Teddy Bridgewater had a lot to say about his year in Carolina and his time spent with offensive coordinator Joe Brady. The former Panthers quarterback spoke to the All Things Covered podcast with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden. On the show, Bridgewater described his positive relationship with coordinator Joe Brady, taking responsibility for his own failures, and what the Panthers offense can focus on for next year.
ESPN’s headline reads “Teddy Bridgewater criticizes how Carolina Panthers practiced last season.” However, ESPN’s article took one sentence from an otherwise positive interview in which Bridgewater had good things to say about Carolina.
Let’s dive into the full transcript and you can make your own judgement.
Bryant McFadden: Getting an opportunity to be a full-time starter in Carolina, pairing back up with Joe Brady, who knew about you in New Orleans, what did that mean to you? And did you think you had a fair opportunity in Carolina?
Bridgewater: It was great getting back with Joe... just to see him and the growth and the journey that he’s been on within two to three years, it was amazing. It was great to reunite with him. He’s another South Florida boy and it was great to see another one of us from South Florida in a position of power like that.
And then with the whole situation in Carolina, it is what it is. I told them once the season ended that I wear big boy drawers and I understand the nature of this business, and it’s a performance-based business. Yeah, I can sit up here and say, “okay, Christian [McCaffrey] got hurt and we didn’t have this or we didn’t have that,” but that’s just not me. I look in that mirror and I say “hey, you gotta tighten up.” There’s little things that I could have done better.
And, you know, as an organizational there’s things that can do better as well.
But I’ll just say this for Joe Brady’s growth. I think that organization will have to practice different things in different ways. One of the things we didn’t do much when I was there, we didn’t practice two-minute, really, we didn’t practice redzone.
McFadden: What? We used to have a whole day devoted to two-minute and redzone. That’s Thursday practice!
Bridgewater: Yeah, I guess the game is coming about science and keeping guys healthy, so you didn’t practice on Friday, but you walked through the red-zone stuff and then Saturday you come out and practice red-zone, but you only get like 15 live reps.
That’s the unknown but I’m a pro, man, I could sit up here and throw all of that out there but at the end of the day that won’t get me anywhere. I’m appreciative that I had the opportunity. I just keep it moving. I’m in Denver now, I’m excited and I’m ready to go.
Panthers head coach Matt Rhule spoke to the media following the team’s schedule reveal last night, and spoke highly of Bridgewater, adding “I feel really good about the way we practice and our process.”
In Carolina, former New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold enters the season as the starter.
After Bridgewater’s comments, McFadden then went on the offensive, saying that Sam Darnold isn’t as good of a quarterback as Bridgewater. McFadden said he wanted to say what he knew Bridgewater couldn’t say on air: that had McCaffrey been healthy for more that three games, the offense would have performed better, and we may not be in today’s situation.
Here’s how Bridgewater chose to respond:
I look at it like this. So my whole life, I moved a lot growing up. I moved from neighborhood to neighborhood. I think the way I was brought up has prepared me for everything that I’m going through right now.
It’s preparing me for each stop and I’m there to leave my mark. For me in Carolina, I feel like I left my mark the way I made it. The way I looked at it, like I told Curtis Samuel, “man, I want to get you paid.” He got paid. He had a career year. Robby Anderson had his first 1,000 yard season in his career. DJ Moore had the most yards in his career. Mike Davis, over 1,000 yards from the line of scrimmage.
So the way I look at it, it was a win for me. Yeah, ok, they traded me but I left a mark on those guys I wanted to. Now that I’m in Denver I’m excited for what’s in store for me.
Bridgewater previously signed a three-year, $63 million contract with Carolina before being jettisoned after one year. The former first-round pick started 15 games for Carolina in 2020. Before that, he played for the 2019 season in New Orleans, earning $7.25 million. Now he enters the offseason as the presumptive starter ahead of incumbent Drew Lock, as NFL Network reported.