Access Vikings

Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


270204211

Zimmer, Vikings talk Cassel, Bridgewater after win

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated August 17th at 1:02am 271559191

Mike Zimmer stepped to the podium after the 30-28 preseason win over the Cardinals, and after not mentioning the Vikings’ quarterback situation in nearly two minutes of introductory remarks, the first question fired at the head coach was whether he has made any decisions at that position.

“No. Not yet,” Zimmer said.

Veteran Matt Cassel built off a sharp training camp and a strong preseason debut and once again seemingly did everything he needed to do to secure the starting job. He led the Vikings on three scoring drives, did not turn the ball over and finished the night 12-for-16 for 152 yards and one TD.

“I felt comfortable tonight,” Cassel said. “I thought guys did a tremendous job all night making plays. The offensive line did a great job against a great front. Obviously we are going to have some corrections to make. But all in all, I thought it was a strong performance by us.”

But just when it seemed as if Cassel was on the verge of locking down the starting job, rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater responded with a stellar second-half performance. He completed 16 of his 20 attempts for 177 yards and two touchdowns and twice led the Vikings from behind in the fourth quarter, including a game-winning two-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Rodney Smith with 18 seconds left.

“I’m very pleased,” Bridgewater said. “I’m just going to try and continue to get better. Last week was a learning experience, getting a feel for the game. And today I was able to go out there and I knew what it took to game plan and go into an NFL game and play football. The guys around me did a great job of assisting me and making transitions.”

So what did Bridgewater’s teammates think of his performance?

“It’s Teddy’s world,” yelled veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings on his way out of the locker room.

Jennings was being a little playful, but he wasn’t the only wide receiver to praise Bridgewater.

“It was unbelievable,” Smith said of Bridgewater’s late-game heroics. “He’s a big-time player. They drafted him in the first round for a reason and he just showed them that he was well worth it.”

Added wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson: “I told Teddy, I think that drive made him the man of the city. I told him I used to be the man, but he just came and took over all my little shine that I had.”

But when talking about Cassel, Patterson said, “He’s the starting quarterback. You can’t take that from him.”

Of course, the opinions that really matter belong to Zimmer and offensive coordinator Norv Turner. And Zimmer had positive things to say about both the veteran and his young challenger. But he wouldn’t say when he plans to pick a quarterback, though he still has a certain date in mind.

“I still like to compete and we still have to keep competing,” Zimmer said.

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Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
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Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
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(18) East Carolina
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Penn State
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(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
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