Teddy Bridgewater rolled right Bradley Chubb Jersey Broncos , kept moving and then zipped a pass down the field on the run.
If his first practice of organized team activities with the New York Jets was a test of his health and confidence, the quarterback passed in a big way. And so did his surgically repaired left knee.
”It feels great,” a smiling Bridgewater said Tuesday.
Bridgewater missed most of the past two seasons after suffering a gruesome, career-threatening injury in August 2016 while with the Minnesota Vikings. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and dislocated the knee joint on a non-contact play that had many wondering if he’d ever play again.
The comeback trail took a positive turn late last season, when he threw two passes – one was intercepted – in a game for the Vikings. But Minnesota moved on from the former Louisville star, who was a first-round pick in 2014, and allowed him to become a free agent.
After signing with the Jets in March, Bridgewater is moving on from his painful past.
”I’m just focused on the now and what’s ahead of me,” he said. ”I’m happy to be here. We have a great team, a group of young guys who are anxious to continue to make noise in this league. That’s very exciting to be a part of.”
It was uncertain as to how much Bridgewater would be able to do at the start of OTAs, but the quarterback wasn’t limited at all despite having his left knee wrapped. It was an encouraging performance as he worked behind incumbent starter Josh McCown with the first-team offense in team drills.
”He moved well today,” coach Todd Bowles said.
His throws were mostly sharp Authentic Lorenzo Carter Jersey , and he scrambled around the field several times – showing some flashes of the playmaking ability that made him a Pro Bowl selection in his second season in 2015.
”I’ve been working with the training staff,” Bridgewater said. ”We’ve been making some great progress. The goal is to get better each day. That’s our primary focus right now. That’s my focus as an individual goal, and we’re going to continue to just make those strides.”
Bridgewater adds an interesting element to what will be a must-see quarterback competition, that now won’t include Christian Hackenberg after he was traded to Oakland for a conditional seventh-round draft pick Tuesday.
New York took Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft last month and the former USC star has already been anointed by many as the franchise quarterback of the future – and maybe of right now.
In his first OTAs practice, the 20-year-old Darnold looked like, well, a rookie. He overthrew a few passes in team drills and had a few throws picked off in the 7-on-7 period. Darnold also fumbled a snap, but it was no cause for alarm.
”It’s Day 1,” Bowles said. ”First time going up against a different defense and putting the offense against 11 guys over there.”
McCown was solid as the starter last season, instilling a leadership presence and having a career year while throwing for 2,926 yards and 18 touchdowns before missing the three games with a broken left wrist. But, he’ll turn 39 on July 4 and is clearly not part of the Jets’ long-term plans.
Bridgewater Chiefs Armani Watts Jersey , however, is still just 25 and could give both McCown and Darnold a run for the starting job. Or, perhaps play well enough this summer to be a trade chip for New York.
”Control what you can control,” Bridgewater said. ”My primary focus is to be the best teammate I can be, be the best-caliber player I can be to help the New York Jets win football games. We’re going to continue to push each other in that room, motivate each other and it’s going to trickle down the line with everyone in this locker room.”
Bradley Chubb and Von Miller are big fans of one another. Now they're teammates, too.
Seven months after calling his team a bunch of softies, Broncos general manager John Elway picked one of the toughest players in the draft in Chubb at No. 5.
The prolific edge rusher from North Carolina State is a high-motor pass rusher with a rare mix of speed, strength and savvy that helps him beat double teams to get to the quarterback or stuff the running back.
Despite constant attention his senior season, Chubb collected 26 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and the Bronco Nagurski Trophy as the nation's top defender.
It's safe to say Miller approved of the pick.
"Ahhhh! Ahhhh! Ahhha!" Miller hollered in a videotaped selfie as St. Jude patient Austin Denton of Albuquerque, New Mexico Jordan Howard Jersey Youth , announced his beloved Broncos' pick Thursday night.
It's safe to say Elway and his staff had a similar reaction when the Cleveland Browns, thought to be high on Chubb, instead took Ohio State D-back Denzel Ward at No. 4 to go with their surprising pick of QB Baker Mayfield at No. 1.
Elway said his phone blew up with "a ton" of trade offers from other teams desperate to move up to fifth, "but we really wanted Bradley and we're thrilled that he was still there."
Coach Vance Joseph said seeing Bradley "there at five was definitely a surprise 鈥?and for sure exciting."
Chubb is Denver's highest draft pick since Elway chose Miller second overall in 2011 and he immediately upgrades an already stout defensive front where Miller, Shaq Barrett and Shane Ray suddenly look even more formidable.
Chubb said at the NFL combine that he'd love to land in Denver and learn firsthand from his hero.
"If I got to play with Von Miller that would be crazy. He's such a great player, such a dynamic player. Definitely could learn a lot from him," Chubb said.
Chubb also provides the antidote for the constant double- and triple-teams that opponents have thrown at Miller over the last two years. The Super Bowl 50 MVP's production slipped following DeMarcus Ware's injury-marred 2016 and retirement last summer.
Coming off a 5-11 debacle, the Broncos sorely needed a quarterback upgrade this offseason and they filled that void in free agency with the signing of Case Keenum to a two-year, $36 million deal.
That left Elway with the option of bypassing this year's deep class of promising but problematic quarterbacks to grab a blue chipper.
Still, few foresaw Chubb slipping past the first few picks.
Last week, Miller said he'd love to play alongside Chubb.
"He's Khalil Mack and Von Miller put together," Miller said with a laugh. "He is a great player and I would love to have him on my team. You don't come across a guy like that often. We don't (normally) have the No. 5 pick in the draft. I hope we don't have a high pick like that for a while. So if we can steal a player like that Cassius Marsh Jersey Elite , I'm all for it."
That was an echo of Chubb's comments at the NFL combine when he said, "I try to take Khalil Mack and Von Miller and put them into one person," modeling Mack's strength and Miller's speed.
Chubb comes into the NFL a better run stuffer than Miller was as a rookie. Like any great pass rusher, though, he said he takes the most pride in getting to the quarterback.
Even with a stockpile of moves, however, Chubb knows he'll have to refine his game in the NFL, and that's where Miller's tutelage will come in.
"It's definitely going to have to get fine-tuned because there's no weak offensive linemen in the NFL," Chubb said.