Teddy Bridgewater has yet to step foot inside Bank of America Stadium as a Panther, but that hasn't kept him from trying to prepare like one.
Whether it's a traditional workout on his treadmill or something a little more creative like dashing up three flights of stairs, Bridgewater has been trying to make the most of what's around his house to stay in shape while he self-isolates in Miami.
On Thursday afternoon, Bridgewater remained inside for his official introduction as a Panther through the team's first-ever video press conference. Here are the biggest takeaways:
Big shoes to fill
With Cam Newton's departure earlier this week, it's clear Bridgewater will be asked to fill a significant void, both under center and in the hearts of Panthers fans. But that's nothing new to him.
"When I was in New Orleans, I was behind a guy named Drew Brees," Bridgewater said. "I knew that when Drew got injured, I had big shoes to fill there. I just constantly reminded myself to be me, be the best version of Teddy that I can be. By doing so, it allowed me to be a better teammate, a better football player and a better person in the community."
Bridgewater added that he's aware of the "unique situation" he's coming into in Carolina and that he won't do anything out of the ordinary to try and fill the hole left by his predecessor.
Returning to form
Not too long ago, Bridgewater earned Rookie of the Year honors during his debut season with the Vikings in 2014. But ever since a devastating knee injury sidelined him before the 2016 season, Bridgewater hasn't had the chance to prove himself again as a full-time starter. That opportunity appears to be coming in Carolina.
"I'm extremely confident. I actually feel like I am better than what I was a couple years ago," Bridgewater said. "I've been able to learn and grow from all the adversity that I've gone through and all the experiences with the different teams I've been a part of."
Part of that adversity was recovering from an injury that led some people to question whether Bridgewater may ever play football again.
"I take pride in proving people wrong," he said. "They told me I wouldn't play football ever again. They told it would take 18 months to come back from my injury, and I came back faster. They told me I wouldn't win last year (in New Orleans), and we won five games.
"Knowing what I know now, I would just go back and tell myself that from the moment I was on the ground screaming in pain, I would just go back and tell myself that it's a part of a race. Life is a race, and we all have to run our own race. Within that race, we have to focus on what's in our lane. For me, at the time, I had stumbled in my lane. It was a race that I had to finish, and I haven't completed the race yet, but I'm back in the race."
Reuniting with OC Joe Brady
When Bridgewater was traded to the Saints in late August 2018, there wasn't much time for him to get acclimated to his new team before the regular season kicked off. Enter, Joe Brady.
As an offensive assistant with the Saints, Brady wasn't as wrapped up in the game planning as other coaches, which gave him more hands-on time with the Saints' newest addition.
"He was the guy who actually taught me everything when I first got to New Orleans," Bridgewater said of Brady, Carolina's new offensive coordinator.
"The coaches were in grind mode and getting ready to prepare Drew (Brees) and the team for the season, so Joe was the guy who worked with me after practice and in pre-games. He was the guy who took me through drills. We went over the call sheet together."
Both natives of South Florida, Bridgewater said he and Brady clicked immediately, and that their relationship never ended, even once Brady left the Saints for a job at LSU.
"A kid in a candy store"
For a quarterback, it's hard to look at the Panthers' offensive skill positions and not be impressed. And that's part of what drew Bridgewater to Carolina.
"Look at the roster," he said. "There are a ton of playmakers, a lot guys who bring a ton of energy to the field, a ton of excitement."
After watching running back Christian McCaffrey record a stellar 1,000-1,000 season and wide receiver DJ Moore cross the 1,000-yard receiving mark despite missing nearly two games, there's a lot for a quarterback to like.
"I've heard stories of how hard Christian McCaffrey works. I've heard how much of a dog DJ Moore is, Curtis Samuel. I can go down the list," Bridgewater said. "To add Robby (Anderson) to the equation, it's great to be in the seat that I'm in. I used to always talk about being a kid in a candy store. That's what it feels like when you have those guys that have been productive in this league."
When he's not working out, Bridgewater has turned to an old hobby to help pass the time during self-isolation. The quarterback dusted off his old video games and got to work on some classics.
"I pulled out the Nintendo 64, I'm playing Mario Kart," Bridgewater said. "I got the old PlayStation 2. I'm playing all the old Maddens. I've got every Madden from 2001 to 2011, so I'm just bored in the house, but trying not to be too bored."
As crazy as it may sound, Bridgewater said playing Madden has actually helped familiarize himself with the Panthers from afar. Maybe not Madden '04, but a more recent iteration can do the trick.
"You get a feel for the roster, some of the guys on the roster, so that's a huge help. You also have the internet for that," Bridgewater joked. "Just being able to play video games with these guys, DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, those guys. You realize how awesome they are in the video game, it excites you, like, 'Man, I can't wait to get going with these guys in person.'"
View photos of the new Panthers quarterback's journey through the NFL.