ENGLEWOOD (Colo.) -- The Denver Broncos' most successful quarterbacks have covered a range of emotion, drive, and "it" factors -- each combination as individual as their fingerprints.
Broncos players emulate the style of each quarterback. The Broncos have adopted the style of each quarterback, from John Elway's intense white-hot intensity to Jake Plummer’s competitive spirit to Peyton Manning’s ever-churning mind.
Six games into Teddy Bridgewater's Broncos tenure, he has already seen the highs and lows in this quarterback-mad Rocky Mountain region. All was well in football, with the Broncos opening the season on a winning streak of three games. The Broncos are heading into Thursday's game against the Cleveland Browns at 8:20 p.m. ET, Fox: The Broncos have now lost three consecutive games, with much of the usual hand-wringing.
Bridgewater, who has had a slight limp throughout the week due to a left-foot injury, has promised his trademark don’t-worry promise. "I’m going to continue attacking this rehab, continue just locking in on the game plan and try to be ready when Thursday comes."
The story of Bridgewater's tenure, down to whether it will be a one year experiment, is still in process. Bridgewater is a "survivor" and has already signed his name to this team with his calm demeanor, thoughtful words and calm demeanour.
His "it's awesome" response to most issues is part a composed, detail-oriented and Zen-infused player who has already been a key voice in the Denver locker-room.
Justin Simmons, Broncos safety said that "it happened quickly." Because of his character and the way he approaches it.
It is possible to see the speed at which it occurred in the Tao of Teddy.
Giving credit and taking responsibility
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
"When you win, point your fingers at your teammates, and when you lose point your thumb at yourself. Today was one of those days where I pointed the thumb at my own thumb. -- Bridgewater
Manning said that one of the duties of a quarterback is to be an advocate for accountability, no matter how difficult.
He often stated, "Every interception has its story, and nobody wants it to be told." Plummer stated it in his own direct and to-the point way that a quarterback's job is "to take the blame but you always stand up for your guys."
Bridgewater blames himself for every turnover or interception he made this season, including four in Sunday's loss against the Raiders. Bridgewater admitted that he might have been unable to make a play at times because he was holding the ball too long. Bridgewater lamented that he didn't give "my guys the chance to make a play." He has carried the offensive problems on his shoulders.
"I'm a survivor. Throw me in the jungle and I'm going out with a furcoat and a headband made from some leaves. Teddy Bridgewater
Plummer said, "And that's exactly what you do." Everyone will tell you how great it is when you win, even though everyone else should get more. So when things aren't going your way, stand up. It's your job to fight for your team, whether it be in games or during the week.
Bridgewater stated that he attempts to avoid all the noise, particularly social media, in order to protect his mental health. Bridgewater said that he has an electronic blackout -- "I watch a bit of Netflix" -- except, he admits, that there may be a promotional deal.
Bridgewater stated that she uses social media to promote her children's book, "Little Bear Teddy," "I haven’t tweeted since the Miami Heat were playing in the Finals against the Lakers. It's one those deals that can do nothing for you, but it can make you miserable a lot of the time in this field. There are so many fantasy owners out there who will tell you how great you are or how bad you are. "Me, I'm a man. I don't like it unless I get paid to post.
To yell or to not yell
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
"I have never been a screaming machine. Sometimes I pay attention to men. Sometimes you have guys who don't respond well to your screams. So you pull one guy to the side and say, "Hey man! I need you here." Make sure to get out of the break once you reach that seventh step. I'm throwing it, and if I'm not there, then I get to the next guy. ... It is a small, but valuable, dialogue. -- Bridgewater
Von Miller, Broncos' longest-tenured linebacker, was using a microphone earlier in the season. Miller, a 20-something who was incredibly talented, has become a voice of experience over the years. He has often cited DeMarcus Ware and Manning as examples of the leadership styles that he desired.
Ware was a calm voice of experience and excellence, while Manning, as his teammates often claimed, put pressure through his fanatical preparation.
Bridgewater can often be seen talking to other players, off to one side, during drills, in team cafeterias, at dinners and just about anywhere else he can. Bridgewater has also been complimented on his pregame vocabulary every week.
Miller was addressing Bridgewater at the bench with a microphone in his hand. He said, "I haven’t felt that since 18 [Manning] came here, man." You can keep that s ---, these little pep talks are a great help... that s ---. is what we need. That was a great pep talk. You are my bro.
Bridgewater stated that he had organized extra practice sessions for the offense after practices. This has helped to keep the team together in difficult times such as the one the Broncos are currently facing.
Bridgewater stated, "The coaches may not say it the same way but when they leave the field and we remain behind, I feel that's when players take ownership." "We put in extra and make it ours.
Football and life
Teddy Bridgewater made a promise to Rose when he was nine years old, and she was battling breast cancer. He gave it to Rose in 2014, right before he was drafted by the NFL. YouTube
"Appreciate the simple things in your life. "Smile always. Always smile. Always smile. My mom went through something, and I have been through it. Everyone has a story. It all comes down to how we spin that story. My mom did exactly that. Every day, when I get up and walk around and put my feet on the earth, I feel happy. It's a short life. It is not possible to take life for granted. -- Bridgewater
Bridgewater quickly points out that Bridgewater's mother's battle against breast cancer has had an impact on how he approaches things on and off the field. Bridgewater described earlier this season how his mother lost her hair and how her fingers turned black from chemotherapy. He would also describe how he helped her get in and out of bed and to the toilet.
Bridgewater was unable to play in 2016, due to a career-threatening injury to his tibiofemoral dislocation. The femur bone and tibia bones were essentially disconnected. Bridgewater was out of the game for nearly two seasons due to the injury. He missed 2016 and only one in 2017. Bridgewater didn't play more than five games in one season, just as he did in 2015 and 2017. He signed with the Carolina Panthers in 2020.
Bridgewater seems to have bounced back from the crisis and is now unflappable. Although Bridgewater may not be on social media regularly, his Twitter bio still proclaims him to be "the neighborhood hope seller".
Melvin Gordon III, Broncos running back, said, "You don't want to see a quarterback make a mistake. You don't want that from your quarterback. The calm of Bridgewater brings calmness to the group. It calms everyone down."
People who know Bridgewater say that it is what makes him a model of mental toughness. He smiles a lot and doesn't seem to be bothered by anything. He seems determined to make something happen, even though he was nearly denied the game as a 24-year old who had been selected to a Pro Bowl.
Bridgewater stated earlier in the season, "I'm a survivor. Throw me into the jungle and I'm going out with a furcoat and a headband made from some leaves." It's all about survival at this point. Every day, my fire is lit. It's almost like God has placed me in different places for a purpose. Everywhere I've been, I've made an impression.