Can Teddy Bridgewater emerge from Cam Newton’s shadow?

Dean Jones
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Teddy Bridgewater /
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Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Cam Newton /

Carolina Panthers: Comparing Teddy Bridgewater and Cam Newton

Comparing Teddy Bridgewater to Cam Newton in terms of production seems a little unfair given how long it has taken the quarterback to work his way back from a career-threatening injury. And their styles are far different in terms of the way they go about their business on the field.

The last time Bridgewater played a full season was back in 2015 for the Minnesota Vikings. As coincidence would have it, this was the same campaign that Newton propelled himself to superstardom on his way to a Super Bowl appearance and the NFL MVP Award.

Bridgewater’s career record as a starter is 22-12, which is impressive. He filled in extremely well for the New Orleans Saints in the absence of Drew Brees in 2019, going 5-0 in the process that was the catalyst behind his big-money move to the Panthers.

He also has a career passing completion percentage of 65.2, which is far superior to Newton’s 59.6. This is an area of his game that has come in for criticism over the years. But his overall influence was so much more than throwing the ball.

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Newton quickly became the best dual-threat quarterback in the NFL and his style of play was something the league had not seen from the position before. For a 6-foot-5 signal-caller to possess this sort of athleticism, physicality, and elusiveness was a nightmare to stop.

Bridgewater was always seen more of a pocket passer who can get out when required. But his knee injury has hampered his overall mobility somewhat. So the Panthers will need to provide him with enough time to go through his progressions and utilize their formidable-looking offensive weapons.

The former first-round pick out of Louisville upped his completion percentage to 67.9 in New Orleans in 2019 in front of a dominant offensive line. This is something Newton didn’t have for large parts of his career in Carolina, which made his running ability even more essential.