CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - With the news of former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton signing with the New England Patriots, it’s time to completely close that chapter in the Charlotte book of great sports eras for Panthers fans. Something the Panthers have already done with new starting QB Teddy Bridgewater in house and firmly entrenched in his new role.
Ask any coach of their early impressions of Teddy and one of the first things they mention is his intelligence. During these virtual workouts where a lot of the work is mental and learning the new system, that intelligence has been on full display.
The team is allowing Teddy to run some of the meetings and he has been impressive. It reminds head coach Matt Rhule of when he was an assistant with the New York Giants and listening to a Super Bowl winning QB lead some of their team meetings.
“I remember when I was with Eli Manning and I would sit there and listen to everything he would say because he was so intelligent,” said coach Rhule. “We’re coaches. We think we know it but we don’t have to stand back there and get hit. So he has a different set of reasoning than we have and hearing Teddy reminded me of that. It punches you in the face. You just see how all of a sudden people stop and kind of listen to him.”
“I think from a quarterback stand point, we’re able to install, we’re able to communicate terminology even if it is different than what it was in the past,” said new offensive coordinator Joe Brady.
Brady worked with Bridgewater back in 2018 when they were both with the New Orleans Saints so he knows what the Panthers have in their new signal caller.
The new system that the Panthers will run is something similar to what the Saints run with a little twist that LSU ran last year at the college level. Brady was the passing game coordinator in Baton Rouge in 2019 as the Tigers had the #1 offense in the nation averaging over 568 yards per game.
“Having a guy that understands a good bit of the system and what we are doing, but also has an idea about football and how to explain it and teach it to others,” said coach Brady. “It just shows how valuable you are.”
But getting this offense off on the right foot in 2020 won’t just be the job of Bridgewater. The weapons around him on the offensive side of the ball will have to play a big role as well.
Brady is certainly looking forward to working with the best running back in the NFL in Christian McCaffrey. He is also looking forward to getting to work with DJ Moore, who was 9th in the NFL in receiving yards in 2019 with well over 11 hundred yards. But Brady has high praise for 2 other targets who could have 2 breakout seasons in 2020... Curtis Samuel and new deep threat target Robbie Anderson.
“The first thing that Robbie brings is a dynamic ability with speed, but Robbie is not just a speed wide receiver,” said Brady. “Robbie has incredible hands. He’s able to make big plays on the ball and go up for the football. Curtis is the one that I can’t wait to see what he can do best. I think Curtis is a playmaker. He fits the mold of what we are looking for in this kind of offense... a guy you can utilize all over the field.”
Virtual workouts are now over for the Panthers. Next up, HOPEFULLY will be training camp which is scheduled to start on July 28th as the veterans return to Bank of America Stadium.