View the top 20 images of Teddy Bridgewater from the 2014 season.
The fan votes are tallied, and Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been selected as the 2014 Pepsi Rookie of the Year.
Bridgewater, the only quarterback among five players that were nominated, said he appreciated the online support from fans during the voting period in January and the in-person support he received during games.
"This award means a lot to me. I'm glad to have the fan base that I have," Bridgewater said. "They're the reason I was even in consideration for this award. To be able to play the game is one thing, but to also have fan base is another and I'm very appreciative for that. Playing in The Bank this year – TCF Bank Stadium – hearing those fans chant my name, that was an amazing feeling. Also being able to go out and live out my dream, be able to complete my first season in the NFL was always a childhood dream of mine, so everything paid off."
Bridgewater led classmates in multiple statistical categories and set 91 franchise records, including starts (12), wins (six), completion percentage (64.4) and passer rating (85.2) by a rookie. He became the third Viking to win the honor since the award's inception in 2002, joining Adrian Peterson (2007) and Percy Harvin (2009).
The completion percentage was the third-highest, and the passer rating was the seventh-best by a rookie in NFL history.
The other rookies nominated were Giants receiver Odell Beckham, Jr., Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans, Bills receiver Sammy Watkins and Bengals running back Jeremy Hill.
Bridgewater is in Arizona Friday for events surrounding Super Bowl XLIX. He visited Radio Row and was a guest on *NFL AM *with Eric Davis and LaVar Arrington and is scheduled to attend the 4th Annual NFL Honors ceremony. Bridgewater showed diplomacy when asked about the award.
"If I had to vote, I would vote for Odell Beckham," Bridgewater said. "He had a great season this year. What he was able to do in those 12 games was pretty remarkable. He's a spectacular athlete, but honestly, I voted for all those guys. You get to vote. It's a fan vote. We appreciate the fans. They make it happen. I was able to win the (Pepsi Rookie of the Week) award two times this year, and it's all the fans voting and the support system we have. It can go either way."
Davis and Arrington asked Bridgewater for a prediction, and he said he just looked forward to the matchup between Seattle's Russell Wilson (the 2012 Pepsi Rookie of the Year) and New England's Tom Brady.
"I'm just a fan of great quarterback play," Bridgewater said. "Both of those guys playing are great quarterbacks, great competitors. They know how to win football games, and that's what it's all about."
Bridgewater's visit to the set also included an informal visit by Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach, who won Super Bowls VI and XII with Dallas.
The Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA) named Bridgewater to its All-Rookie team, and he's also in contention for Rookie of the Year from the Associated Press.
Bridgewater, the 32nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, told Davis and Arrington he learned a lot since arriving at Winter Park last May and is looking forward to his second year with teammates in the Vikings offense.
"Knowing you have your coach's support, your teammates' support just speaks volumes about the type of player you are," Bridgewater said. "I just try to be a great teammate and great player for those coaches and the guys in that locker room. We have a ton of great character on that team and in that locker room."