Rhule ‘disappointed’ Bridgewater wasn’t happy with Panthers practice
Published 8:22 am Thursday, May 13, 2021
By Steve Reed, AP Sports Writer
Matt Rhule feels good about the way the Panthers approach practices and is “disappointed” former quarterback Teddy Bridgewater didn’t feel the same way while in Carolina.
“I’m not going to delve into specifics about our process, some of that is specific to us,” the Panthers coach said Wednesday night during a video call with reporters. “But I feel really good about our preparation, and the amount of work our coaches put in and the amount of work our players put in. The amount of practice work, I think we push them in a really smart way.”
Rhule’s comments came after Bridgewater openly criticized Panthers first-year offensive coordinator Joe Brady and the way the team practiced on the “All Things Covered” podcast.
“I’ll just say this, for Joe Brady’s growth, that organization, they’ll have to practice different things in different ways,” Bridgewater said. “One of the things we didn’t do much of when I was there, we didn’t practice two-minute, really. We didn’t practice red zone.”
Carolina was 28th in the league in red zone efficiency last year with Bridgewater throwing five interceptions inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.
The Panthers dealt Bridgewater to the Denver Broncos earlier this offseason after acquiring Sam Darnold from the New York Jets.
“I guess the game is becoming about science and trying to keep guys healthy,” Bridgewater went on to say. “You didn’t practice on Fridays there, but you walk through the red-zone stuff and then Saturday you come out and practice red zone. But you’d only get like 15 live reps. Guys’ reps would be limited.”
The Panthers have a somewhat unusual schedule of using Fridays as light days followed by a heavy practice on Saturdays.
Rhule complimented Bridgewater, calling him an “ultimate professional” and a “great dude.”