4 big Carolina Panthers storylines to watch after the bye week

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Teddy Bridgewater
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Can Teddy Bridgewater win people around?

If Teddy Bridgewater didn’t go into this situation with his eyes wide open, then he probably should have. Replacing someone who was idolized as much as Cam Newton was never going to be the easiest of tasks and the way the organization dealt with the 2015 NFL MVP‘s departure piled even more pressure on their free-agent signing to produce the goods.

It’s not as if Bridgewater has been awful.

But he is having trouble winning some people around.

The former first-round pick has been as advertised. Bridgewater is an accurate distributor of the football who manages the game well. However, the Carolina Panthers might need more from their signal-caller if they want to take that next step into postseason contention.

Whether Bridgewater can do that is up for debate.

And the next four games are going to be critical for the player.

If the Louisville product shows further signs of slight regression to the extent that was evident at the Minnesota Vikings, it might force Carolina’s hand in terms of drafting a young prospect with one of their top selections.

Bridgewater has more riding on what transpires after the bye week than most. But he might already be past the point of no return with some Newton loyalists who feel he should have been given one more shot under the new regime.