Maybe the nickname wouldn’t have stuck if Teddy Bridgewater’s first name didn’t start with a “T,” but it does, and thus: Teddy Two Gloves.
Bridgewater might be the only current NFL quarterback who wears gloves on both his hands while playing QB. After starting his career in Minnesota and moving on to New Orleans, Bridgewater is now the starter for the Panthers. He’s brought his gloves with him to every stop since he began his college career at Louisville.
While Bridgewater’s glove-wearing is unusual at the QB position, it’s worked for him. He starred at Louisville, was a first-round draft pick and eventually got a healthy contract with the Panthers. The reasons why Bridgewater wears the gloves (below) aren’t complicated, but after Bridgewater’s pro day went south without gloves on, it’s likely he won’t be taking them off anytime soon.
Why does Teddy Bridgewater wear gloves?
Bridgewater has said that wearing the gloves helps him grip the ball better. Starting his career in Minnesota likely cemented Bridgewater’s affinity for the grip provided by the gloves, because games in NFC North cities and cold temperatures can often cause trouble with ball gripping.
Grip could also be a question mark with Bridgewater due to his hand size. His hand span is 9 1/4 inches, which is relatively small for an NFL quarterback. At the time of Bridgewater’s selection, according to ESPN Stats and Info, no QB with hands that small has made the Pro Bowl since 2008. Since then, though, one QB has entered the NFL with hands that exact size and dominated: Patrick Mahomes.
When did Teddy Bridgewater start wearing gloves?
Bridgewater began wearing gloves during his freshman season at Louisville, according to ESPN, although the reason why is unclear. In one game, Bridgewater kept his gloves on during a heavy rainstorm, and his then-coach Charlie Strong recalled asking him if he could grip the ball.
“I said, ‘Can you grip the ball?,’ and he said, ‘Yeah, coach,'” Strong told ESPN. “It’s a thunderstorm, there’s water on the field and he made a couple of big-time throws in the rain with the glove on. It was something he had grown accustomed to, and he just wore it all the time.”
Bridgewater has continued wearing his gloves almost always when he plays quarterback. The one notable time he didn’t, at his pro day in 2014, led to a terrible performance. While there’s no telling whether the lack of gloves was the issue, Bridgewater wore the gloves during his private workout with the Vikings and performed much better. Minnesota took him with the final and 32nd pick of the first round that year.
Do other quarterbacks wear gloves while playing?
According to ThePostgame.com, Bridgewater goes through four pairs of gloves each game. But it’s rare for most NFL QBs to wear gloves during games, especially on their throwing hand.
Tom Brady often wears a glove on his non-throwing, left hand, and occasionally wears one on his right hand in cold weather. Ben Roethlisberger follows the same routine as Brady. Tyrod Taylor wore a glove on his non-throwing hand in Buffalo, but does not with the Chargers in warmer weather. Nick Foles usually wears a glove on his non-throwing hand.
Kurt Warner wore gloves for the final three years of his career with the Cardinals, in part because when he broke one of his fingers, he found he could only really throw with the gloves on. Peyton Manning also broke out gloves only after his neck surgeries as he wound down his career with the Broncos, because numbness in his fingertips was aided by the gloves.
Going further back, Doug Flutie occasionally wore two gloves while playing for the Bills in cold weather, although he didn’t wear gloves with the Chargers, like Taylor. And Jim McMahon wore gloves when he played QB for the 1985 Chicago Bears, including in a 46-10 Super Bowl victory.