Vikings' Cassel focused on keeping starting QB job
By Chris TomassonSt. Paul Pioneer Press MINNEAPOLIS -- Matt Cassel likes Teddy Bridgewater a lot. What he really would like, though, is to see him on the bench. For a while, anyway. Cassel beat out the popular rookie for the Vikings' starting qua...
By Chris Tomasson
St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS - Matt Cassel likes Teddy Bridgewater a lot. What he really would like, though, is to see him on the bench.
For a while, anyway.
Cassel beat out the popular rookie for the Vikings’ starting quarterback job. Naturally, he wants to hold onto it.
“I think Teddy does have a tremendous future, but hopefully as long as I’m here, he’s not playing,” Cassel said Wednesday.
Cassel re-signed with Minnesota last March on a two-year, $10 million contract. The 10-year veteran insists he won’t feel Bridgewater breathing down his neck when the regular season begins Sunday at St. Louis.
“I think that I’ve had a tremendous offseason,” he said. “I’ve worked as hard as I’ve ever worked, and I’m not going to look over my shoulder. You can’t play that way. You can’t worry about, ‘If I make a mistake, what’s going to happen next?’ ”
Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer knows he must balance the present and the future. Bridgewater was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft in May with the hope that he’ll become a franchise quarterback. But for now, Zimmer is showing confidence in Cassel.
“I don’t want to have a quick hook, but I want to do what’s the right thing for the football team and, at that point in time, (offensive coordinator Norv Turner) and I will sit down and discuss those things, if it gets to that point, and then figure out what’s best,” Zimmer said. “I don’t foresee that being an early decision.
“We’ve gone seven, almost eight weeks (of workouts) now, and we feel like this is the way we want to go. We throw an interception the first play of the game, I’m not going to yank (Cassel).”
Bridgewater said Cassel has been getting “98 percent of the reps” of first-team reps in practice. The rookie has been running the scout team and providing support for Cassel.
“Right now, the focus is getting Matt ready to go,” Bridgewater said. “For me, it’s just sitting back and taking those mental reps. … Matt’s the guy right now.”
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Cassel focused on keeping starting QB job