Hometown hero Teddy Bridgewater is extra than simply the Dolphins QB. ‘He represents us’


Two weeks in the past, Teddy Bridgewater was crouched down on the sidelines at a Northwestern High soccer recreation. He was sporting the colours of his alma mater — a rose gold tee shirt, blue shorts — and he held a dry-erase board and marker in his arms.

Northwestern’s beginning quarterback had been sidelined with an harm, so the veteran NFL quarterback gathered the excessive schoolers and drew up a play.

When the Dolphins quarterback spoke to reporters about being on the recreation days later, he stated his want is to teach highschool ball at his alma mater as soon as his taking part in days are over.

For years, Miami has produced as many NFL gamers as any metropolis. In Week 5, 4 of the 32 beginning quarterbacks can be from South Florida: Bridgewater, Lamar Jackson, Geno Smith and Jacoby Brissett.

But when Bridgewater makes his first begin as a Dolphins quarterback, filling in for an injured Tua Tagovailoa, in opposition to the New York Jets on Sunday, it should imply lots to him — and to the area people he’s impressed.

“It’s a huge blessing to be able to just suit up in my hometown,” Bridgewater stated. “I played little league football five minutes down the road at Bunche Park. So if I leave work tomorrow and go to the park, all of the little kids will come running up to me excited. If I go to the Northwestern game on Friday night, everybody will be excited. It’s such a relief, honestly, knowing that the love is genuine no matter where I go. I really appreciate that from my community and my people. I know they’re excited that I get this opportunity. I’m looking forward to it.”

To those that watched Bridgewater as he rose as a younger phenom from Liberty City to a first-round decide of the Minnesota Vikings in 2014, they are saying his robust relationship with the group stems from his authenticity, instilled by his mom, Rose Murphy, a breast most cancers survivor.

“Your character is built when you’re not around your parents,” stated Max Edwards, Northwestern’s head soccer coach. “You can tell he has good character in the things that his mom showed him when she was bringing him up. It reflects that his character is good because his upbringing was awesome.’

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L-R Northwestern High School football stars Eli Rogers and Teddy Bridgewater flank Teddy’s mom Rose Murphy on Wednesday November 24, 2010 outside the school. PATRICK FARRELL MIAMI HERALD STAFFPhoto Assign

Bridgewater’s charitable acts have been well-documented, from his annual Christmas in July Event — he rents a U-Haul truck and gives toys to kids — to buying new uniforms for his alma mater.

At Northwestern, he’s helped with drills at practice and served as a mentor for the young players. One of those players was Tutu Atwell, who played quarterback at Northwestern and now is a wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams.

Atwell had not known much about Bridgewater, playing at Louisville at the time, when he met him but the two quickly struck a friendship.

“He would help me with coverages, break down everything to me,” stated Atwell, who additionally grew up in Liberty City and attended Louisville for faculty. “He would play with the defense. We would use to do 7-on-7 and he was the safety and I would just have to pick him apart.”

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Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel talks with Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) throughout the fourth quarter of an NFL soccer recreation in opposition to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on Thursday, September 29, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. David Santiago [email protected]

For as many nice gamers as Miami has produced, Atwell thinks of the numerous who have been gifted sufficient to make it to school or the professionals however succumbed to the vices of the internal metropolis. That makes Bridgewater’s presence much more impactful to younger individuals who look as much as him.

“It means a lot to the younger kids,” Atwell stated. Growing up in Miami, it’s tough. Most individuals don’t make it. He was one of many few to make it. Just giving again, it’s the correct factor to do to provide again to your hood and provides again to your group. … He doesn’t converse lots however his work off the sector and on the sector reveals.”

When Bridgewater is on the sector Sunday, Edwards hopes his gamers and different children discover inspiration in any person who discovered success from comparable circumstances and did issues the correct approach.

“His community and the Miami Dolphins, they’re excited because he represents us and we’re going to support them regardless of the outcome of the game,” Edwards stated.

Though Bridgewater is described as soft-spoken, throughout the summer season he wrote a prolonged submit on Facebook, a call-out to fellow athletes and the picture they’re portraying to the youth.

“Don’t wait till you inherit this legal money from the league to decide you want to be tough or portray a ‘street image’ cause it’s kids that’s looking up to everything we do,” he wrote.

The submit went viral, with a number of athletes, together with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, co-signing the message.

Asked concerning the impetus of the submit, Bridgewater stated it was “random” and he simply began typing what was in his thoughts. But the core of the submit went again to Bridgewater’s want to be a constructive affect on his group.

“It’s really something that I always talked about when I was playing for different teams out of town,” Bridgewater stated. “Just allowing for people to see me in the flesh. There are so many kids in the Bunche Park area, the Liberty City area, who want to be Teddy Bridgewater and look up to Teddy Bridgewater, but they can only see me on the television. So when they can see me in the flesh on the sideline, high school kids can touch me and interact and realize that I’m human just like them. That’s food for my soul.”

Daniel Oyefusi covers the Dolphins for the Miami Herald. A local of Towson, Maryland, he graduated from the University of Maryland: College Park. Previously, he lined the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.


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