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Teddy Bridgewater 'Not Worried' About Toughness Being Questioned After Week 10 Gaffe

Has the view on Teddy Bridgewater changed?

The book on Teddy Bridgewater, entering the 2021 NFL season, was that he is a great leader with a big football IQ and average athleticism for a quarterback, making him a solid stop-gap or bridge quarterback. The first nine games of the Denver Broncos' season saw those attributes fully realized. 

Never has Bridgewater been viewed as a mercenary, selfish, or weak. After what he overcame in that freakish leg injury in Minnesota back in 2016 — which threatened not only his playing career but his life — none could question his toughness. 

Then the non-tackling gaffe seen 'round the world happened in Week 10, and suddenly, the character and mettle of Bridgewater is being re-examined under a high-powered microscope. His decision to not even try to attempt tackling Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay, as he rumbled downfield on a fumble recovery returned for an 83-yard touchdown, has led to a massive PR backlash of Biblical proportions. 

Teddy claims he was singled out by head coach Vic Fangio in the Broncos' team meeting Monday morning and has admitted that several teammates have approached him about the play in question that reminded so many of Cam Newton's 'business decision' not to dive for a fumble in Super Bowl 50.

For those questioning Teddy's toughness, the veteran quarterback has nothing to say to you. 

“I’m not worried about my toughness being questioned. I know how tough I am physically, mentally," Bridgewater said on Monday. "I know how tough I am physically and mentally through what I’ve gone through in life. Nothing compares to some of the things I’ve gone through in life. I’m not worried about my toughness being questioned."

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The Broncos, as an organization, have tried to downplay Bridgewater's faux pas, but the player himself was frank enough in one remark to admit just how ugly it was. 

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“Yeah, it definitely was, especially when you slow it down," Teddy said. "Like I said, in real time, everything is happening fast. You have the sideline to your advantage to force a cutback. Then when you slow it down with a clicker and a remote in your hand, it’s just like, ‘Man, this is bad.’ Hopefully, I never have to be put in that situation again. If I am, I’ll make sure that I lay it all on the line. I won’t be the talk of social media or the internet or whatever. Hopefully, we can just put this behind and move forward.” 

Fueling this fire is the fact that there is no game this week to turn fan and media attention to as the Broncos enter their bye. Fangio said Monday that he has no intention of making a quarterback change, despite many calls from the fans and local and national media alike, to bench Teddy. 

For now, the Broncos are rolling with the status quo. But, hey, for the sake of appearances, Fangio did say that the coaches will at least take some time during the bye to do some 'self-scouting' and figure out how to fix the offense's putrid third-down and red-zone efficiency. Fangio knows that what he and his coaches have produced thus far isn't good enough. 

“It’s one game at a time and we’ve got to take it one day at a time in our preparation," Fangio said Monday. "We have to try and fix all of our correctable errors and we have to do a better job of coaching these guys. We’ve got to do a better job of calling the game—me defensively [and] [Offensive Coordinator] Pat [Shurmur] and [Quarterbacks Coach] Mike [Shula] offensively. We all have to be better.”

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