Its been a long time coming, this new season. It feels like the last snap was a decade ago, and that could simply be related to the anxious feelings over the new Vikings landscape: new coaches, new QBs, new stadium, and new expectations.
Facing a relatively weak Oakland team, I did not expect fireworks but I did absolutely expect to see our first offense to show dominance, and our first team defense to do likewise.
The trick with preseason is get out there, not get hurt, not show your cards too early as a team, yet strive to pull off a win for the fanbase. In this instance, it's also Zimmers first game as head coach so I suspect comments to the contrary he actually wants to get that first win done.
Highlighting the night -other than a beautiful outdoor game in a non-dump of a stadium- was the appearance of Bridgewater under center against real opponents. There has been much gnashing of teeth since his effort, but once again the Purple Pride Nation needs to temper expectations and look at this without the purple glasses on.
Teddy did not explode and wow everyone, nor did he fall flat and fail miserably. I used the word "decent" often; with realistic expectations comes a better opportunity to see what we have. Despite the great fun we had with the Vikings curse when the offense granted Teddy a penalty on his first play negating a nice completion...I mostly spent time watching and observing.
He showed all the usual signs of rookie seeing first action, including trying to force the ball a few times. We didn't see much happy feet where he tucked and ran every time he wasn't sure how to make something on a play. He got hit, took a sack, and made some nice passes. It was a measured and safe effort, with OC Turner using McKinnon to buffer the amount of heavy work Teddy needed todo.
We'll watch preseason progress, but this outing did nothing but affirm that my pre-season arguments that we don't throw Teddy to the wolves on opening day is the right one. Cassel can certainly drive this team this year, gaining Teddy valuable time as an intelligent and insightful football player to mature and get ready for the reality of the NFL at full speed.