AFC Notes: Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos, Chargers, Raiders


Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater said he was very excited to be named the team’s starting quarterback and is looking forward to his opportunity. 

“It was very exciting,” Bridgewater said, via Aric DiLalla of the team’s official site. “I’m just happy that I get an opportunity. I’m happy that I get to continue to lead and be the same guy that I am today, and the same guy that I was yesterday. It’s an opportunity for us to continue to grow as a team, and I’m looking forward to that.”

Broncos HC Vic Fangio said he consulted with OC Pat Shurmur, QBs coach Mike Shula, GM George Paton, and executive John Elway about his decision to start Bridgewater. 

“I talked to all the offensive coaches individually,” Fangio said. “I talked a lot with [Offensive Coordinator] Pat [Shurmur] and [Quarterbacks Coach] Mike [Shula]. I talked a lot with [General Manager] George [Paton]. George kept [President of Football Operations] John [Elway] abreast of everything. When John was here, I couldn’t talk to John because I was either on the field or in player meetings. George relayed to me John’s opinions. It was a conglomeration, but ultimately, I had to make the decision.”

Fangio feels that Bridgewater brings a “calmness” to their offense and has qualities that improves his teammates. 

“He has a calmness to him, and I think he has a confidence to him that can radiate to the rest of the offense and the team, providing he’s playing [well],” Fangio said. “I think that’s good. I think he has a very good feel of the game and a feel for the quarterback position, the entire offense and how all 11 [guys] work and not just his position. Overall, he is an intelligent quarterback.”

Bridgewater added that he’s “hungry” and feels the Broncos have enough talent to be successful this season. 

“I’m hungry, as well,” Bridgewater said. “This entire team is hungry. We know the talent that we have here, and we know what’s in store for us. But we can’t sit here and talk about it. We’ve got to continue to put the work in every day, and eventually our hard work will pay off. We’ve got to take it one day at a time. We understand that it’s going to be a process, and throughout the course of a season, things happen. Right now in training camp, you see that we have things that come up. It tests you. Throughout the course of the season, things will come up that will test you as well and test your foundation. Hopefully we’re putting together a solid foundation right now in training camp so that when the season comes around, we can just get rolling.”

  • Broncos HC Vic Fangio said TE Noah Fant (leg) won’t play in Saturday’s preseason finale, while WR KJ Hamler (non-COVID illness) is unlikely to play. (Mike Klis)


Chargers S Derwin James said he’s not concerned about suffering injuries after recovering from a knee injury and sustaining a stress fracture in his foot earlier this offseason. 

“I’m not out here half-stepping; I’m not worried about getting injured, bro,” James said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “I’m out here, full speed. That’s the only way I know how to play the game. It just feels good to be back playing football.”

James called his torn meniscus and recent foot injury “simple fixes” and feels stronger going into the 2021 season. 

“All of it was simple fixes,” James said. “They fixed it, and I feel stronger.”

James thinks he’ll prove the doubters wrong this season and is ready to play. 

“When I’m back to making plays on the field, those [critics] will be the same people rooting for me again,” James said. “I don’t really get too caught up in, ‘Hey, he’s too injury-prone.’ I’m ready to go back out there and show the world what I can do, showing he’s a guy that bounced back from adversity and took it and ran with it. That was the hand I was dealt, but it’s not who I am.”

  • Chargers’ HC Brandon Staley said hopefully that WR Mike Williams could return to the practice field next week and is currently doing individual work on his own. (Jeff Miller)


Raiders OC Greg Olsen said that the receiver position could be some of the hardest decisions for them when it comes to cutting the roster down to 53 players. 

“There’s great competition at the wide receiver position,” Olson said, via “That’ll probably be the most difficult decision, will be making the cuts at the wide receiver position.

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