Q&A: Bridgewater ready for first NFL start vs. Falcons

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FLOWERY BRANCH – The Minnesota Vikings were hoping to bring rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater along slowly this season.

But when starting quarterback Matt Cassel suffered a broken foot against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Bridgewater was pressed into service. He completed 12 of 20 passes for 150 yards and had a passer rating of 83.3.

Teddy Bridgewater and Mike Zimmer on draft day. (Associated Press)

Bridgewater, who starred at Louisville, was selected by the Vikings in the first-round (32nd overall) of the NFL draft.

He will make his first NFL start against the Falcons on Sunday.

Here what he had to see to the Atlanta media during his conference call on Wednesday:

Q: How are you preparing for your first start in the NFL?

A: I’m just going to prepare like it’s the first game. For me, just the opponent changes. I’m just going to try to have a good week of practice and make the best of it.

Q: How tough was it taking over in the middle of the game against the Saint?

A: Going into all of the games prior to that game, my mindset was just to always stay ready. Being the backup, your number can be called at any time. In the game, I was just read in case anything happened. Unfortunately, Matt (Cassel) went down.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons defense this year?

A: The Atlanta Falcons have a great defense. Those guys, I was able to catch them on Thursday night football. They have a high intensity defense. They have guys that fly around and they are just shutting down wide receivers.

Q: What are the keys to scoring against their defense?

A: As far as scoring, the biggest thing is that we have to score touchdowns when we get down in the red zone. We have to take advantage of each opportunity whether if it’s a big play. In the run game, we just have to do a good job across the board and try to put some points on the board.

Q: The Viking have been going through a lot of adversity this year with Peterson being out and some major injuries, how are you all handling the situation?

A: We are all handling it in a great way. Throughout the season, you’re going to have to overcome obstacles and you’re going to have adversity. I think the guys have been doing a great job of trying to overcome the adversity that has presented itself.

Q: How is the pro game different from the college game for you?

A: For me, just being in my own locker room, just seeing the guys come in the locker room each day it’s so different. The guys come in focused. You are talking about veterans who have been in the league for a while now and have to provide for their families. They approach each day in a professional manner.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

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Deion Sanders gladly passes his record to Devin Hester

After whirlwind start, Falcons get a chance to exhale

Matt Ryan sets completion percentage record

Julio Jones leads league in receiving yards

Falcons hope to end struggles against rookie quarterbacks when they face Teddy Bridgewater

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter
D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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