Teddy Bridgewater
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Former New York Jets head coach Bill Parcells is rooting hard for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to have success in his return to the NFL.

Coaching legend Bill Parcells is known for his gruff personality and for not getting too close to his players as he guided his teams towards championships. However, even the gruffest of coaches likes a good comeback story.

According to Rich Cimini of ESPN, Parcells is rooting hard for New York Jets quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to have success in his return from a devastating knee injury. He revealed to Cimini that he was impressed by how far Bridgewater has come thus far.

“Hey, when you go through these travails and things like that, in the end it’s more satisfying. When you have to climb that mountain — and he had a big mountain to climb, this kid. Now he’s back playing. How could you not hope he’s successful? You can’t help but root for him. I’m rooting for him and he knows that.”

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According to Cimini, Bridgewater, who has impressed in the offseason after signing a one-year deal with the Jets, reached out to Parcells to pick the legend’s brain as he approached the draft in 2014, when the Minnesota Vikings drafted him in the first round. Parcells has followed the quarterback’s career ever since.

Bridgewater went down with a non-contact knee injury, which was so serious that not only was there doubt that he would play football again, there was talk of the possibility of needing to amputate his leg.

Parcells, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants before spending three years as the coach of the Jets, acknowledged this fact.  “This was a very, very serious injury. It wasn’t just, ‘Oh, well, he had knee surgery.’ Trust me. I’m just happy for Teddy. He deserves another chance. He was very close to not ever getting it.”

Bridgewater, who is competing with Josh McCown and Sam Darnold for the starting quarterback role, was a Blair Walsh missed field goal away from leading the Vikings to the NFC Divisional Round in his second season, a fact that Parcells is quick to remind people.
“If the guy kicks a field goal, he’s in it. I’m telling you, he can do things.”

Parcells clearly thinks that Bridgewater is a viable option for the Jets, or another NFL team should they trade him. Bridgewater will get a chance to prove him right in preseason games.

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