Teddy Bridgewater comments on succeeding Cam Newton in Carolina

Teddy Bridgewater knows he has some big shoes to fill in Carolina.

After the Carolina Panthers hired Matt Rhule away from Baylor University to be their new head coach, there was expected to be massive changes on the roster. That became evident after the Panthers signed New Orleans Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million contract to be their new starter and subsequently released Cam Newton.

Knowing he has some big shoes to fill, Bridgewater said on Monday that he’s “honored” to be Newton’s successor in Charlotte, N.C.

“With Cam, it was one of those situations where I understand, as a player, you’re a competitor, you want to get back out there and get an opportunity, that opportunity to show that you’re still this elite guy,” Bridgewater said, via ESPN. “He’s done some great things. He’s obviously one of the best players to ever play for this franchise. Everyone around here respects him. They speak highly of him.

“I’m just honored to be following in the position that he left behind, to get the opportunity to resume my career.”

Teddy Bridgewater earned his starting job

It’s been a long journey for Bridgewater. The former Louisville Cardinals signal caller shined while starting under center for the Minnesota Vikings. However, that all ended in 2016 after suffering a nasty knee injury during training camp, which many feared would be career-ending. After fully recovering, the Vikings didn’t re-sign Bridgewater following the 2017 season, allowing him to sign a one-year deal with the New York Jets in 2018. His stint in the Big Apple didn’t last long, as he was traded to the New Orleans Saints that preseason.

Saints head coach Sean Payton knew just how important it was to have a solid backup quarterback behind Drew Brees in case something were to go terribly wrong. That trade paid off last season after Brees broke his thumb in New Orleans’ Week 2 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. After coming in as relief, Bridgewater led the Saints to a five-game winning streak until Brees recovered from his injury.

Last season, Bridgewater completed 67.9 percent of his passes for 1,384 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions in nine games.

Bridgewater was going to get a starting job in the NFL this offseason, but it was the Panthers who figuratively pounced at the opportunity. It will be intriguing to see how Bridgewater will perform under offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who is credited for the success of LSU quarterback and first overall pick Joe Burrow during his time in Baton Rouge.

All eyes will be on Bridgewater this season and, to an equal extent, Cam Newton in his first year with the New England Patriots.

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