Matt Rhule: Teddy Bridgewater has to have a tremendous offseason

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Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had an up-and-down first season with the Panthers and nothing is entirely guaranteed for Year 2.

Bridgewater said on Monday he understands the NFL is a business and that the Panthers could draft his replacement at No. 8 overall. But given Bridgewater’s contract means he’ll almost certainly start the season on Carolina’s roster, head coach Matt Rhule would like to see significant improvement for 2021.

“Teddy has to have a tremendous offseason,” Rhule said, via David Newton of ESPN. “Part of being a quarterback in this league is being able to withstand the physical toll of the season, playing your best football at the end of the year. I don’t think I’ve seen that from him.”

Bridgewater ended 2020 having completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,733 yards with 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, good for a 92.1 passer rating. That figure is No. 22 among qualified leaders.

Rhule said he thought Bridgewater played well early on in 2020, but things changed when the quarterback suffered a knee injury in the Week 10 loss to Tampa Bay. He missed the following matchup against the Bears. In the season’s final five games, Bridgewater completed 63 percent of his passes for 1,181 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions. He also had a pair of rushing touchdowns, but lost two of his five fumbles and got sacked 12 times.

All that means there’s plenty of uncertainty about Carolina’s quarterback situation as the team moves into the offseason.

“Teddy is here. I have a lot of respect for him. I believe in what he can do. I’ve seen glimpses, flashes of us as an offense looking really good. We need to get Christian [McCaffrey] back. We need to have a run game we can rely on,” Rhule said. “With regards to the draft and players, we’ll look at every opportunity to have the best we can have at every position, and that includes the quarterback position.”

7 responses to “Matt Rhule: Teddy Bridgewater has to have a tremendous offseason

  1. Competent QB, nothing more. Not taking you to the SB. I think Panthers are a sneaky trade up for a QB in the draft team.

  2. Teddy seemed to be an average/slightly below average qb not great but not terrible. Would make sense to improve the position or at least bring in competition as both the backups seem terrible also. With all that said he was still playing better than Cam.

  3. Teddy’s been in the league to long. He’s not going to get better at this point in his career. He’ll maintain, but he is where he is. It’s up to Rhule to work with what he has or he’ll fail, and need to find another excuse.

  4. Rhule is correct and we all see it. Kudos to him for not being afraid to say it. Not sure that the best option is the guy available with the eighth pick. There will be some movement among the league veterans as usual, and, there are some intriguing backups who show promise. One of them seems to be on the Panthers’ roster, PJ Walker.

  5. Spot on analysis. Teddy’s a great guy who overcame horrific injury but he has always been a middle of the pack qb. Thought he was great for the team and community when he was here in Minny, but we would only go so far with him leading the team. Same results now in Carolina.

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