The Minnesota Vikings quarterback competition has been left up for grabs by new head coach Mike Zimmer, who will probably end up picking the best training camp and preseason performer of the trio of Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, and Teddy Bridgewater. Ponder clearly looks like the odd-man out at this point, as he struggled mightily last season and lacks the physical tools to be anything more than a great backup. Cassel is a legitimate stopgap option and fared out better than Ponder last year, but he has far less talent than Teddy Bridgewater and seems more turnover-prone. I’ve always maintained that starting Bridgewater is the best course of action, as he’s easily the most pro-ready rookie QB and should immediately be an upgrade over Cassel and Ponder. That said, Cassel’s experience and arm strength could give him a nice advantage, though Bridgewater has a significantly better arm than detractors state.
That said, there are plenty of others who believe that the Vikings are better off letting Bridgewater learn from the bench before starting in this league, and a common belief is that the Vikings should start Cassel and wait until later on in the season to give Bridgewater his NFL debut.
According to the USA Today’s Tom Pelissero, the veteran Cassel is the “heavy favorite” to start at QB for the Vikings, and it’s an interesting opinion that isn’t without merit. Pelissero used to be the top man on the Vikings beat, and he still has plenty of connections and prime insight into the organization. Since Bridgewater is a rookie, Cassel is the “safer” option, but I still think that Bridgewater’s already advanced decision-making should allow him to succeed as a first-year starter. But assuming the Vikings are running a fair, wide-open competition (it appears that’s the case), then it’s a “may the best man win” deal.