Teddy Bridgewater was the star in high school, a dominating player in college, and a pro bowler in the NFL. At every level, Teddy has been the stalwart of every organization he has played for. However, after dislocating and tearing his ACL in his left knee two years ago, Bridgewater is fighting for his football career.
In his first season with the New York Jets, Bridgewater is competing for the starting job with veteran Josh McCown and 3rd overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft in Sam Darnold.
Although he hasn’t thrown a pass in real game since 2015, Teddy has impressed his new coaching staff.
“Teddy has shown no signs of weakness with the knee,” Jets head coach Todd Bowles told reporters after practice dating back to minicamp. “He’s moving around, taking every rep, every snap like everybody else. So he’s progressing, getting better. He’s a tough guy. He feels good, he looks good, he’s moving around good.”
Todd Bowles has not committed to playing Josh McCown in preseason opener, which opens the possibility for Bridgewater to play with the starters. This could be a chance to push for to win the starting job, or play well enough to be acquired by a team with a quarterback need.
Even though this is a preseason game, Bridgewater will take the most snaps in a football game since his last start against the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 playoffs.
Prior to his injury, Bridgewater was trending towards being a top 16 NFL quarterback, leading the Minnesota Vikings to an 11-5 record in 2015 while earning a pro bowl berth. He threw for 3231 yards with 14 touchdowns, while only throwing 9 interceptions. If not for an inexcusable missed 27-yard field goal by Blair Walsh, in a playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks. Teddy would have a playoff victory under his belt. If Teddy is the starter, the New York Jets can be a viable wild card team in the AFC while increasing his NFL value around league after his contract expires after this season.
Bridgewater is clearly a better bridge gap option than Josh McCown. With McCown, he is an below average starter who has compiled a pitiful NFL record of 23-50 while throwing only 97 touchdowns to 78 interceptions in his 15 year NFL career. Even though Sam Darnold is the future, Bridgewater is a better present option than Sam Darnold, who is a dynamic passer but was also turnover machine at USC.
Cardinal fans should be overly optimistic with the return of Teddy as he has a promising opportunity to revitalize and stabilize his NFL career.
“Right now, I’m doing everything I dreamed of doing — and that’s waking up and continuing to play football,” he said to ESPN’s Rich Cimini. “It’s a wonderful feeling. It gives me chills right now to think about it, knowing how the previous two years were.”
Jets vs Falcons will be airing on NFL Network on August 10, 2018 at 7:30 pm.
Daniel Bien-Aime joined The Cardinal Connect as a contributing writer in August of 2018. He is employed by iHeartMedia and previously interned at ESPN Louisville. Daniel is a former member of the University of Louisville track & field team and is from Miami, Florida.