Teddy Bridgewater rolled right Vinny Curry Jersey Elite , kept moving and then zipped a pass down the field on the run.
If his first practice of organized team activities with the New York Jets was a test of his health and confidence, the quarterback passed in a big way. And so did his surgically repaired left knee.
”It feels great,” a smiling Bridgewater said Tuesday.
Bridgewater missed most of the past two seasons after suffering a gruesome, career-threatening injury in August 2016 while with the Minnesota Vikings. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee and dislocated the knee joint on a non-contact play that had many wondering if he’d ever play again.
The comeback trail took a positive turn late last season, when he threw two passes – one was intercepted – in a game for the Vikings. But Minnesota moved on from the former Louisville star, who was a first-round pick in 2014, and allowed him to become a free agent.
After signing with the Jets in March, Bridgewater is moving on from his painful past.
”I’m just focused on the now and what’s ahead of me,” he said. ”I’m happy to be here. We have a great team, a group of young guys who are anxious to continue to make noise in this league. That’s very exciting to be a part of.”
It was uncertain as to how much Bridgewater would be able to do at the start of OTAs, but the quarterback wasn’t limited at all despite having his left knee wrapped. It was an encouraging performance as he worked behind incumbent starter Josh McCown with the first-team offense in team drills.
”He moved well today Bengals Elite Jerseys ,” coach Todd Bowles said.
His throws were mostly sharp, and he scrambled around the field several times – showing some flashes of the playmaking ability that made him a Pro Bowl selection in his second season in 2015.
”I’ve been working with the training staff,” Bridgewater said. ”We’ve been making some great progress. The goal is to get better each day. That’s our primary focus right now. That’s my focus as an individual goal, and we’re going to continue to just make those strides.”
Bridgewater adds an interesting element to what will be a must-see quarterback competition, that now won’t include Christian Hackenberg after he was traded to Oakland for a conditional seventh-round draft pick Tuesday.
New York took Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick in the draft last month and the former USC star has already been anointed by many as the franchise quarterback of the future – and maybe of right now.
In his first OTAs practice, the 20-year-old Darnold looked like, well, a rookie. He overthrew a few passes in team drills and had a few throws picked off in the 7-on-7 period. Darnold also fumbled a snap, but it was no cause for alarm.
”It’s Day 1,” Bowles said. ”First time going up against a different defense and putting the offense against 11 guys over there.”
McCown was solid as the starter last season, instilling a leadership presence and having a career year while throwing for 2 Authentic Troy Apke Jersey ,926 yards and 18 touchdowns before missing the three games with a broken left wrist. But, he’ll turn 39 on July 4 and is clearly not part of the Jets’ long-term plans.
Bridgewater, however, is still just 25 and could give both McCown and Darnold a run for the starting job. Or, perhaps play well enough this summer to be a trade chip for New York.
”Control what you can control,” Bridgewater said. ”My primary focus is to be the best teammate I can be, be the best-caliber player I can be to help the New York Jets win football games. We’re going to continue to push each other in that room, motivate each other and it’s going to trickle down the line with everyone in this locker room.”
Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk on Thursday described coach Mike Budenholzer’s exit as ”harmonious” and ”as mutual as parting can be.”
Schlenk also said the decision, finalized and announced late Wednesday , came after many discussions with Budenholzer and was not based on just one factor.
”It’s not one thing,” Schlenk said. ”It was just the course of several conversations we just felt like this was best for him and his career and the right time for the Hawks for where we are.”
Added Schlenk: ”It was kind of we felt the right time for both of us to go separate directions. It wasn’t negative on either side. It was just time for both of us to move forward.”
Budenholzer helped to pave his path out of Atlanta by expressing interest in coaching other teams.
Schlenk said he still believed at the end of the season Authentic P.J. Hall Jersey , when the Hawks finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, that Budenholzer would remain the team’s coach. Then Budenholzer received permission to interview with the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks .
Budenholzer withdrew his name from consideration with the Suns and remains a candidate with the Knicks.
With Budenholzer seeking employment from at least two other teams, it was increasingly difficult for the Hawks to serve as the coach’s safety net.
The Hawks, with the blessing of majority owner Tony Ressler, finally decided it was best to find a new coach. The decision came even though ending the relationship with Budenholzer, who had two years remaining on his contract, ended the team’s chance to receive compensation if he is hired by another team.
”Obviously Tony is involved in all the decisions,” Schlenk said. ”We made the decision that was best for us instead of waiting and seeing what might happen. But certainly we had his blessing.”
Schlenk said he will look for a new coach who can work with a young, rebuilding team.
”One of the things that’s most important is having a coach who’s going to connect with our young players, continue to develop our young players, so that’s going to be a big part of it Redskins Game Jerseys ,” he said.
Budenholzer was 213-192 in the regular season and 17-22 in the playoffs in five seasons with Atlanta. The Hawks were an Eastern Conference-worst 24-58 this season, ending the team’s streak of 10 consecutive playoff appearances.
The high point in Budenholzer’s five years with the Hawks came in the 2014-15 season, when the Hawks set a franchise record with 60 wins. He was named NBA coach of the year after the Hawks’ first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals.
Budenholzer was given more authority with the title of president of basketball operations, but he gave up that position when Schlenk was hired as general manager in 2017. Schlenk said the two maintained a positive relationship.
Schlenk said he already had a list of potential candidates to replace Budenholzer and will consider candidates with experience as a head coach or just as an assistant.
Schlenk said he hopes to have the new coach hired before the NBA draft on June 21, and ”ideally” before the team conducts workouts with draft prospects.
The Hawks have a chance to obtain the No. 1 overall pick when the NBA draft lottery is held on May 15 in Chicago. Barring a trade, Atlanta will have three first-round picks. Schlenk said he would like for the new coach to have input on those draft decisions.
Schlenk said Budenholzer’s exit won’t change the team’s rebuilding effort .
”We’re going to continue to develop our young players,” he said. ”We’re going to continue to develop through the draft. We’re going to continue to look to gather assets and maintain our financial flexibility. This doesn’t change our plan at all.”