Matt Rhule 'disappointed' Teddy Bridgewater was critical of Panthers practice habits

Teddy Bridgewater volleyed a round of criticism toward Carolina on his way out of town, taking issue with how offensive coordinator Joe Brady runs his practice schedule.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule took issue with the critiques from his former quarterback, saying he was "disappointed" that Bridgewater didn't feel good about the club's practice methods.

"I'm not going to delve into specifics about our process, some of that is specific to us," Rhule said Wednesday night, per the Associated Press. "But I feel really good about our preparation, and the amount of work our coaches put in and the amount of work our players put in. The amount of practice work, I think we push them in a really smart way."

During an interview on the "All Things Covered Podcast" with Patrick Peterson and Bryant McFadden, Bridgewater said that the Panthers didn't practice enough two-minute offense or red-zone to succeed.

"I'll just say this, for Joe Brady's growth, that organization, they'll have to practice different things in different ways," Bridgewater said at the time. "One thing we didn't do much of when I was there, we didn't practice two minutes, really. We didn't practice red zone. You walk through the red zone stuff and then Saturday, you come out and practice red zone, but you'd only get like 15 live reps. Guys' reps would be limited."

Bridgewater struggled in both aspects of the game, which usually separate the elite QBs from the rest of the pack. Carolina was 28th in the league in red-zone efficiency last year, with Bridgewater throwing five interceptions.

Rhule didn't criticize Bridgewater's play, calling the QB the "ultimate competitor" and a "great dude" during Wednesday's media session. The coach sounded more like a disappointed dad.

"When you have 140 guys in a locker room, guys will disagree on some things sometimes. You can't ask everyone to agree with everything," Rhule said, via the team's official website. "But I feel really good about what we do, I want to make sure to say I feel really good about the way we practice and our process. I'm disappointed to hear he didn't feel the same way."

Perhaps, to use a tortured pun, Teddy burned his bridge on the way out of Carolina with his open criticism of the Panthers' practice habits. The new Denver quarterback has bigger concerns ahead in his battle with Drew Lock for a starting job.

If, in the end, the public discussion of the Panthers' practice habits under Brady and Rhule leads Carolina to a self-evaluation that brings about improvement, then perhaps the team brass will look back at Bridgewater's comments and appreciate them. Coaches constantly talk about self-evaluating during and after the season. The only difference here is Bridgewater made those comments publicly after leaving the Panthers. More than the substance of the criticism, the disappointment from coaches and teams usually stems from the public airing of grievances because they have less control over the message.

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