The Detroit Lions seem to be tripling down on the quarterback position in 2023 after bringing Teddy Bridgewater in for a workout on Monday afternoon.
Bridgewater falls directly under the ‘journeyman’ section of quarterbacks in today’s NFL. After a storied beginning in Minnesota, Bridgewater saw stops in New Orleans, Carolina, Denver and Miami. A sixth stop in Detroit would land him in a ‘the future is now’ situation, something he has never really been a part of.
Detroit bringing in a veteran presence at quarterback should come as no surprise to us. The Lions have a history of solidifying the quarterback position after all. With Jared Goff, the former Los Angeles Rams quarterback likely heading the role as the team starter, rookie Hendon Hooker may be able to develop and learn from two seasoned veterans with over 15,000 yards.
Detroit Lions Tripling Down on Quarterback in 2023: What to Make of it
Mentorship or Quarterback Battle?
While the visit to the Lions did not result in immediate contract talks, both sides feel good about getting a deal done and are planning to keep in touch.
If Bridgewater inks a deal with the Lions, interesting conversations are going to start in Detroit. Jared Goff played top-10 football in 2022, there is no ignoring it. 29 touchdowns to seven interceptions and 4,438 yards is a quarterback stat-line that most NFL teams would kill for. With that established, he is undoubtedly the day-one starter.
So, what is Bridgewater doing in the team building? The Lions are likely playing it one of two ways: insurance or mentorship.
We have seen (and would like to forget about) Jared Goff’s ugly Super Bowl performance. We saw his potential mediocrity on the Rams. The team rallied around him and won, but never solely because of him. Bridgewater is likely not going to compete for the starting job in camp, but do not be surprised if he suits up by Week 10 for Detroit.
Defense Needs Work, Offense can Help
There is no doubt that the Lions surprised the entire league with their impressive performances last year. However, things might not be quite as they seem.
Statistically, Detroit ranked in 28th place in points allowed per game. Not exactly what many fans would consider impressive. Regardless, the Lions signed Defensive Coordinator Aaron Glenn to a multi-million dollar deal in the off-season. Aaron Glenn has young players like Malcolm Rodriguez and James Houston at his fingertips. However, utilizing defensive players can only go so far, if you do not have an effective offense.
Signing Teddy Bridgewater could help shift the focus and momentum to the other side of the ball. His arrival also secures a backup quarterback presence, meaning another thing is off the list of things the Lions need to worry about.
The presence of a journeyman backup will allow for a higher level of confidence and a lower level of tired defenders spending time on the field. Every good defensive player needs a rest, and in an emergency quarterback situation, that might not be feasible. Bridgewater will keep the Lions away from a quarterback emergency situation, thus helping to focus eyes on the defensive side of the ball.
The Lions tripling down on quarterback in 2023 could boost the whole team to the next level. From the perspective of NFL fans, who would not love to see Bridgewater get a ring?
Main Photo: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports