Bridgewater's poise off field impressive, too

February, 22, 2014
Feb 22
6:48
PM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- Public figures are sometimes coached into the annoying habit of giving a completely unresponsive answer to a question.

Bridgewater
It's a common theme among coaches. You ask about the problems with the red zone defense, they tell you about special teams. You ask why a certain player didn't practice, they let you know that it was raining outside.

This time of year, it's also common among some of the more high-profile NFL combine participants who spend a lot of time in media training. And when you ask a quarterback why he's decided not to throw at the combine, he'll usually deflect to the fact that he plans to throw later at a private workout.

Not Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

"The biggest thing was just me being a perfectionist, and I just want everything to go right," Bridgewater said. "Whether I’m taking a five-step drop and the guy’s not on top of his route at the time, I just want to have that chemistry with the guys. I tend to look at it from a pro standpoint. When you’re throwing in the offseason, you want to be with your guys to have that timing and that connection, so that was the biggest thing."

That's exactly the reason most quarterbacks make the decision to do so, and one that makes perfect sense, but not the one that's often given. Not that Bridgewater hasn't been coached, but he projected an air of sincerity and likability throughout his combine news conference.

The meeting between Bridgewater and coach Bill O'Brien, whose Texans have the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, will be an important one. Bridgewater is eager for it. The relationship between a quarterback and head coach is an important one, especially when it works. When it works it can last for more than a decade, both parties increasing the other's job security.

Bridgewater's poise will matter. So will his obsession with football. His mind will be heavily analyzed and he seemed up to that task this afternoon.

"The biggest thing I think is my accuracy," said Bridgewater, when asked what separated him from other quarterbacks. "This past season, I was able to complete 71 percent of my passes. My third-down passing completion percentage was pretty much off the charts. My pocket presence, I’m a competitor. Each day I go out there and I’m eager to learn, remain a student of the game, and I think that right there just separates me."

Tania Ganguli

ESPN Houston Texans reporter

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