The start of Rhule and Bridgewater's relationship has been stymied by restrictions imposed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, after meeting several times before, the head coach already knows he has a rare character in his new starter.
"The best players in the world bring out the best in their teammates and I can tell you, since free agency started, the amount of the guys that want to come and play with Teddy has nothing to do with me or anybody else," Rhule said, according to NFL.com's Jelani Scott. "They want to be a part of what he's doing 'cause he brings out the best in people."
While at Louisville in 2013, Bridgewater dropped 348 yards and two touchdowns on Temple during Rhule's first year in charge.
The ex-Minnesota Vikings standout spent the last two years as Drew Brees' backup with the New Orleans Saints. When Brees went down for five games last season, the 27-year-old kept New Orleans in the hunt for a bye after winning all of his starts.
Bridgewater threw nine touchdowns against two interceptions and completed 67.9% of his passes. His strong performance was rewarded by the Panthers, who signed him to a three-year, $63-million deal.
While many are predicting a rebuilding season for Carolina in 2020 after losing franchise stalwarts Newton, Ron Rivera, and Luke Kuechly, Rhule is confident Bridgewater - who was often called a game-manager with the Vikings - can elevate the talent around him.
"I believe so wholeheartedly in who he is as a quarterback. I believe in his abilities, I believe in his arm strength, I believe in his accuracy, I believe in his decision-making but, beyond that, I know he's going to make everyone else that much better."