Teddy Bridgewater to his critics: 'Put on the game tape'

Teddy Bridgewater has complete faith in his abilities. (USATSI)
Teddy Bridgewater has complete faith in his abilities. (USATSI)
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There used to be a time (like, say, two months ago) when a pro day didn't mean nearly as much as game tape. The logic: running around in shorts and T-shirts during a scripted passing session didn't really compare to actual games.

That all changed once Teddy Bridgewater short-hopped his way through his March 17 pro day. Suddenly, the man once considered the best quarterback in this draft class based on a superb junior season, was being talked about as a second-round pick. All because of his pro-day workout.

Bridgewater's response: "Put on the game tape."

"The game tape speaks volumes because I'm in live action, I'm out there making reads, going through progressions, redirection protection, signaling hot routes, getting the offense in and out of the right play," Bridgewater told ESPN Thursday. "Looking at those things, I think those things outweigh the pro day."

Up till mid-March, most people agreed with those sentiments. So why did that apparently change in recent weeks?

"I've never seen a top-level quarterback in the last 10 years have a bad pro day, until Teddy Bridgewater," NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said recently. "He had no accuracy, the ball came out funny, the arm strength wasn't there, and it made me question everything I saw on tape because this was live.

"I went back and watched a bunch more tape and compared him to the rest of the guys in the draft," Mayock said. "And like it or not, I've come to a conclusion -- if I was a GM in the NFL, I would not take him in the first round of the draft."

Mayock isn't alone. Bridgewater appears in the first round in only one of five CBSSports.com mock drafts (Pete Prisco has him going 26th to the Browns).

But, hey, it could be worse. Three years ago, one anonymous NFL coach told TheMMQB.com's Peter King that Andy Dalton's red hair might prevent him from being a good quarterback.

“Has there ever been a red-headed quarterback in the NFL who’s really done well?” the coach asked King. “It sounds idiotic, but is there any way that could be a factor? We’ve wondered.”

Good news: This will all be over in a week.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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