Adrian Peterson: ‘I see greatness’ in Teddy Bridgewater’s eyes
The Minnesota Vikings took a significant leap forward last season by going 11-5 and winning the NFC North division title. While being heralded as a team on the rise, questions remain concerning Teddy Bridgewater, who will enter his third season this fall.
But to hear it from Adrian Peterson, it’s only a matter of time before Bridgewater — who he once compared to Tom Brady — takes command of an offense that ranked 31st in passing last season and proves naysayers wrong.
“When I look in his eyes, I see greatness,” Peterson said, via ESPN’s Ben Goessling. “I see a young man who’s — even now, he’s matured more, and he wants to be great. He has that leadership, he has that leader inside him and it’s coming out even more. He just has a good spirit. He has a good soul, a good spirit. And when you combine that with talent, and the mindset that he has, greatness will come out.”
The Vikings did everything they could to help Bridgewater this offseason, bolstering a poor pass-blocking offensive line that allowed quarterback pressures on 36 percent of plays from scrimmage last season. The team also upgraded the receiving corps by selecting Laquon Treadwell in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
With expected increased contributions from a focused Cordarrelle Patterson and second-year receiver Stefon Diggs — along with standout tight end Kyle Rudolph, not to mention the continued dominant play from a seemingly ageless Peterson — the Vikings arguably have set Bridgewater up well for success.
“Offensively, we have a lot of things we’ve got going on, a lot of weapons we brought in, a lot of new pieces we’ve added during the offseason,” Peterson said. “It’s got to be more than just guys staying healthy; continuing to put in a lot of the work that I’ve seen those guys put in, and finally just getting it done.”
Bridgewater’s numbers are solid if not spectacular, completing nearly 65 percent of his passes and throwing 28 touchdowns to 21 interceptions on his career.
But if Bridgewater is to shed the “game manager” label and transform himself from the perceived weak link on the Vikings roster into a true team leader, it’s time for him to do it. And Peterson clearly thinks the young quarterback is more than up to the task.