ENGLEWOOD — Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Lions head coach Dan Campbell are pretty familiar with one another, spending two seasons (2018-2019) together in New Orleans.
Bridgewater was the backup quarterback behind Drew Brees and Campbell was the associate head coach and tight ends coach under Sean Payton. Since then, they've both have had similar journeys, each taking on bigger roles — Bridgewater as a starter in Denver and Campbell as the man in charge in Detroit.
And both have tremendous respect for each other ahead of Sunday's game between the Broncos and Lions.
"I think he's a stud," Campbell said of Bridgewater Wednesday. "I think he's a winner and I've said this, this is what stands out to me about Teddy — he makes everyone else around him better. He did that for us. When he was backing up Drew, he would pull all our young guys back the day before the game, take them out on the turf and go through the whole game plan with them, running reps. He was preparing himself but also he was helping them develop.
"I think a lot of Teddy. I've got a lot of respect for him and I've seen him work, and I think if you're not careful this guy will drive right down the field and beat you."
Their respective teams are on different paths this season, with Bridgewater hoping to lead the 6-6 Broncos to the playoffs, while Campbell's Lions just won their first game of the season last Sunday, sitting at 1-10-1.
But while some have been quick to count out Campbell in his first season as a head coach, Bridgewater knows Campbell is pushing the Lions in the right direction.
"Dan, he’s awesome. His energy is contagious, and I’m pretty sure those players in Detroit love playing for him," Bridgewater said. "I was able to spend those two years with him in New Orleans, and the things that he was able to do with those tight ends in that room — whenever he stood in front of the team and talked, you’re ready to just storm out of that meeting and punch a guy in the face for no reason. Dan is awesome."
Defensive end Shelby Harris (ankle) and outside linebacker Bradley Chubb (ankle/shoulder) were the only Broncos who did not practice Wednesday, while running back Melvin Gordon (hip/shoulder) returned to practice on a limited basis after missing Sunday's game.
Chubb is a bit of a surprise, as he's just returning from the injured reserve two weeks ago. But coach Vic Fangio didn't sound to concerned when asked about Chubb's status.
"He’s feeling alright," Fangio said. "He got dinged in the shoulder the other night, which hurt his play a little bit. He’s fighting through it, and I see improvements being made."