In fairness to Teddy Bridgewater and the Denver Broncos, the team didn't have to make the veteran quarterback available to media on Monday. All season long, it's been head coach Vic Fangio, and only Fangio, made available the day after a game.
The Broncos bucked tradition on Monday — and not because the team is entering its bye week. The Broncos had to try and put a lid on the public-relations firestorm ignited by Bridgewater's now-infamous performance that came on a game-deciding turnover in the team's 30-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The play in question saw Melvin Gordon fumble on a 4th-&-1, which was scooped up by Philadelphia cornerback Darius Slay and promptly returned 83 yards to the house with Broncos players diving and falling at his feet. Not included among the offensive players who attempted to tackle Slay was Bridgewater — who had a great shot at tackling the buck-wild DB and staving off a certain touchdown, but opted to do... nothing.
Suffice to say, the hew and cry from the local and national level in criticism of Bridgewater has been near-apocalyptic. That's why the Broncos opted to make Teddy available to media on Monday to face the music.
Did the beleaguered quarterback help his cause? After hearing his rather weak explanation, in this humble writer's opinion, the answer is a resounding 'no.'
“Initially, I thought Melvin was down already," Bridgewater said. "[I thought they were] just going to blow the whistle eventually and say, ‘Hey, he was down.’ Then there wasn’t a whistle. It kind of caught me by surprise, but at the same time, I’m right there [with an] opportunity to just dive, sacrifice, and do whatever I can to help the team in that moment. I failed and I own up to it. It’s unacceptable as a football player and as a member of his team."
Teddy forgot one of the golden rules of football: you play until you hear the whistle. If you buy that explanation, anyway.
Broncos Country was out for blood on Monday as Bridgewater's 'C'mon, Man' moment only added to the embarrassment of the heretofore 3-6 Eagles blowing out Denver at home. Fangio didn't get the memo, or, if he did, he immediately tossed it in the trash bin because his response to Teddy's 'business decision' left fans even more enraged and dissatisfied for its utter lack of accountability.
“Well, I’d like to see us all pursuing a little bit better offensively and find a way to get that guy down," Fangio said on Monday. "At the top of the—where Teddy got involved, I think he thought he was forcing it back into somebody else that had an angle on him, but I’d like to see Teddy at least make a play at the guy.”
Nice try, coach. Fangio just regurgitated Bridgewater's impotent excuse from Sunday night, long before either of them had any clue of the magnitude of the moment.
“I didn’t see what he said after the game," Fangio said on Monday.
Later, Fangio was asked about the incendiary comments of ESPN's Rex Ryan, who slammed Bridgewater, saying, "I'd bench his a**!" Fangio begged to differ and at the mere mention of Drew Lock's name, completely slammed the door on the Broncos making any changes at quarterback.
“I respect Rex in his opinion but I don’t agree with him at this point," Fangio said. "And no, Teddy’s our quarterback moving forward.”
Head, meet wall. Rinse. Repeat.
Fangio offered up no accountability in response to the Broncos' sorry effort on Sunday or the egregious transgression committed by Bridgewater. Is it any wonder players are cracking and daring to call out coaches post-game like Broncos' defensive lineman Dre'Mont Jones did Sunday night (though he did walk it back Monday morning after a likely talking-to by his superiors at UCHealth Training Center).
Don't think Teddy's teammates didn't let him know how they felt about him selling the team short on Sunday. While we don't know the details, Bridgewater acknowledged as much at the podium.
“Yeah. Guys have talked to me about the play," Bridgewater said. "I won’t share what we talked about, but it was great that coach [Fangio] called it out in the team meeting. We talk about holding each other accountable.”
Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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