By Brad Berreman @bradberreman24 on July 27, 2014
The Minnesota Vikings have a new coaching regime, and they traded back up into the end of the first round of May's draft to select quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Bridgewater will be groomed as Minnesota's quarterback of the future, and fans will surely be clamoring for him to see action this year. But here are five reasons Matt Cassel, the veteran incumbent, should start for the Vikings this season.
While it is faint praise to say Cassel was the best quarterback the Vikings had last season, he should open the season as the starter and not lose the job to anything other than a significant injury or a Christian Ponder-esque level of play. At the very least, Bridgewater will have to have a strong camp and preseason to start Week 1.
Simply put, Cassel has 68 career starts and that experience should appeal to offensive coordinator Norv Turner right out of the gate.
Three of Minnesota's five wins in 2013 came in Cassel's starts, and two of the three losses in his other starts came outdoors in December with the remaining loss coming at home to a Carolina Panthers' team that won 12 games. Relatively speaking, that's a lot of success under center for a last-place team.
The Vikings made a significant investment in Jennings, only to watch him go through a largely disappointing season (68 receptions for 804 yards and four touchdowns) in his first year with the team last season. Half of Jennings' catches came in the six games Cassel started, along with 413 yards and three touchdowns in those games.
Cassel's two best seasons came in 2008 when he started 15 games in place of an injured Tom Brady, and in 2010 when he led the Kansas City Chiefs to 10 wins and a playoff berth. The Vikings have a lot of skill position talent and an offensive coordinator that can get the most out of the entire offense, so Cassel will be set up to succeed.
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