Teddy Bridgewater has had a long road back from a devastating injury to being a starting quarterback in the NFL again. Today, Chris Simms revealed where he’d rank the new Carolina Panthers starting quarterback.
Simms has been doing a quarterback countdown of the top 40 players at the position. Bridgewater doesn’t come in all that highly, at the No. 29 spot.
The fact that he’s in consideration at all is impressive though. Simms says his comeback story “speaks to his leadership.” While he thinks he’s more of a game manager than a true star at the position, he thinks he can win games with talent around him.
The Panthers opted to replace former MVP Cam Newton with Teddy Bridgewater, rather than look to draft a franchise quarterback in the NFL Draft. He joins a team with a superstar do-it-all running back in Christian McCaffrey and some other intriguing young pieces on offense, like D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel. Former LSU offensive coordinator Joe Brady comes in to try and build an offense around Bridgewater, like he did with Joe Burrow last season.
2️⃣9️⃣ Teddy Bridgewater
Amazing comeback story, speaks to his leadership. A bit of a game manager and leaves yards on the field. But if you surround him with talent he’s accurate, smart, and won’t put you in bad positions. Experience made me bump him above Minshew. #SimmsTop40QB
— Chris Simms (@CSimmsQB) June 2, 2020
“There’s a lot to like about Teddy Bridgewater,” Simms said during an appearance with ProFootballTalk‘s Mike Florio, in discussing his No. 29 ranking. “…Guys follow him. He’s got the ability to lead in the locker room. He has a charismatic nature about him that guys gravitate towards.
“He knows how to play the game. I had a hard time ranking Teddy Bridgewater for a number of reasons. I almost put Gardner Minshew in front of him. Teddy Bridgewater is a little bit of a game manager. I do think Teddy Bridgewater, at times, will leave yards to be had on the field… But he’s accurate, he’s smart, and he rarely puts his team in a bad position. And that’s why he wins a lot of football games that way.”
There are questions about how he’ll perform in Carolina, of course. Joe Brady is a Sean Payton disciple, and had an incredible year at LSU, but we don’t know if he’s Sean Payton just yet. The New Orleans Saints head coach got a ton out of Bridgewater, while allowing him to make relatively safe manageable passes. Florio and Simms pointed out Bridgewater’s 6.0 yard average on passing targets was the lowest in the NFL, among players who attempted 100 or more throws. Still, he went 5-0 leading the Saints with Drew Brees out, and looked good doing it.
Bridgewater comes in ahead of Jacksonville Jaguars starter Gardner Minshew on the rankings list, as well as Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Jameis Winston, Tyrod Taylor, Jarrett Stidham, Taysom Hill, Justin Herbert, Mitchell Trubisky, Dwayne Haskins, and Tua Tagovailoa so far.
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