Teddy Bridgewater: Taking over for Cam Newton “a unique situation”

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Nothing about the situation Teddy Bridgewater finds himself in today is anything resembling normal.

And for a change, that has nothing to do with the coronavirus outbreak that left him doing an introductory press conference for the Panthers by videoconference.

Bridgewater walks into the unusual position of a rebuilding franchise with a new coach, which probably won’t have an offseason program, and oh by the way taking over for a former MVP who was just cut because other teams couldn’t give him a physical at the moment.

So replacing Cam Newton, as big of a job as that is, has to be kept in perspective by the guy who filled in for Drew Brees in New Orleans last year.

I’m aware of the situation,” Bridgewater said, via Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “It’s a unique situation. I just have be myself. … I knew when Drew got injured I had big shoes to fill in. I reminded myself to be me.”

Being confident and taking things a day at a time might be the only way to handle this job, and Bridgewater said: “I’m a winner and everywhere I have gone I have won.”

He did lead the Saints to wins in all five of his starts last year, and after coming back from his traumatic knee injury with the Vikings, the former first-rounder has plenty of reason to believe in his ability to overcome adversity.

“I take pride in proving people wrong,” he said. “They told me I would take 18 months to come back from my injury. They told me I couldn’t win last year and I won. . . . I don’t wake up with the mindset that I want to lose.”

That could be on the horizon for his new team. While the Panthers have a solid group of skill-position talent (Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson), they lack playmakers on defense, and could struggle in Matt Rhule’s first year, which will start in your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine.