When training camp began a month ago, Pat Shurmur probably knew more about the Jets’ quarterbacks than his own with the Giants. He’d been on the coaching staff in Minnesota as the offensive coordinator for Teddy Bridgewater and spent a lot of time during the offseason studying Sam Darnold as a possible Giants draft pick.
On Friday, he’ll likely get to see both of them play against him in the annual preseason meeting between the New York teams.
Shurmur’s appreciation for Bridgewater was clear as soon as he began talking about him Sunday.
“Teddy is an outstanding, competitive guy,” Shurmur said. “He’s got a unique charisma. When I was there with him, the whole area loved Teddy. He just had that way about him. Then, when he got injured, everybody was pulling for him to come back.”
Shurmur was just a few feet away from Bridgewater when he tore up his knee in a practice in 2016. “It was a very tough deal,” Shurmur said. “He went from worrying about whether the nerve would be [injured to the point that] he would be able to walk again to now he’s out there playing. I’m certainly very happy for Teddy.”
Darnold, Shurmur said, has some of the same traits Bridgewater has. “Very charismatic,” he said. “He has that winning presence about him. You could see being with him at campus at USC that the players really came to him. And he was highly successful as a quarterback.”
The Giants had an opportunity during the offseason to acquire either of those quarterbacks, had they wanted to do so. Bridgewater was a free agent and Darnold was available when they selected Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick. Darnold went to the Jets with the next selection.
Shurmur said he was able to watch Bridgewater play Thursday against the Redskins. “I’m thrilled for whatever success he’s having,” he said. “I did peek at their game, and it appears to me like he’s playing pretty well. The only thing I would say is don’t sleep on Teddy because he’s got it in him.”