With a 33-6 victory over the Vikings, the Denver Broncos have something to celebrate this week, and on the birthday of the team no less.
Both #3 Drew Lock and #5 Teddy Bridgewater played their hearts out tonight, to the point that head coach Vic Fangio called their performance “even steven,” aka equal.
In other words, we still don’t know who’s going to be starting our regular season games. Fans weren’t promised a decision this early, anyway, but it doesn’t feel like we’ve gotten much closer.
One thing is for certain, though: Teddy Bridgewater threw a mean TD over to WR Trinity Benson. Check it out.
TB to TB. @teddyb_h2o finds @_TheTB for SIX!— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) August 14, 2021
: @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/Jl4LnOJOjl
In a press conference after the game, Bridgewater opened up about what he liked most in the drives he played with the Broncos’ offense tonight.
“You watch different guys go out there compete at a high level making plays, you sit back and you realize, man, the work we put in back in the spring, past couple of weeks meant something,” he said.
Bridgewater feels that both he and Drew Lock played well. “In our room we’re trying to do the best we can, and just take this team to another level,” he explained, “Whether it’s Drew out there and I’m supporting him or if I’m out there and he’s supporting me, the team is behind both of us.”
He added that Brett Rypien was also “letting it rip” out there, and that they’re all behind each other. “No one really cares about who is back there. We just want to win football games.”
One reporter asked how it felt to taste victory, even in just an exhibition game, and how that will propel the team forward. Bridgewater said it’s very important.
“Like you said, even though it’s just an exhibition game, winning is contagious, and that feeling that comes with winning,” he answered, “No matter what it is, we can compete at shooting a basketball, we can compete throwing a piece of paper in a trash can. If I beat you, I’m going to walk away with this feeling of satisfaction.”
The quarterback went on to name some of his teammates who made explosive plays tonight, including Trinity Benson and CB Patrick Surtain II. For those who missed the game, PSII got his first pick six.
Asked how it felt playing in the second quarter as compared to next week when he’ll start, he said he just wants to stay ready. “I’ve been in a position where I was backing up Drew Brees,” he said, “I learned a valuable lesson when I was backing up Drew Brees, man. We played the Rams, I went into that game when he got injured, I wasn’t prepared.”
After that, Bridgewater said he learned to stay locked in mentally and physically, and to stay “loose” on the sidelines.
#5 even ran in a touchdown tonight, but it was taken off the board due to a penalty, and he was asked about whether that would’ve changed the defense’s approach to coverage on him.
He confirmed, “I think sometimes you change their rush patterns — still play the same coverage on the back end, do different things up front to try to contain the quarterback.”
“But it does bring a threat to defense, especially down there when you’re trying to prevent a touchdown through the air and you play great coverage and quarterbacks scramble,” he continued, noting that he was happy to show his mobility, too.
Bridgewater also took some time to brag up Trinity Benson, emphazing the hard work he’s already put into this team and how much he loves football and just the art of competing.
“We were talking on the sideline,” he said, “We both came off the field and talked about some messages that our moms gave us when we were younger, how it’s coming to life, to fruition right now.”
Questions about the Bridgewater-Lock quarterback competition are inevitable, as they’re both going for that starting position. Teddy said that he’s more focused on maximizing plays than competing with Lock.
“There’s ten other guys out on the field competing to earn a spot on this team,” he explained, “If I’m out there thinking about me at this moment, I’m hurting this team, the other ten guys out there with me.”
Despite it being an “exhibition” game, as Bridgewater referred to it, tonight was a win. At the same time, despite it being a win, it was still an exhibition game and may not necessarily predict how the regular season will look. I’m remaining hopeful, and confident in the team that’s being built.
Best of luck to both Drew and Teddy, and, as always, Go Broncos!
Should Teddy Bridgewater start for the Broncos in 2021?
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Too soon to tell