Bridgewater has little initial pressure

Because of the hype and earlier selections of Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel, there will be pressure on them to be Opening Day starters. Teddy Bridgewater won't have the pressure to start right away, although that likely will be his goal.

The Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater may well be the prime beneficiaries of the Johnny Manziel circus that has currently taken residence in suburban Cleveland.

Jimmy Haslem, the controversial owner of the Browns, claimed that the final endorsement on the pick of Manziel was based on the opinion of a homeless man. With Browns fans in a lather for the first time since the franchise returned to the NFL, Haslem, ever-ready to plant foot in mouth, said Manziel had better get ready to get used to being a backup.

There's little doubt that Blake Bortles is going to be the Opening Day starter in Jacksonville. If Haslem has any sense, Manziel will be starting Day One for Cleveland.

Because he was taken with the 32nd pick and has an incumbent veteran making $5.25 million this year, there is no such pressure on Bridgewater to be an immediate starter. The plan is for Bridgewater to technically start when he, as the saying goes, gives the team the best chance to win.

Translation?

When it is clear that Bridgewater is best option in the view of the coaching staff – when he's ready to get into the fray and start facing bullets live – could happen quickly if he hits it big in the preseason playing in the second half of the first two games (coincidentally in front of the season ticket holders at TCF Bank Stadium). If the depth chart holds form, the home fans will see more of Bridgewater than either Matt Cassel or Christian Ponder – by design.

In Jacksonville and Cleveland, if Bortles or Manziel aren't the starters in Week 1, there may be a fan revolt. If the Vikings don't start Bridgewater in Week 1, it will be expected.

If Bridgewater does start in Week 1, get your popcorn ready.

THURSDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings have been talking with offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb, whom the team claimed off waivers when he was released by the Bears last year. Webb visited the Vikings on Wednesday and the team has one roster spot available.

  • The Vikings' three-day rookie minicamp starts Friday.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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