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National Media Impressed by Bridgewater in Cincinnati

Veteran football writer Peter King is on his annual training camp tour and has visited a dozen teams during his travels. 

But the writer for the Monday Morning Quarterback was wowed by one particular play when he showed up in Cincinnati on Wednesday to watch a joint practice between the Vikings and Bengals.

With the Vikings offense lined up in a three-wide receiver set, Stefon Diggs jetted out of his spot in the slot and raced past Cincinnati cornerback Adam Jones. 

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater lofted a beautiful ball to Diggs down the left sideline for a gain of nearly 30 yards.

"What was so cool that I saw out here is probably one of the best plays I've seen on my camp tour," King told on Wednesday. "Teddy Bridgewater throws a ball … and it very sweetly just flies over the outstretched hands of Adam Jones right into Diggs' hands.

"I said, 'That's a beautiful throw.' And the fact that Adam Jones yells an expletive when that play happens said to me, 'It's on,' " he added. "Very impressed with Teddy Bridgewater."

It was just one play, but it impressed King and showed the contingent of national media in attendance that Bridgewater is intent on continuing his strong camp showing from down in Mankato.

King said that he expects Bridgewater to increase his production in his third season in the league, especially from what he saw at the end of 2015 and what he's heard during camp.

"Teddy Bridgewater played very well last year," King said. "Talking to (Vikings Offensive Coordinator) Norv Turner after this practice, talking to Mike Zimmer, obviously he's having a really good camp and people should be bullish on Teddy Bridgewater."

Adam Caplan of ESPN is also high on the Vikings and Bridgewater. The national writer said that if Bridgewater can elevate his game in his second full season as the starter, Caplan thinks Minnesota could have a strong year.

"I think it's taking the next step and the progression of where they will ultimately probably end up — being a Super Bowl team in the next two or three years," Caplan said. "Teddy Bridgewater taking the next step … we know the defense is going to be pretty good. We know about Adrian Peterson, one of the best running backs in NFL history.

"I don't say it's all on the quarterback, but he needs to take the next step," he added. "He's being coached extremely well by Norv and (quarterbacks coach) Scott Turner. The third-year as the starter, it's taking that next natural step."

Bridgewater threw for 3,231 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015 as the Vikings went 11-5 and won the NFC North title.

After an impressive debut in 2014, when he won Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year, Bridgewater showed plenty of improvement last season. He increased his completion percentage (64.4 to 65.3), overall passer rating (85.2 to 88.7) and third-down passer rating (95.2 to 99.8).

Bridgewater is 17-11 as a starter, placing him in a tie with Warren Moon and Brett Favre for most wins in a player's first two seasons with the Vikings. Bridgewater reached 17 wins in fewer games than Moon or Favre.



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