimilate into the offensive system and put forth efforts that are consistent so that established players can quickly understand what to expect. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner speaks frequently about trying to establish a system with a young core of players so that year-in and year-out not much changes and the key cogs of that system continually fine-tune things to stay sharp and add new wrinkles. Getting ready to enter a third season with the Vikings and with a young, promising QB who has been there every step of the way, Turner will be expecting a big step forward from his offense in terms of the establishment of that system. New players can play their part in this by quickly assimilating into the system and becoming reliable contributors.  

Other than Laquon Treadwell, what rookie or rookies do you see as being the most important part of the team on the field this year? -- Duane Beach

The bad news is I don't have a solid, well-supported answer to this question. The good news is that not having obvious choices in terms of rookies who can contribute immediately probably means the roster is in a good place; that is certainly the case for the Vikings. The core of the Vikings team will be back in 2016 and many of them are young players either ascending to their prime or in the middle of it, which doesn't leave much room for rookies to step in and contribute significantly. But GM Rick Spielman and Zimmer would love to see a few of them make a run at it, anyway.

It seems like Trae Waynes didn't get quite as much playing time as one would've thought with being picked 11th overall. It seems like Mackensie Alexander is getting more hype even though he went in the 2nd round. Do you think Mackensie will get more playing time than Waynes had in his rookie season? -- Mike Alker

If all goes according to plan, no. The Vikings are returning their top three CBs from last year plus you have Waynes, and you have to figure all four of those guys have a leg up on Alexander in the competition for playing time. With that being said, head coach Mike Zimmer is going to play the players he feels gives the Vikings the best chance to win. And if Alexander shows Zimmer that he is one of those guys, then Alexander is going to be on the field.

Do you think any players on this Vikings team will change positions this offseason? -- Ben Kaufmann

If it happens, my bet would be along the offensive line. It wouldn't surprise me to see Brandon Fusco move back to RG from LG, nor would it surprise me to see Joe Berger compete for the starting or backup RG job if he isn't the starting center. Also, Zimmer mentioned in passing during the draft that TJ Clemmings could switch from RT to LT.

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