Vikings coach blames criticism of Teddy Bridgewater on fantasy football

Teddy Bridgewater gets a lot of criticism for being a game manager at quarterback. He doesn't have an elite arm and shies from throwing the ball downfield in favor of checkdowns and shorter, easier throws. That's not necessarily a bad thing given the Minnesota Vikings' reliance on Adrian Peterson, but it's not something Bridgewater wants to be known for.

Head coach Mike Zimmer doesn't think it's entirely the quarterback's fault, though. He blames fantasy football and the need for eye-popping numbers.

"The thing about Teddy, and everybody talks about this and talks about that -- he knows how to win, and what else is there with the quarterback?" Zimmer said via USA Today. "I'm not going to mention names, but there's a bunch of quarterbacks throwing for 300 yards and their team doesn't win. ... And (people) say, 'Oh, his arm strength.' His arm strength is fine. He's been throwing the ball 55 yards down in practice all the time.

Zimmer continued to reiterate the issue with criticizing Bridgewater's arm, comparing it to Joe Montana.

"Ask what kind of arm Joe Montana had or any of these other guys. It's just so fantasy football now. Our team is built a certain way, and that's how we're going to play. That's just how we are and who we're going to be, and I'm not going to apologize for it."

There's no question Bridgewater's numbers are lackluster. He's thrown 28 touchdown passes with 21 interceptions in two seasons, though he improved greatly in 2015. His 3,231 yards last year were a career high, but that number should increase in 2016.

Bridgewater is a talented quarterback, and though he may never be an elite one, he's exactly what the Vikings need. He just has to complete passes, move the chains on third down and open up the field for Peterson.