Teddy Bridgewater has been something of an afterthought despite a frenetic move around the NFL over the last year. Signed by the Panthers in 2020, the former Vikings and Saints quarterback was discarded by Carolina just a year into a $63 million contract in favor of Sam Darnold. Now, even after a pre-draft trade to the Broncos, he's not necessarily a lock to open -- or finish -- the 2021 campaign as Denver's signal-caller, with rumors of a potential Aaron Rodgers deal still lingering. That doesn't seem to be bothering him, though, as Bridgewater joined CBS Sports' All Things Covered podcast Wednesday and said he's "motivated like never before."
Part of the motivation might stem from somewhat of a disjointed experience in Carolina, where Bridgewater told Bryant McFadden and Patrick Peterson that the Panthers "can do better" with their practice habits.
"As an organization, there's things you can do better," he said. "I'll just say this, for (offensive coordinator Joe) Brady's growth, that organization, they'll have to practice things in different ways. One of the things we didn't do much of when I was there, we didn't practice two-minute (situations), really. We didn't practice red zone ... (But) I'm appreciative of the opportunity and I just keep it moving."
Panthers coach Matt Rhule told the team's website later Wednesday that he was "disappointed" by the remarks.
"When you have 140 guys in a locker room, guys will disagree on some things sometimes. You can't ask everyone to agree with everything," he said. "But I feel really good about what we do, I want to make sure to say I feel really good about the way we practice and our process. I'm disappointed to hear he didn't feel the same way."
Bridgewater doesn't take any offense, however, at the Panthers' decision to cut ties with him after just one year on the job.
"With the whole deal in Carolina, it is what it is, man," Bridgewater explained. "I told them once the season ended, 'I wear big boy drawers, and I understand the nature of this business.' And it's a performance-based business. Yeah, I could sit up here and say Christian (McCaffrey) got hurt and we didn't have this ... (but) I look in the mirror and say, 'Hey, you gotta tighten up.'"
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"I'm in Denver right now," he continued, "and I'm excited for the opportunity. I'm ready to go."