Dude’s gonna be a monster. A beast. Jerry Jeudy is destined to spit atomic fire from his mouth and shoot lasers from his eyeballs. He’ll smash skyscrapers like they were made of cardboard.
Drew Lock made Jeudy compelling. Teddy Bridgewater is going to make him dangerous.
“To be able to have Teddy be a guy who’s in (Year) 8 or 9 and he has so much football knowledge under his belt (is so valuable),” wideout Courtland Sutton said recently of Bridgewater, the Broncos’ new starting quarterback.
“And for us to be able to tap into that through him, and him passing that knowledge back down through us, it helps (to) bridge that gap of a second-year guy (such as Jeudy). He might be a second-year guy on the field but mentally, he’s learning the game at the same level as somebody who might have been four or five years into the league.”
You know what else is nice for your skill guys?
Lock threw it 34 times per game over 13 games for the Broncos in 2020. According to Pro-Football-Reference, excluding spikes and throwaways, 68.9% of those tosses were “on target,” or roughly 23 opportunities a game.
Say Bridgewater averages 34 attempts per game in 2021. If he replicates his on-target percentage from a year ago in Carolina, a clip of 80.5%, that’s around 27 per game. That’s four more opportunities, each week.
Can you imagine the havoc — and the fun — of Jeudy nabbing at least two more touches per game? Can you picture an offense in which the Broncos’ most dynamic playmakers get more opportunities to crush a secondary’s soul?
“(Bridgewater has) been around a lot of really good leaders, being in the organizations he’s been in, and he has so much knowledge,” Sutton said. “I love being able to sit back and listen to him explain why he wants us to do things a certain way. Or what he’s looking for in his read when he’s dropping back, where he’s expecting us to be at.
“Listening to him explain those things, you know that he understands the game to a different level than the surface. It’s really fun to be able to be a part of.”
Talent? Talent, the 2020 Broncos had plenty of. What they lacked were mentors. Older brothers.
The offense was led by Lock, a second-year quarterback who entered the autumn with only five starts under his belt and was tasked with a new offensive system to master.
His safety valves at wideout were two draft picks who had to learn on the fly, with no preseason games to help ease the transition due to COVID.
They were flanked, in turn, by a second-year tight end. A second-year left guard. A rookie center. The list goes on.
It’s not the only reason the Broncos last year ranked 28th in scoring. Or 30th in first downs. Or 31st in average time of drive and in average plays per drive. Or first in interceptions. But it didn’t exactly help.
The kids learned a lot. Only the education process proved as humbling, at times, as it was disheartening.
Enter Teddy, everybody’s big brother. A lighthouse when the fog rolls in. A guy you can bring questions or concerns that you didn’t want to bother a coach with. A guy who’s been there.
Von Miller could start at quarterback and probably steer the Broncos to glory at Jacksonville (rookie signal-caller) in Week 2 and in the home-opener against the Jets (ditto) in Week 3. Bridgewater at QB1 feels like a play on coach Vic Fangio’s part to max out that season-opener against the Giants on Sept. 12, the toughest test of the season’s softest month.
“A guy that’s played in the league, just like a guy that’s coached for a very long time, you’re able to provide perspective,” offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said of Bridgewater. “That’s what experience brings to the table.
“It doesn’t need to be anything specific. Sometimes it’s subtle. But that’s what a guy who’s played in the league as long as Teddy can bring to really all the players he’s playing with.”
Jeudy averaged 16.5 yards per touch as a rookie. Just envision No. 10, a year wiser, getting his mitts on the rock at least two more times per game, at almost 17 yards per touch.
Now we’re at 86.5 receiving yards per game. Stretch 86.5 yards each week out over a 17-game season, and you get 1,471 yards through the air. Context: Demaryius Thomas (1,619 in 2014) and Rod Smith (1,602 in 2000) are the only two Broncos to ever rack up more than 1,450 receiving yards in one year.
That’s how monsters get made, brother. More importantly, it’s how those monsters become legends.
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