Teddy Bridgewater's management of the game and maturity beyond his years are two reasons that NFL.com's Bucky Brooks and Ike Taylor cited in selecting the second-year pro as their top quarterback who is 25 years old or younger.
Bridgewater still has a few weeks until he turns 23, and he has made 17 starts, helping the Vikings go 9-8 in those contests.
Brooks wrote "Bridgewater can manage the game — and do much more." Brooks said Bridgewater has the "most complete skill set, and he has the intelligence, confidence and leadership you look for in a young QB." Brooks added:
*He has the ability to do everything you want to see done in the playbook, from traditional dropbacks to movement passes to being able to throw short, quick-rhythm throws. He can do all of those things. Plus, he has talented running back Adrian Peterson in the fold, who enhances the play action. *
Taylor wrote that Bridgewater has shown maturity from Louisville to Minnesota:
Bridgewater is probably the most mature and complete quarterback. His transition from the system at Louisville to Minnesota has been smooth. You can just tell his maturity level has grown from Year 1 to Year 2. He keeps his nose clean as far as off-the-field issues go. From what I see, from a distance, everybody in that organization likes Bridgewater. I'm not saying that the other quarterbacks aren't well-liked, but I think Bridgewater is doing a good job and is continuing to get better.
Deion Sanders, Nate Burleson, Steve Mariucci and Maurice Jones-Drew made arguments for Derek Carr. Read the full debate here.
Rotation on defensive line
When it comes to juggling snap counts, situational substitutions and old-fashioned gut instincts, no NFL assistant has a tougher job on game day than a defensive line coach, *writes Mark Craig of the *Star Tribune.
"I pretty much go into the game with an idea of how I'm going to flow the rotation for the first three quarters," Vikings defensive line coach Andre Patterson told Craig. "And then once it gets to the fourth quarter, I'll ride the hot hand."
Patterson and the Vikings had to adjust on the fly Sunday with defensive end Everson Griffen out because of illness and Shamar Stephen going down during the game with a season-ending toe injury. Those factors, along with Justin Trattou's continued recovery from a foot injury led the Vikings to finish the game with six defensive linemen.
Rookie Danielle Hunter was tabbed for the start in place of Griffen and forced a key fumble late that was recovered by Brian Robison. Click here for more on how Patterson works with assistant defensive line coach Robert Rodriguez on the rotation.
Vikings work in Waynes
Rookie Trae Waynes stepped in admirably for Xavier Rhodes in the second half against the Chargers in Week 3 and was worked into the rotation at cornerback in place of Terence Newman against the Chiefs. "I just wanted to get him some plays," Zimmer said during a press conference. "I talked to Terence during the week and said I want to get Trae in there some. Terence is 37 and he got hurt for a minute, too, but just get him some more playing time. He's earned it; he's doing a good job."
Tim Yotter from Viking Update spoke with nickel back Captain Munnerlyn, who also played on the outside in 2014, about how Waynes played against Kansas City.
Captain Munnerlyn, who was in his usual role in the nickel defense for more than half the snaps Sunday, said after the game he thought Waynes handled his limited duty well.
"Trae is coming along great. He's got some veterans in front. He's got some guys that have been in the league a long time with Terence," Munnerlyn told Yotter. "We're just going to be bringing him along real slowly. He's getting his feet wet each and every week so I'm proud of him. Keep working. He don't get frustrated at all. He's a great kid. Just go out there and work hard."