Is There Upside to the Denver Broncos Starting Teddy Bridgewater?

Is There Upside to the Denver Broncos Starting Teddy Bridgewater?

by August 25, 2021 0 comments

The Denver Broncos have had one crazy quarterback battle this offseason. Drew Lock or Teddy Bridgewater, the young guy with upside or the trustworthy veteran. If you’ve been paying any attention at all, the phrase “even-Steven” has probably gotten rather annoying. However, it’s true. Training camp has been incredibly even. Neither guy has pulled away from the other. So far, each quarterback has “won” one game. Lock edged out Bridgewater against the Minnesota Vikings thanks to explosive plays and noticeable development to his weak areas. Then Bridgewater beat out Lock against the Seattle Seahawks due to his steadiness and pocket manipulation against the rush.

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Decision Time?

Recent comments from Vic Fangio have indicated that he is close to a decision and could be leaning towards Bridgewater. Fangio has not officially announced the starter yet, and there’s no exact timeline for when that may be. It could be this week, after the final preseason game, or leading into Week 1 to keep the New York Giants guessing as they prep for the season opener. It’s hard to find a good reason to let the final preseason game decide who wins. It may be 1-1 with a decisive third game, but the Los Angeles Rams will not be playing any starters. It will skew the results and not give a complete representation of what’s happening. However, with it being an even race, this is one way to do it.

Young Gun

The upside that comes with 24-year-old Lock is pretty clear. Athletic body, tremendous arm strength. All offseason has been that he needs to take a couple of steps forward to show he can be the guy. It’s been clear in games, and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has raved about the development of the young “calculated gunslinger” that he has taken steps forward in all the ways he needed to. He hasn’t arrived, but it’s clear he’s on the right path. The trouble is Bridgewater has been himself and looked very good.

The best thing that has come from this competition, both quarterbacks are rising to the occasion. Also, it no longer seems that the position will be a detriment, but may even win some games. Lock is still the best future move. He may have lower lows, but he has higher highs. The upside future bet should be on him. However, this could be a make-or-break year for the Fangio regime. Any coach should only be focusing on the current year, but more importantly, this year. That leads to the safer option. Bridgewater.

Steady Veteran

Bridgewater has a capped ceiling. We know who he is as a quarterback, but what if fans and media alike are underrating his upside. He’s an average quarterback, sure. He can sit anywhere from top-12 to top-18 in the league. His game is a lot of short-yardage check-down type throws. He may not have the arm strength of most elite quarterbacks, but he’s a game manager that knows how to produce. Remember, Bridgewater is only 28. He’s been through one of the most catastrophic injuries in recent memory. Aside from that, he’s only missed two games, dating back to college. The injury may have changed him, but he’s still in his athletic prime. His safe style may be beneficial to a team with the caliber of weapons this team has.

One Piece Away?

Jerry Jeudy is not only a monster at getting separation but near elite in the open field with the ball. KJ Hamler is a true speedster with and without the ball. Noah Fant is the classic bigger than defensive backs and faster than linebackers tight end. He just so happens to also be faster than some defensive backs. Courtland Sutton is the big receiver who can get open and make plays on jump balls. Also very difficult to tackle when he’s got a full head of steam. Then throw in the running backs Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams that run with power and have good burst to them with receiving upside.

These weapons all have a ton of upside that just need a guy to deliver them the ball and let them work. Bridgewater can do that. It may be annoying that he’s safe but letting his weapons be weapons is a huge thing this offense didn’t have last year. It gives them a chance to be exciting. Something that hasn’t happened since 2014. A winning season should be in sight with a dominant defense and potentially elite weapons all over this team. They legitimately seem to be a quarterback away from it. Steady Teddy appears like he could live up to the monicker and steady the ship.

2021 and Beyond?

If he can lead this team to the playoffs, maybe even a playoff win, it shouldn’t be out of the discussion for him to sign an extension this coming offseason. Regardless of who wins this competition, the backup should be among the best in the league. They are starting-caliber players, where if one flops, you feel relatively good about the other stepping in and playing well.

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