When Teddy Bridgewater was asked about Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell during his Wednesday afternoon press conference, the Denver Broncos quarterback’s eyes lit up. Bridgewater was asked if he was surprised an unorthodox coach like Campbell got a head coaching job in the NFL. He didn’t hesitate to answer with a smile.
“No, I wasn’t surprised at all,” Bridgewater said. “Dan, man, he’s awesome. His energy is contagious, and I’m pretty sure those players in Detroit love playing for him.”
The two know each other well, as Bridgewater served as the New Orleans Saints’ backup quarterback for two years while Campbell was the team’s tight ends coach and assistant head coach. Though Campbell would work mostly with his position group, there are times in which he would speak to the entire room, and that made a huge impression on Bridgewater.
“Whenever he’d stand in front of the team and talk, you were ready to just storm out of that meeting and punch a guy in the face for no reason.”
That respect clearly goes both ways. During Campbell’s Wednesday afternoon press conference, he showered heaps of praise on Bridgewater. Specifically, he admired Bridgewater’s leadership and initiative to make everyone around him better, even as the backup quarterback.
“He would take all of the young guys, all of the practice squad guys, any of the backups, and he would take them out and go through the whole game plan with them and run,” Campbell said. “Run the routes, talk through them, talk to them, tell them what he wanted, everything. And so, not only is he going through the game plan himself to prepare, he’s making these young guys grow. He’s developing these young guys. He was ultra-competitive on practice squad. Our defense hated him.”
On Sunday, the two will face off when the Detroit Lions take on the Broncos in Denver. This won’t be the first time the two have faced each other since their two years in New Orleans together. Serving as the Panthers’ starter in 2020, Bridgewater faced Campbell’s Saints twice last year, with New Orleans coming out the victor in both games.