Can Teddy Bridgewater respond to Matt Rhule’s challenge?

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater /
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Teddy Bridgewater
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Rhule /

Matt Rhule’s challenge to Teddy Bridgewater

Matt Rhule was largely responsible for bringing Teddy Bridgewater to the Carolina Panthers. There was no doubt plenty of input from offensive coordinator Joe Brady – who worked with the player during their time together with the Saints – but this huge shift wouldn’t have happened without the head coach signing off on it.

The former Baylor man has proven he’s the right man for the job in difficult circumstances. But he won’t want the inefficient play of his quarterback preventing the Panthers from making strides in 2021.

Rhule made it clear in no uncertain terms that this is a pivotal offseason for Bridgewater in his exit presser before plans begin in earnest for another crucial period for the franchise in their pursuit of becoming a postseason contender sooner rather than later.

"“Teddy has to have a tremendous offseason. Ever since he got hurt in the second half of the Tampa Bay game, Teddy hasn’t played his best football. My encouragement to him has been, ‘Hey, you’ve got to have a great offseason.'”"

Rhule has every right to be concerned about Bridgewater’s play.

He has averaged 236.2 yards-per-game since Week 10, achieving a 62.9 percent completion rate, and threw for just two touchdowns during this span compared to four interceptions.

The free-agent signing has faced worse adversity than this before. But his time as an NFL starter might just come to an end if he doesn’t make the necessary strides in the weeks and months ahead.