MANKATO, Minn. — This season marks Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner's 31st NFL training camp, but new experiences can still happen.
Turner said Friday that this is the most reps he's ever slotted for two quarterbacks after the top two on a depth chart.
The Vikings arrived for their 50th training camp in Mankato with Teddy Bridgewater as a bulkier and undisputed starter and Shaun Hill as the backup. Although Hill hasn't been in a Vikings uniform since 2005 and last played for Turner in 2006 in San Francisco, the 14-year veteran doesn't need as many reps, which enables coaches to look more at fourth-year pro Mike Kafka and undrafted rookie Taylor Heinicke.
Playing the Steelers in the Hall of Fame Game on August 9 as a fifth preseason game extended reps opportunities with an additional week of practices and live snaps in games.
The Vikings will deliberate pros and cons of keeping a third quarterback (Hill's role here more than a decade ago). Turner said that will be up to Head Coach Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman.
"I'm sure they're talking about it every day from the standpoint of the total team," Turner said. "If it works for your entire team to have three, then to me, that's a bonus. I think long-term, you're better off having three. But if it costs you a player that's going to help you during the season, there's always that discussion, which way you go and that's a long ways off from now."
Kafka was signed after the first-ever NFL Veteran Combine, and Heinicke was a priority free agent after the draft who was one of the Vikings Top 30 visits this spring.
As for what he's seen from Kafka and Heinicke, Turner said, "I see guys that when it's all clicking and they're doing it right and they're comfortable, they have the ability to execute.
"When they're uncertain like any player, it doesn't look so good. Taylor's where Teddy was a year ago at this time," Turner added. "Things happen really fast, and it's one thing to walk through it, it's one thing to look at it on tape, it's one thing to look at it on a video screen or on (virtual) reality, whatever that is, the mask. It's another thing to have it happen full speed out there. I think they're making progress. It's going to be fun watching them."
TV SHOWS RETURN:
Vikings GamePlan is returning for its ninth season, and the first episode will air at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on KMSP FOX 9 and at 10 a.m. Sunday on Fox Sports North.
Host and Voice of the Vikings Paul Allen interviewed Spielman for a segment that's already been posted on Vikings.com.
Spielman told Allen on Adrian Peterson:
I think our whole organization, from ownership down, was excited to get Adrian back," Spielman said. "He's a unique football player, a future Hall of Famer, and as we went through the process, I think everybody is just ready to move on and focus on football. I'm very excited to see 28 with the ball in his hands this upcoming season."
And Spielman said Bridgewater is "the most grounded person I've ever been around — very even-keel."
"He's very confident but not cocky and just his presence and the way he handles everything not only on the field, but how he handles and conducts himself off the field," Spielman said when asked about his favorite aspect of Bridgewater's personality.
Spielman and Allen also discussed a key aspect in evaluating the depths of the roster and about first-round pick Trae Waynes, who is working the outside corner and inside slot positions.
Vikings: Beyond the Gridiron will return for its fourth season. The first airing of the Emmy-award winning documentary will be 10 p.m. tonight on WFTC. The first episode of the 2015 season will re-air at 9:30 a.m. Sunday on Fox Sports North and 11 p.m. Sunday on KMSP FOX 9.
The episode will highlight two milestones: the 50th training camp in Mankato and the start of Chad Greenway's 10th season.