The Teddy Bridgewater who was poised beyond his years played more like a wide-eyed 22-year-old making his 13th career NFL start on the road on Monday Night Football.
Even he admitted as much earlier today when he met with reporters for the first time since Monday’s 20-3 loss at San Francisco.
“I think I definitely was too excited,” Bridgewater said. “It was the first game of the season. You want to get out there and show all your hard work from training camp, OTAs, the preseason. And I think I just missed a couple of throws, easy throws that I’ve made nine out of 10 times in practice, and it played a huge role in the outcome.
“I take Monday night as a learning experience. We didn’t execute well. But now we have to shift our focus to Detroit. We go in today, evaluate the film and move on.”
Bridgewater said he doesn’t mind that coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t been shy in his criticism of the young quarterback for looking uncharacteristically flustered against the 49ers.
“I wasn’t surprised by that at all,” Bridgewater said. “That’s what I love. Tough coaching. I try to be my worst critic and to hear it from the head guy, it tells you that you need to step up your game. Hearing that just put that chip on my shoulder. I have to get better and it just showed me, and it showed us as a team that we’re nowhere near as good as we are. We got outplayed. San Fran out-executed us on Monday night and hit showed.”
Asked how he’ll guard against trying to do too much to overcompensate on Sunday against the Lions, Bridgewater said, “I just have to treat it like another game. You have to be prepared to play on prime time. I think I was too excited to play, and it showed. Just put it in the past and move on.”
Several teammates, as expected, voiced their belief in Bridgewater today.
“I think he’ll bounce back well,” receiver Charles Johnson said. “You don’t know what winning is unless you lose. You don’t know what good is unless you do bad. It’s part of life.
“[We like] his poise and his confidence and his willingness to compete. That’s the type of player he is and the type of person he is. We all believe in him here, so that’s all that really matters.”