Amid a position battle for a starting role, Teddy Bridgewater's situation could appear stressful. But in a recent interview with 9NEWS' Mike Klis, the veteran quarterback emphasized that his perspective is that the competition is anything but.
"Honestly, man, it's been fun," Bridgewater said. "I walked into the situation and I told Drew [Lock] and Brett [Rypien], 'Listen, you guys are going to play this game for a long time, I'm going to keep playing — at the end of the day, we all can learn from each other.' I told those guys, 'Hey, just take advantage of me. I've had the opportunity to play for different teams, I've been with different quarterbacks, been in different systems, and I've played with a great quarterback in Drew Brees.'"
Those experiences have all helped shape Bridgewater's understanding of the game as well as his approach to it, and to keep all that to himself would be selfish.
"I feel like I'm one of those guys now, I'm that sponge that's ready to just pour out the information that I have," Bridgewater said. "And of course, if you compete, it's going to make the team better, it's going to make you better the team, and as a person, at the same time, this is a situation that we all, we've all formed a bond. And it's only been three and a half, four weeks. Usually when you walk into situations like that, some guys are uptight. Our quarterback room right here right now, man, it's a friendly environment. I look forward to giving Drew and Brett as much information as I can. I look forward to learning from those guys as much as I can. In the end, it's going to help the Broncos win football games."
While Bridgewater acknowledges that Lock's skills bring some things he can't — "Some of the throws he's able to make, you sit back and you just admire it," he said — his strengths lie in other areas that hold their own benefits.
"For me, my game is more so just trying to anticipate, trying to play fast, playing in rhythm, because I know that I'm not the guy that's going to throw the ball 80 yards down the field," Bridgewater said. "So if I can be on time with my feet and anticipate the throws, then I'll be playing at my best."
That level is Bridgewater's goal, of course, and he said he believes it's what he's prepared to achieve. With nothing promised to him, it will all ride on that performance.
"All I know is that I have an opportunity right now to walk into the facility and be a Denver Bronco, be the best version of Teddy that I can be, impact the guys that are here and do my best on the football field," Bridgewater said. "I talked to a couple of my mentors this offseason — Sean Payton and Bill Parcells — and those guys just broke things down to me and it made complete sense. I'm 28 years old and I'm feeling good and I'm ready to play my best football."
Below the Fold
Speaking of Bridgewater, even if he doesn't beat out Lock for the starting role, he should be one of the best insurance policies in the league, as CBS Sports ranks him the third-best expected backup quarterback in the league. "His ceiling isn't particularly high, but his floor gives Denver not only a wild-card-caliber fallback but legitimate competition to push Drew Lock — hopefully to a big rebound," Cody Benjamin wrote. "As a bonus, he's a locker-room gem, quick to accept whatever role he has."