Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater didn’t want to dwell on his time in New Orleans when he spoke to Charlotte reporters Monday morning, but the former Saints quarterback, who led the franchise to a 5-0 record in relief of an injured Drew Brees, did say that a lesson he learned as the Pro Bowler’s backup is greatly influencing how he’s approaching his next challenge as the Panthers top QB.
“One of the biggest problems I had my first year in New Orleans was I wanted to be like Drew,” Bridgewater said. “I had to do everything Drew did in order to be successful. But, eventually, I learned that Drew Brees was Drew Brees and I’m Teddy Bridgewater.
“I’m coming into this situation (thinking) Cam Newton was Cam Newton. I’m still Teddy Bridgewater. I can’t go out there and try to be something that I’m not. I play the game the way I play it. I carry myself the way I carry myself and you know I’m going to live and die by that.”
Bridgewater was traded from the New York Jets to the Saints near the end of the 2018 preseason.
He ultimately started six games for New Orleans including five in 2019 when Brees went down with a thumb injury. Bridgewater completed 67 percent of his passes as a Saint for 1,501 yards and 10 touchdowns against just three interceptions.
He signed with the Panthers this offseason and will be reunited with Carolina’s first-year offensive coordinator Joe Brady, who was a member of the Saints’ coaching staff during Bridgewater’s first season with the team.
Bridgwater told reporters he was glad to be reunited with Brady as the two worked closely together in 2018.
“Joe was the guy who gone the extra mile for me and made sure I was on top of protections and run calls different things like that,” Bridgewater said. “So our bond started right there.”