In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings selected linebacker Anthony Barr at #9 overall, and then traded back into the first round to nab quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with the final pick in the first round. Barr has blossomed rather quickly in his first two years in the NFL, while Bridgewater has had his moments, but hasn't risen to quite the heights that Barr has thus far.
In 2016, the linebacker is expecting the quarterback to catch up with him. . .at least a little bit. In an interview with Damon Amendolara of CBS Radio, Barr said that he expect Bridgewater to take a big step forward this coming season.
I love Teddy as a teammate and a friend," Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr said on CBS Sports Radio's The DA Show. "He's a great guy on and off the field, and I think he's really taking the offense into his own hands this year. I think he expects to put up even bigger numbers. He controls the game, he never panics, he's always in charge of the tempo and flow of the offense and he's looked awesome all offseason. I watched him practice yesterday, and it might have been the best I've ever seen him throw the ball. I'm excited for him, I'm excited for our team and I know he's just going to continue to get better.
While people like to prattle on about how Bridgewater hasn't put up a ton of yards or touchdown passes, the fact remains that he hasn't necessarily been asked to do a heck of a lot. . .and when he has been asked to do more, he's generally come through. There have been very few games over the past two seasons that you can look at and say, "Well, Teddy Bridgewater is the reason that the Vikings lost this afternoon." Honestly, you might have to go back to his second start at TCF Bank Stadium against the Detroit Lions in 2014 to see a loss that would fall largely on Bridgewater's shoulders.
Like Barr, and just about everyone else, I think we're going to see a big leap from Teddy Bridgewater in 2016 as well. The Vikings have put together one of the NFL's best defenses, and because of that he's going to have a whole lot of opportunities to excel. Hopefully this is the year where he silences the boxscore jockeys that don't think he's played very well and moves into the next tier of NFL quarterbacks.
You can hear Amendolara's entire interview with Barr below. It's just about ten minutes in length.