One of the first big decisions the Panthers made after hiring head coach Matt Rhule was the decision to sign quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as a free agent.
Bridgewater got a three-year deal in Carolina after spending the last two years as a backup in New Orleans. He got five starts last season while Drew Brees was injured and the Saints won all five of those games, which provided a strong sign that Bridgewater can still get the job done after his serious 2016 leg injury.
That checked off one box and Rhule said that Bridgewater also fits the bill in other ways. He said that other players expressed interest in joining the Panthers in order to play with the quarterback because “he brings out the best in people.”
“I believe so wholeheartedly in who he is as a quarterback,” Rhule said on NFL Network. “I believe in his abilities, I believe in his arm strength, I believe in his accuracy, I believe in his decision-making but, beyond that, I know he’s going to make everyone else that much better.”
It’s been a long road back to a starting job for Bridgewater. If he can lift teammates as Rhule expects, his second run should be an extended one.