EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Pat Shurmur was standing just a few feet away from Teddy Bridgewater back in the summer of 2016 when the quarterback suffered his horrific knee injury. And he was there in Minnesota to watch how hard Bridgewater fought to get back.
So he knows as well as anyone why it would be a mistake to count Bridgewater out.
"The only thing I would say is, 'Don't sleep on Teddy,'" the current Giants coach said. "Because he's got it in him."
That's been clear all summer long as the 25-year-old Bridgewater attempts to restart his career with the Jets. His next step will come Friday night when he faces Shurmur's Giants at the Meadowlands in the annual Jets-Giants preseason game.
This will be the first time Shurmur will see Bridgewater in extended action in almost two years, since his final preseason game with the Vikings in 2016. Shurmur was the tight ends coach in Minnesota then. He was promoted to offensive coordinator a few months later. And he still held that job late last season when Bridgewater finally worked his way far enough back to get into a late-season game for a couple of snaps.
Needless to say, after watching that comeback, Shurmur's opinion of Bridgewater is pretty high.
"Teddy is an outstanding, competitive guy," Shurmur said. '"He has a unique charisma. When I was there with him, the whole area loved Teddy. He just had that way about him. When he got injured, everybody was pulling for him. I'm thrilled for whatever success he is having."
Bridgewater has been having success with the Jets. He's completed 17 of 23 passes in two preseason games for 212 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He has looked to many like the Jets' best quarterback in camp. However, with the presence and emergence of first-round pick Sam Darnold, it seems doubtful that Bridgewater will emerge from camp with the starting job.
Shurmur also knows a little about Darnold, too, having studied him in the run-up to the NFL draft in April. He even spent some time with him when the Giants scouted him at Darnold's Pro Day at USC in March.
"He had some of the same traits that Teddy has," Shurmur said. "Very charismatic. He has that winning presence about him and you can see being with him on campus at USC that the players really kind of came to him. He had that, and he was obviously highly successful as a quarterback."
The Giants, of course, inevitably passed on Darnold with the second overall pick, taking Penn State running back Saquon Barkley instead. That allowed Darnold to fall to the Jets at No. 3.
Barkley is out with a hamstring injury at the moment and is not expected to play against the Jets on Friday night.