Since his devastating knee injury a little less than a year ago, Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has kept things pretty quiet. He hasn’t given a whole lot of interviews since he got hurt, but this past week he did give a sit down interview with the folks from ESPN 106.3 FM in West Palm Beach.
In the interview, Josh Cohen, Mike Mrezcko, and former NFL safety Abram Elam spoke with Bridgewater about how Minnesota has embraced him, how his mother inspired him during his rehabilitation process, and his reaction to the news that Adrian Peterson was no longer a Minnesota Viking.
If you want to listen to the interview, you can find it at the ESPN 106.3 website. If we can get permission to embed the interview here, we will do that. However, what we have for now is a transcript of the entire interview. I believe this to be a fairly accurate transcription, but there might be an error or two in there. I will go back and correct if necessary.
UPDATE: Thanks to Josh Cohen and the Home Team (who you can check out at the link above), we have the audio of the Bridgewater interview for your listening pleasure right here.
Josh Cohen: We go to the Metro PCS phone lines. He is the quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings. He is also a dear personal friend of Abram Elam and he happily also promotes and represents the Team Elam Foundation Charity Weekend. Nice of him to take some time off of workout and join us live during Mashup Week. Teddy Bridgewater is on ESPN 106.3, how you doin' Teddy? Teddy are you there?
Teddy Bridgewater: Goin' great, how are you?
JC: We are good, sir, we are good! Abram is here with us, Mike Mreczko and myself, Josh. We understand news out of camp that you are practicing without a knee brace. That must be something that you are as mentally as well as physically excited about.
TB: Yeah, definitely, it's something that as Training Camp approaches, I just want to make sure that I get myself mentally prepared.
JC: Now you're a guy that's not from Minnesota. You didn't play ball anywhere near there. Are you surprised at all by how they received you? How the people have just embraced you in Minnesota because that's not always the case, obviously. Did it surprise you how much love they had for you?
TB: Not really, I think everywhere I've been, I've had an impact on that community and that city and I think all of that is due to the way I was brought up with my mom and raising me to respect people and as long as you respect people they respect you. So, I credit her for how I was brought up and people in Minnesota have been great and they've accepted me and welcomed me with open arms.
JC: And they certainly do respect you, indeed. Abram Elam?
Abram Elam: Teddy, I know speaking about Miss Rose, your mother, and yourself, we talk about how we partner with the Team Elam Foundation, how your mom was saying what you guys have been through as a family, you know, about being able to touch other people's lives. So, just express a little bit to the listeners that don't know about some of the things you're doing down in your home town of Miami.
TB: I'm from the inner city in Miami and each year I try to do different things to make an impact on the area that I grew up in. Last year, I paid for all the kids that played for Orange (?) Park last year, I paid for all their registration for football players and cheerleaders and that was a pretty good turnout. We were able to fill each roster to the maximum capacity. My mom does a lot with breast cancer, you know she's a breast cancer survivor, so she's been able to impact families that are going through the same thing that we went through, and she just provides hope to them, you know gives them insight and a lot of the breast cancer patients that she deals with have children, so she just tells them our story and we go from there. She supports them with different events whether it's Senior Prom, fun and different activities throughout the school year for them, you know just different ways to give back and that's one of the ways
JC: Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is also an ambassador of Team Elam Charity Weekend and the Foundation, joins us live during Mashup Week on ESPN 106.3 FM and worldwide on the ESPN App. Mike Mrezcko?
Mike Mrezcko: Teddy, we know how excruciating your knee injury was from afar and the rehab I'm sure has been grueling, but you've mentioned your mom when she got diagnosed, you were only 15 years old, a critical stage in your life. You know, that was a time where with her health struggles you almost thought about walking away from the game. Talk about how much of an inspiration her battle and her recovery has been for you over this past year?
TB: It's been a huge inspiration, because her experience gave me a positive outlook on anything that I go through, because I saw her at her lowest point in her life where she lost all of her hair and her fingernails turned black. She couldn't get out of bed to use the restroom, so you know for me, it opened my eyes when I was injured and told me, "Hey, there's someone out there going through something ten times worse than what I'm going through," so I had two options. I could stay down and, you know, just give up, or I could fight this. I come from a background of fighters, my mom fought breast cancer and she instilled that fight in me. She motivated me in many, many ways that I had no idea would play a role in my life at this point.
JC: Teddy Bridgewater, fact or fiction: Abram Elam has asked to borrow money from you so that he can turn his cell phone back on.
TB: That's fiction.
JC: That's fiction? Why am I the only one?
AE: I only got rich friends like you, man.
JC: Oh, yeah, because I'm so loaded. Abram, tell us something about Teddy in the process of going to the NFL that maybe he's even unaware of himself and the people wouldn't know about his journey.
AE: Teddy's got a big heart and he's always there to help others, you know. He invites us down all the time, you know, my son and some of the other guys just working out and he's always inspired to give back and that's why I appreciate the things Teddy's doing, being able to come up and support our event tonight, knowing that he has so many other important things going on with his rehab, getting prepared for the season. In his heart, I know he loves others and always thinks about others before himself many times.
JC: A testament, obviously, for your actions, because words are easy but what you do shows all the difference. This weekend, your assistance with Team Elam Foundation Tenth Anniversary makes all the difference. Mike, do you have another question?
MM: You've gotten used to life in the NFL right now but I'm sure, you know, as you're still a young player, you're looking around at what happens in the offseason a little bit. Even though it's a business, as an NFL quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings. . .it's been a long time since whoever has been under center for the Vikings doesn't hand off to Adrian Peterson. When that news breaks in the offseason, what goes through your mind?
TB: You know, the craziest part about it all is that I wasn't aware of what was going on, and I was so busy focusing on myself, you know, and focusing on rehabbing my injury. I think with the team that I have and different people working with me and my agent, they keep me far away from the media. So, you know, I'm unaware of what's going on in the offseason and the free agents and all the acquisitions because I'm focusing on me. At the end of the day, I have to take care of myself enough to prepare for this upcoming season, to prepare for my return. So, when everything happened with Adrian, I wasn't really aware, and I still don't really know what happened. I know that he's with the New Orleans Saints and I was able to play one season as his teammate and we spent some time in the training room this past season. You know, he's a great guy and the New Orleans Saints got a great player and an even better person off the field. It was great in the short term that we had in Minnesota, and I don't really know what happened with that situation, but I can only wish him the best.
JC: Well, you're a good man and you do great work off the field as well as on the field and I know that Team Elam appreciates all of your efforts on top of that. Have a great season, stay healthy, and appreciate the time, Teddy. Be well.
TB: Thanks, you take care!