This article is about a 10-minute read.
1. Teddy Bridgewater can throw the deep ball.
Teddy Bridgewater has a career 7.15 yard per attempt average with a 65% completion percentage. His game is best defined as a short-to-intermediate ranged quarterback who does well between the 20s and then struggles to hammer home the scores in the red zone. Last year when Bridgewater replaced Drew Brees for five games in weeks 3-7, New Orleans’ red zone efficiency dropped from 35.3% under Brees to 22.7% with Bridgewater. At the same time, the Saints' yards per drive with Brees was 34.5. Under Bridgewater, it was 34.3. The issue wasn't moving the ball, it was scoring once he got close. Enter Joe Brady, who was the conductor of the majestic orchestra that was Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers last year. In 2018, Joe Burrow and the Tigers had the 38th ranked offense in FBS. In 2019 Joe Brady joined the staff and was given the role of passing game coordinator. Virtually the same team finished 1st in offense in FBS and Joe Burrow set collegiate records with 60 touchdown passes and 5,761 passing yards while the team scored 48.4 points per game and 401 passing yards per game.
OK, but Steve Ensminger was the offensive coordinator. How much of the success was due to Brady? In a press conference before the National Championship game, Ensminger was asked: "How do you decide what you want to do in the red zone each time?" His response - "Look, I have a game plan that's sitting right here. I'll be honest with you here. When we get in the red zone, 12 in, that's Joe Brady. Unless I want to run a play-action, go fast, we'll go. When we get inside the 12, I tell Joe, It's yours and he calls it."
This confirms all along that Brady was the brains of the LSU offensive success. If Brady is as good as advertised he will work with Bridgewater to find weaknesses in each defense and exploit them. He may not have a 10.8 yards per attempt like Joe Burrow last year but he is capable of making plays. Look for an increase in play-action this year with a barrage of bunch formations, especially in the red zone. Bridgewater is a decent quarterback, but with Brady, his level of production could increase, perhaps substantially.
2. Tajae Sharpe becomes fantasy-relevant with the Vikings.