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BRIDGEWATER’S LONG WAIT PAYS OFF

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Teddy Bridgewater had been through too much to get back here, to the doorstep of his first meaningful start in nearly four years, to stand emotionless on Sunday afternoon. The Saints’ for-now starter wasn’t about to hold back on whatever ...

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Old 09-23-2019, 05:05 AM   #1
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Thumbs up BRIDGEWATER’S LONG WAIT PAYS OFF

Teddy Bridgewater had been through too much to get back here, to the doorstep of his first meaningful start in nearly four years, to stand emotionless on Sunday afternoon. The Saints’ for-now starter wasn’t about to hold back on whatever hit him.

“Yeah, I definitely thought about it,” he said over the phone on Sunday night. “And during the pregame, they were singing the national anthem, I had a couple tears roll down my eyes, and I just had a moment there.”

It was September 2016 when Bridgewater, the third-year QB who’d taken the Vikings to the playoffs the previous season, suffered a torn ACL, a knee-joint dislocation and other structural damage to his left leg in a freakish practice injury. There was concern he’d never play again. He missed all of 2016 and most of 2017 before settling in as a backup to Case Keenum for the playoffs. He signed with the Jets in March 2018, played well enough in the preseason that the Saints traded for him that August, and he’s now in his second year in New Orleans.


So after all that time, and more than a year backing up Drew Brees, Bridgewater earned that emotional moment. And with Brees on the shelf probably until early November after thumb surgery, he was going to appreciate it.

“Whenever you have that opportunity, you just want to make sure you cherish it and take full advantage of it,” Bridgewater said.

He did on Sunday by keeping the Saints going in Brees’ stead, operating efficiently and effectively, completing 19 of 27 throws for 177 yards, two touchdowns and no picks. The defense played well, too, and Alvin Kamara (25 touches, 161 yards) took plenty of pressure off the 26-year-old quarterback.

That leaves New Orleans at 2-1, with Dallas coming to town next week for a big one. After that, the Saints’ schedule is pretty manageable to the Week 9 bye—Bucs, at Jags, at Bears, Cardinals—after which Brees will likely be in play to return.

So Bridgewater’s got the team in good shape, considering how he played, and how the Saints controlled the game in Seattle from start to finish. But there were also signs of personal growth from the 2014 first-round pick that might have gone unnoticed—and a lot of that came from Brees himself.

"A while back, he just told me—‘Completions are good,’” Bridgewater said. “That’s something I’ve been able to learn over this past year, and that’s something different in my game from a couple years ago. Where a couple years ago, I might’ve scrambled to keep the play alive and end up taking a sack or messing up small things on third-and-long, I know now that it’s OK to get six yards on third-and-13 and change the field position.

“I have a better understanding of field position and the flow of the game.”

A great example came at the start of the second half against the Seahawks. Facing a third-and-13 with 11:56 showing in the third quarter, Old Teddy might’ve taken an unnecessary risk with the ball. Conversely, New Teddy found somewhere to go with it, throwing underneath to Kamara, who chewed up 9 yards to get the Saints into fourth-and-4 and field-goal range.

Then, on Will Lutz’s 53-yard attempt, the Seahawks were flagged for an illegal formation, a five-yard penalty that gave New Orleans a first down.

“Just understanding the flow of the game and how things happen,” Bridgewater said, “I think that’s one of my advantages now.”

Bridgewater did have some time to prepare, by the way. While Sean Payton played coy in public about whether he’d start Bridgewater or Taysom Hill, Bridgewater said he knew he’d be the No. 1 quarterback for this game in Seattle “from the jump. Right after the game last week, we knew. … I guess [Payton] just didn’t want to give the opponent some insight.”

And Bridgewater knows, as we do, now who’ll be starting next week and for the foreseeable future. He’s looking forward to that, just like he’s looking forward to everything else—right down to studying himself on tape back in Louisiana on Monday morning. But he also knows there’s something about Sunday in Seattle that’ll stick with him.

“I haven’t really looked at my phone yet, but I was able to get the game ball and leave a message with the guys and just cherish these moments, man,” he said. “You never know and you can’t take it for granted. This is a great team. I love being in this locker room, and I told them that. There’s no other place I would’ve wanted to experience this feeling.”

Truth is, it’s pretty cool that he got that feeling, regardless of where it happened.

https://www.si.com/nfl/2019/09/23/ja...ew-mmqb-week-3

Thought this was a pretty cool piece.

W.T. Sherman is my favorite General. After all he did order Atlanta to be burned to the ground.
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