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Five Things | Teddy Bridgewater

The Dolphins continued adding pieces to the offense via former Miami Northwestern High School standout Teddy Bridgewater. Here are five things to know about the newest Dolphins quarterback.

1. Florida Man Gives Back

South Florida is football's premier talent pool. Now, one of the best quarterbacks to play prep-ball in Miami is coming home. Teddy Bridgewater entered his senior season at powerhouse Northwestern High School as the state's top-ranked quarterback. He continued his ascent through the football world with a tremendous career at the University of Louisville before being selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings.

In 2019, Bridgewater spent a weekend at his former stomping grounds following a Thursday Night Football game with his then New Orleans Saints. Bridgewater paid for a plethora of food trucks to feed the players, coaches, and auxiliary staff after a massive victory in the state playoffs.

Bridgewater will fit right in with the Dolphins and all the work the organization does in the South Florida community. The food truck splurge was far from his first act of generosity. Bridgewater has previously organized toy and school supply drives, and even had some fun with the Northwestern dance team during one of his weekends back home.

2. A Winner and Productive Player

When Head Coach Mike McDaniel took to the podium at the Scouting Combine earlier this month, he laid out transparent expectations for the backup quarterback position.

"When you're looking for a No. 2 quarterback, there's two things: You want him to benefit the starting quarterback while the starting quarterback is the starting quarterback and empower him with how they approach their daily game plan responsibilities, how they develop when they're training in the offseason; but you also want a guy that can win games should the starter go down," said McDaniel. "So, a veteran backup is definitely in our discussions, but it's the best player that we can find in whatever avenue and move forward from there."

It looks like McDaniel, Grier and Co. accomplished the goal, as Bridgewater was NFL.com's top-rated free agent quarterback (No. 34 overall). The NFL's 12-highest rated passer in 2021 (94.9) plays a smart brand of football that limits turnovers and moves the offense in an efficient way, evident by his 18 touchdowns compared to just seven interceptions with the Broncos last season.

The Broncos went 7-7 in games started by Bridgewater. In 2019, Bridgewater served as the backup in New Orleans. When starter Drew Brees was shelved for five games, Bridgewater steered the float to a perfect 5-0 mark throwing nine touchdowns and just two interceptions. Between his tenure in New Orleans and Denver, he played one season with Carolina, starting 15 games and finishing with career-high totals in several statistics, including completions (340), passing yards (3,733), touchdowns (15) and rushing yards (279).

Bridgewater began his career with the Vikings, earning All-Rookie team honors his first year in 2014 and his first Pro Bowl nod the following year. His experience across multiple systems, teams and locker rooms will undoubtedly be a benefit to QB Tua Tagovailoa and his development.

3. Locker Room Favorite

Former Saints quarterback Brees had glowing remarks of his former teammate when Bridgewater signed with the Broncos last offseason.

"First off, I'm a big fan of Teddy Bridgewater," said Brees. "I think he's brought some leadership and some moxie to (the Broncos) offense, and a great skill-set too."

Bridgewater has a way of leaving a lasting impact on his teammates with his spirit, positivity and a perpetual smile. Broncos safety Justin Simmons shared a story last season on Instagram about a special post-game moment between he and Bridgewater.

4. Calm, Cool, Collected

Bridgewater has been an accurate quarterback since entering the league and only improved with age. Since 2019, Bridgewater has completed 68 percent of his passes with an interception rate of only 1.7 percent.

When under pressure in 2021, Bridgewater threw seven touchdown passes compared to one interceptions. The numbers were even better against the blitz when Bridgewater completed 73.9 percent of his passes for 8.9 yards per pass, nine touchdowns and two interceptions when the defense sent five or more rushers.

5. Set Back, Come Back

Football players understand the inherent risk that comes with playing this game. For Bridgewater, seemingly the most innocuous of moments led to one of the most-discussed injuries in recent memory. A non-contact injury in training camp with the Vikings introduced fear to all bystanders, even Bridgewater's surgeon.

Since that injury, Bridgewater has thrown 43 touchdowns and won 16 games as a starting quarterback -- pretty remarkable.

For more analysis, and to hear Bridgewater talking ball and his new South Florida home, subscribe to the Drive Time Podcast with Travis Wingfield.

Five Things is brought to you by Truist -- the official retail banking partner of the Miami Dolphins. When you start with care, you get a different kind of bank.

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