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ESPN's Rex Ryan Trashes Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater: 'I'd Bench His A--'

The attempted 'tackle' heard 'round the sports world.

Former NFL head coach and current ESPN analyst Rex Ryan used a portion of his airtime Monday to call for the benching of Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Ryan, formerly the Jets and Bills head man, took particular umbrage to Bridgewater's failed tackle attempt that punctuated Sunday's dispiriting loss to Philadelphia — an "attempt" in the loosest sense of the word.

“I’d bench his a--,” Ryan said on ESPN's Get Up, via SportsCasting.com. “You’re not Peyton Manning, dude. You got two gloves. Go tackle his a--.”

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The incident in question, for those who wish to re-live it, occurred on the final play of the third quarter of the 30-13 blowout at Empower Field. Facing a 4th-and-1 from the Eagles' 23-yard line, at this point trailing 20-13, Denver opted to hand off to running back Melvin Gordon, who fumbled the ball. Eagles cornerback Darius Slay scooped it up and juked multiple would-be tacklers en route to the end zone — including Bridgewater, who didn't so much as throw a shoulder into Slay's path.

After the game, Bridgewater — who completed 22-of-36 passes for 226 scoreless yards, the majority of which came via checkdowns — tried explaining his way out of the intense criticism lighting social media aflame. But his explanation felt more like a blame-avoidance mechanism. When in doubt, point the finger at something ... anything ... else.

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"I just tried to force the ball back [to the middle of the field]", he told reporters, per Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. "When you sit in a team meeting and watch Coach put up plays throughout the league and two-minute situations and different things, our defense has guys running toward the sideline. We always say: 'The sideline is your friend.' I tried to force the ball back. That's all I tried to do right there."

Equally-embattled Broncos head coach Vic Fangio, who claimed he did not see the fumble runback in real-time, gave no indication he's considering replacing Bridgewater with backup QB Drew Lock after the team's upcoming bye week.

The calls for Teddy's job, however, have only just begun.


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