The Facts: Bridgewater could have potentially taken this show somewhere else this offseason, maybe to a place where these reasons that make him worth keeping around would have added up to him leading a team of his own instead of opting for a second year as Brees’ backup. But Bridgewater employed the long view. Even if he does not ultimately succeed Drew Brees, he sees Year 2 in New Orleans as being a sort of quarterback graduate school with the added benefit of an enjoyable study environment. “This is the best opportunity for me to grow as a player,” Bridgewater said.
Diehards Line: Bridgewater chose to remain with the Saints over his hometown Miami Dolphins during free agency. His experience last season was akin to a months-long cram session. New Orleans acquired Bridgewater the day before its final preseason game. The offense had long been installed, and Bridgewater was forced to soak up as much of the playbook as he could while the team’s focus was almost exclusively centered on game-planning. As offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael put it, Bridgewater was not afforded “a starting point.” That much has changed, and everyone involved — his teammates, his coaches and Bridgewater himself — are eager to see what emerges after Bridgewater has spent a full offseason developing an intimate knowledge of what the Saints do offensively.