Teddy Bridgewater is the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers. The team signed the former first round pick to a three-year contract, but they could get out of it after just two years if need be. I have put together a list of my own completely unfounded requirements for a franchise quarterback to determine whether or not the Panthers have their newest franchise signal caller. Here is the list of attributes, in no particular order:
Like it or not, the quarterback is the leader and face of the offense. He’s the guy that calls the plays and makes adjustments at the line. The other players don’t have to like him, but he better have their respect. Otherwise, you’ll see a lot of negative interactions and bad body language when things are going sideways. From all accounts, Teddy is a very well-liked and respected player, so he definitely checks this box.
While Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t have Aaron Rodgers level arm talent, he does have enough to make it work. Your quarterback can see the field better than anyone, but he won’t be effective without the ability to actually make the throws (see Peyton Manning in his last season). Teddy won’t be making any ridiculous off balance rifle throws into tight coverage, but he shouldn’t have to. He has enough arm talent to make all the throws he’ll need to in this offense. Check.
Players like Josh Allen have all the arm talent in the world, but their decision making leaves a lot to be desired. This is where the mental aspect of the game comes in. The quarterback needs to be able to read defenses and understand how his route concepts can attack those defenses. Learning under Drew Brees and thriving in Sean Payton’s offense means Teddy likely has this box checked as well.
Necessary physical traits
Slightly different than arm talent, physical traits moreso emphasize size and athleticism. Teddy is a little slight in his frame, but we’ve seen smaller quarterbacks succeed (see Murray, Kyler). Bridgewater also has the athleticism to keep a play alive or even run for a first down when necessary. Box checked.
Football is a sport that relies heavily on just the right amount of emotion. Energy levels can fluctuate throughout a game, and the quarterback can help even out those ebbs and flows a bit. Teddy Bridgewater definitely has a fire in him, but he doesn’t get too energetic or emotional on the field. He’s more than willing to celebrate with teammates, but he’s not the type to throw his helmet on the sidelines in frustration. That’s important in keeping the rest of the team’s head in the game, and he checks this box.
The man came back from a catastrophic knee injury where there were concerns he’d never walk again. Check.
Moving back to on the field attributes, timing is one of the more important aspects of the passing game in today’s era of football. You might know what throw to make and be able to make that throw, but if the throw isn’t timed right you’re gonna have a bad time. Being just fractions of a second too early or too late can completely alter the outcome of a throw, especially against the better defenders in the league. In his handful of starts with the Saints, Teddy B-H20 seemed to have some really good timing. There were a few instances of hesitating, but overall I think he checks this box.
Openness to change
Things change in the NFL. If the Panthers’ offense lights it up, then Teddy will probably have a new offensive coordinator in a couple years. If the Panthers’ offense stinks, then Teddy will probably have a new offensive coordinator in a couple years. That doesn’t even include all the changes to the offensive roster that will take place week to week due to injuries and illness. Adaptability will be key, and Teddy Throwsevelt has adapted to a lot of things over his career: three teams, multiple head coaches and coordinators, etc. He definitely checks this box as well.
I mainly mean this as an in-game attitude, but look at the injury Teddy overcame. If that’s not never-say-die, I don’t know what is. That should easily translate to game day if the team is down in the fourth quarter. Check.
Suffice to say this is all conjecture. Until we see Teddy on the field in a Panthers helmet, no one knows if he’ll be Jimmy Clausen or Jake Delhomme. Hopefully we’ll find out soon enough. What do you think Panthers fans? Sound off in the comments!