Denver Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater calls out Panthers preparation

Denver Broncos, Teddy Bridgewater. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos, Teddy Bridgewater. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos acquired quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in a trade with the Carolina Panthers just ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft. Bridgewater has yet to officially meet the media in Denver, so an interview on Bryant McFadden’s podcast (along with NFL defensive back Patrick Peterson) is some of the first we’re hearing from him since the trade.

On McFadden’s podcast, Bridgewater took ownership for the way he played last year, noting that he had a conversation after the season with Carolina’s management acknowledging he did not play well enough last year to be given anything for 2021.

He said he wasn’t going to make any excuses for the Panthers’ relatively poor offensive output in 2020 and that it’s a performance-driven league, but he also had some interesting things to say about Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady.

Brady, considered a bright young offensive mind in the NFL after his time with the New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers (during their 2019 National Championship run), was thrown under the bus by these comments from Bridgewater.

In the interview, Bridgewater talks about how the Panthers didn’t really do much in the way of two-minute drill or red zone preparation on a weekly basis. Obviously, in today’s NFL, that’s a significant no-no. The Panthers ranked 28th in the NFL in 2020 in red zone percentage (touchdowns per red zone trips).

Without a deep dive into the Panthers’ 2020 season overall, it’s hard to know exactly how successful the team was in their two-minute offense, but obviously, that was a point of emphasis here for Bridgewater so it probably wasn’t great, at least from his perspective.

Bridgewater was signed to a three-year contract by the Panthers last offseason after two seasons with the New Orleans Saints. In one of those seasons with the Saints, Bridgewater worked with Joe Brady, who was an offensive assistant with the Saints in 2017-18 before taking the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach role at LSU in 2019.

These comments are not the best look for Bridgewater, whose leadership was touted by Denver Broncos general manager George Paton, even if they are 100 percent factual. It smells a bit of bitterness and perhaps an unnecessary shot at the Panthers’ staff given the fact that Bridgewater did not exactly get traded after a Pro Bowl season.