MANKATO, Minn. — There's a good chance Teddy Bridgewater knows what his Buccaneers counterpart is encountering.
A year ago Bridgewater had just completed his first NFL game, going 6-for-13 for 49 yards passing in his preseason debut against the Raiders.
Fast forward to this season, and another first-round quarterback is about to make his debut in Minnesota.
Jameis Winston, the first overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, and the Buccaneers will play the Vikings at 7 p.m. Saturday at the University of Minnesota, but Bridgewater said the atmosphere will be different for Winston than it was in college.
"I'm extremely excited for Jameis to take part in his first NFL game," Bridgewater said Thursday. "Although it's preseason, the atmosphere is going to be different than it was in college. I'm pretty sure he's a competitive guy. I watched him throughout his college career had a chance to talk with him when we were in college together, so I know that he's excited and I wish him the best."
Bridgewater was a crisp and efficient 5-for-6 for 44 yards in leading an opening drive against the Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game and said he feels much more comfortable this year than he was 12 months ago.
"A year ago I was sitting in the meetings and my head would just be spinning like, 'Man we're doing this many plays tomorrow?' and to have a year under my belt it just raises the comfort level," Bridgewater said. "I'm still learning the game, still mastering this offense and you know I'm not where I want to be."
ROOKIES WRAP UP FIRST CAMP
Vikings rookies, including the 10-member draft class, wrapped up their first NFL training camp Thursday and will make their first appearance in front of the home crowd Saturday. The rookies were able to meet thousands of Vikings fans during the nearly three weeks spent in Mankato and will get to enjoy game-day experiences.
Trae Waynes, the 11th overall pick, and second and third rounders Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter could get in on the action early to challenge Winston.
AND … BREAK
It's somewhat amazing to think about the technological advancements that have occurred since the Vikings first descended on Mankato for training camp in 1966. A solid crowd turned out for the final walk-through, but for those who couldn't attend, here's the sight of players breaking camp.