Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on Monday night had perhaps his shakiest practice of training camp, throwing three interceptions — two of which were his fault — and having another possible pick dropped by cornerback Derek Cox. Head coach Mike Zimmer wasn’t thrilled about one red-zone interception, but believe it or not, he is happy to see that Bridgewater is taking chances.
“Obviously we don’t want to throw interceptions in the red zone,” he said. “That’s one of our core goals. But it happens. You know, like the DBs, I would always tell them that sometimes you’ve got to get beat in practice to find out how tight you can play them. If you never get beat in practice, you’re probably playing too far off of a guy. If you’re going to get beat, let’s get beat in practice. Let’s learn from what we do out here. And I think that is for every position. This is where we learn.”
And Zimmer is not concerned about the rookie’s confidence after Bridgewater threw three picks in practice a few days after an uneven preseason debut in which he completed just six of 13 attempts.
“His confidence is not shaken,” Zimmer said. “He’s fine.”
Speaking of quarterbacks, Zimmer was asked after the walkthrough if he is concerned about the state of his secondary with Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers looming early in the season.
“You forgot Matt Ryan and those two receivers they got,” Zimmer said.
While the Vikings are dealing with injuries in the secondary, specifically at safety, Zimmer believes he has seen progress from that group. He acknowledged that they “still have a long ways to go,” but he feels the DBs are contesting passes and showing improvement in bump-and-run coverage.
“I’m not concerned about it,” Zimmer said. “We’re going to come out there and challenge receivers and hopefully play very, very good. My expectations are always high. I know that stretch is a tough stretch, but it is what it is. They’re not going to cancel the games. And neither am I.”
Finally, Zimmer announced that linebacker Dom DeCicco, a rookie free agent from Pittsburgh who is a longshot to make the team, will have hip surgery tomorrow. Zimmer would not offer a timetable for when DeCicco will return, but one figures he could be a candidate to be placed on injured reserve.