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Bridgewater will draw on experience, perspective to help Broncos

Former Pittsburgh cornerback Bryant McFadden joined Broncos Country Tonight to talk about his recent podcast interview with Teddy Bridgewater as well as his view of Denver taking so many cornerbacks in the draft.

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Bryant McFadden joined Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright Monday on Broncos Country Tonight to talk about his recent interview with Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos’ newest veteran QB addition.

Although many fans see Bridgewater’s journeyman career since his major leg injury in 2016 as a detriment, McFadden believes the experience has given Bridgewater better perspective.

“When you move around to different teams, you see things from different perspectives,” said McFadden, a former cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. “That should excite the Broncos fan base. He’s seen it done the right way; he’s seen it done the wrong way.”

McFadden specifically pointed out Bridgewater’s two years in New Orleans after being released from the Vikings and the opportunity to learn under both Sean Payton and Drew Brees.

“Being able to see difference offenses do things. Seeing different coaches come up with a game plan, and in New Orleans you know they do things the right way,” McFadden said.

During Bridgewater’s interview on McFadden’s podcast “All Things Covered,” the quarterback said he definitely learned a lot with Brees and the Saints.

“My two years there taught me the real meaning of valuing your process,” he said. “I watched Drew Brees be the same guy for two years straight.”

That wasn’t the case last season with the Panthers, where Bridgewater said the team barely practiced situational football - but he stopped short of blaming anyone.

“I’ll just say this, for Joe Brady’s growth. That organization, they’ll just have to practice different things in different ways,” Bridgewater said. “One of the things we didn’t do much of when I was there, we didn’t practice two-minute really, we didn’t practice red zone.”

That will not be the case in Denver, so Bridgewater should have ample opportunity to prove what he can do.

And that’s all he’s looking for.

“I always tell people, ‘I ain’t even supposed to be in this position.’ So I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’m going to make the best of wherever I’m at,” he told McFadden. “I’m in Denver right now, I’m ready to go and I’m motivated like never before.”

But the seven-year vet also understands his role in Denver to mentor current starter Drew Lock.

“Just continue to help the quarterback room at the same time,” he said. “Yeah it’s a competition but at the same time Drew is a young guy, who has a lot of football in him. I’m just into motivating him, teaching him. While we’re competing, it’s all going to help the room.”

Bridgewater, who grew up in a tough Miami neighborhood, owes a lot to what his football talent helped him get away from.

“I’ve seen so many guys that have more talent than me or guys before me that fell victim to the circumstances, and it just all fell back on your decision making. It’s so easy to make the wrong decision, especially when all of your peers and the ones around you are doing the wrong things. The hard thing to do is go the opposite way.”

His “gruesome injury” is also something Bridgewater uses for strength.

Instead of pitying his lost opportunity in the NFL, Bridgewater uses it as the ultimate self-teaching moment.

“It was the start of me finding my purpose and what I mean by that is, we play this game and sometimes we get lost in the lifestyle, we get lost in the game, and me being away from the game really helped open my eyes and made me realize that, man, if I’m in uniform or not, I get the same 24 hours as the man mopping floors for a living and as the man bagging groceries for a living,” he said. “It gave me a different view on life. No matter what’s going on, I got 24 hours, I gotta maximize it. And that’s how I approach every day now.”

McFadden told Edwards and Allbright that if he had to choose a starting quarterback for Denver today, he’d have to go with Bridgewater.

But starter or not, McFadden thinks the veteran QB brings a lot to Denver, starting with experience, respect and competition to help the Broncos get better.

“If you don’t have depth at QB position, good luck winning ball games,” McFadden added.

Bonus material

Speaking of depth, the former cornerback also weighed in on the Broncos’ 2021 Draft and told Edwards and Allbright that taking a plethora of defensive backs is not a bad thing.

“You better have value at the defensive back position if you’re playing in the AFC West,” he said. “If you don’t have guys who can cover and can be relevant in that division, look out. You’re chasing the Chiefs, and if not Chiefs, you have to worry about Justin Herbert and the Chargers, so you better have enough defensive backs.”

He makes a valid point.

To which McFadden also added that he cannot wait for the training camp battles that will come out of Denver this summer between the DB room - including Bryce Callahan, Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, Kareem Jackson, Justin Simmons, Patrick Surtain II and Michael Ojemudia - and the pass-catching room that features Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick and Noah Fant.

And that was an even more valid point. Elite talent versus elite talent is going to be fun.