Teddy Bridgewater may have come in to replace Cam Newton as the Panthers starting quarterback, but he sure isn’t looking to be compared to the 2015 MVP.
Newton had been the team’s starter heading into every season since he came into the league in 2011, but injuries have really taken a toll on him over the past few years, and it’s also possible that the Panthers new regime wasn’t a fan of how he conducts himself off the field — with cryptic social media posts, flashy outfits and flamboyant statements.
Bridgewater’s three-year contract and the Panthers’ subsequent release of Newton were a clear indicator of Carolina looking to usher in a “changing of the guard,” so to speak. Bridgewater’s recent comments appear to suggest as much as well, as he looks to move on from life after being Drew Brees’ back-up.
“Cam Newton is Cam Newton,” Bridgewater said, via the team’s official website. “I’m still Teddy Bridgewater. So 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 I’m going to live and die by that.”
He continued on about his transition to the Panthers:
“I credit that to [owner David] Tepper, Marty, coach Rhule, and the coaching staff here,” Bridgewater said. “They’ve made this transition smooth. They told me from jump, ‘Hey, this is your team,’ and the guys will go as I go.
“Just being around the guys a couple days already, they’re feeding off my energy, and I’m feeding off their energy. So it definitely feels like my team.”
That’s the right mindset to have, taking over for a new team that has underwent a lot of change over the past few months.