The Panthers were Cam Newton‘s team for nine seasons. He won a league MVP award and led the Panthers to a Super Bowl.
Newton, though, is in New England, and for the first time since 2010, the Panthers have a No. 1 quarterback not named Newton.
For the first time since 2015, Teddy Bridgewater is a No. 1 quarterback.
“One of the biggest problems I had my first year in New Orleans was I wanted to be like Drew [Brees],” Bridgewater said Monday in a conference call, via Myles Simmons of the team website. “I had to do everything Drew did in order to have success like Drew. But eventually, I learned that Drew Brees is Drew Brees. I’m Teddy Bridgewater.
“Cam Newton is Cam Newton. I’m still Teddy Bridgewater. So I can’t go out there and try to be something that I’m not. I play the game the way I play it. I carry myself the way I carry myself, and I’m going to live and die by that.”
Bridgewater missed out on a normal offseason after signing with the Panthers. But Bridgewater already has taken ownership of the team, coach Matt Rhule and General Manager Marty Hurney said this week.
“I credit that to [owner David] Tepper, Marty, coach Rhule, and the coaching staff here,” Bridgewater said. “They’ve made this transition smooth. They told me from jump, ‘Hey, this is your team,’ and the guys will go as I go.
“Just being around the guys a couple days already, they’re feeding off my energy, and I’m feeding off their energy. So it definitely feels like my team.”