Teddy Bridgewater reflects on 2017 season, his ‘favorite’ year in NFL – NFL Nation

Teddy Bridgewater has been in a reflective temper recently.

Final week, the Minnesota Vikings quarterback posted a collection of images on Twitter from the 2017 season with the caption “humble servant.” A day earlier, Bridgewater took to Instagram to relay how being a pacesetter amongst his teammates, friends, family members and group is bigger than any private purpose he might ever set.

The subsequent few weeks and months maintain uncertainty for Bridgewater. He’s set to turn out to be a free agent on March 14, however the hypothesis of whether or not he’ll return to the Vikings or signal elsewhere this offseason has lengthy since began.

So much stays up within the air concerning the quarterback’s subsequent step, two full seasons faraway from the catastrophic knee damage he sustained on the finish of the 2016 preseason.

One of some issues that’s sure is how a lot this season — Bridgewater’s comeback yr — meant to the quarterback.

“It was most likely my favourite season by far, though I didn’t play a lot,” Bridgewater advised ESPN. “This season challenged my mindset as a result of as unhealthy as I wished to be on the market taking part in, being the competitor that I’m, I wished to go to struggle and go to battle with my guys, I needed to be on the market in a unique facet. I needed to be there for the blokes mentally.

“It gave me a unique position and I accepted it. It was one which was exhausting to simply accept as a result of I’m a competitor, however I wouldn’t commerce this yr for nothing.”

Bridgewater spent the primary six weeks of the season on the bodily unable to carry out listing earlier than he was medically cleared to return to follow in October. He served as Case Keenum’s backup beginning in Week 10, however didn’t see recreation motion till December when he took the sphere within the fourth quarter of a blowout win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

That was the one time Bridgewater performed in a recreation in 2017, however it’s a second that may perpetually stick with the quarterback and people closest to him.

“As soon as I heard the gang and noticed Case down there main the Skol chant, it was an indescribable second,” Bridgewater’s girlfriend Erika Cardona stated. “I screamed and I screamed and I screamed. The loudest I’ve ever screamed at a recreation.”

Throughout Tremendous Bowl week, Bridgewater and Cardona had been in Minneapolis selling Little Bear Teddy: Large Dream Come True, a youngsters’s e book penned by Cardona.

The thought for the e book was sparked earlier than Bridgewater dislocated his left knee. As soon as he was injured, Cardona stated she knew she needed to comply with by means of with the mission.

Bridgewater served because the inspiration behind the principle character, a younger bear who refuses to surrender on his desires and stays calm and regular all through his journey.

“Individuals can actually relate to it,” Cardona stated. “Everybody has desires, everybody has targets. In right this moment’s society, it’s not too usually that you simply see individuals being too supportive of individuals’s concepts. It’s only a fixed reminder that it doesn’t matter what, you will get it performed.”

That’s the mindset Bridgewater embodied in the course of the 2017 season. Regardless of the ups and downs of working his approach again and never receiving a lot taking part in time, the Vikings QB feels the circumstances of the season afforded him helpful preparation he won’t have ever been within the place to obtain.

“It helped me from a psychological standpoint the place I used to be learning,” Bridgewater stated. “Because the quantity two, it’s a must to all the time keep prepared, keep locked in. That was completely different for me as a result of I had by no means been in that place. But it surely helped me as a result of I noticed the sport from a unique view. The sport has slowed down a lot as a result of I might see it from the sidelines.”

Following the Vikings’ loss within the NFC Championship, Bridgewater stated he “positively” needs to be a starter subsequent season. Whether or not that position is there for him in Minnesota or elsewhere will probably be decided as soon as free company kicks off in a couple of weeks.

“I’m simply going to proceed specializing in changing into a greater soccer participant, attacking the offseason with the mindset of getting stronger and doing all the pieces that I can to indicate that when the time comes, I’m able to play soccer,” he stated. “The most effective factor about it’s my dream will get to proceed to return true — that I get to play soccer subsequent yr. I’m going to be taking part in soccer subsequent yr.”

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