Bridgewater Hoping To Make History

May 12th, 2018

Hoping to catch on. (Photo courtesy of

If you didn’t know the man behind the number, the first tipoff No. 84 in Bucs rookie minicamp is from LSU is the gloves.

“Always!” Brian Bridgewater reacted when Joe noticed the purple and gold LSU gloves the former LSU basketball player wore as he came off the practice fields of One Buc Palace.

It’s been a long time since Bridgewater participated in football practice prior to this weekend. Bridgewater last played organized football as a receiver his junior year in high school.

“I never had my hand down in the dirt,” Bridgewater said of his receiver days.

Bridgewater is trying to be the next basketball player turned NFL tight end. Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates are two recent examples of basketball players who transitioned into the NFL. Bridgewater, like Gates, never played college football.

Former Giants safety and LSU alumni Chad Jones was one of the more influential people to talk Bridgewater into converting into a football player. Bridgewater said Jones planted the seed during his junior season.

Bridgewater also said his brother pushed him to football. “He said if basketball doesn’t work out, you can always try football.”

Bridgewater noted he was offered deals to play professional hoops overseas but he had no interest. So he approached LSU football coaches last winter about participating in LSU’s pro day. They approved, which is how Bridgewater popped on the radar of NFL teams.

So far, Bridgewater said he hasn’t ever spoken with Gonzalez or Gates. Nor has he had a chance to chat with a current Bucs player who was a star high school basketball player in Texas and turned to football, Mike Evans.

“Mike Evans is a freak,” Bridgewater said. “He is 6-5 and crazy fast. He is unbelievable.”

Naturally, Bridgewater has a massive hill to climb.

“Mostly, it is just me getting into the playbook,” Bridgewater said. “Football is way different than basketball. I meet with [tight ends coach Ben Steele] every morning before the rest of the guys get here. I’m trying to be a sponge. [Football is] a whole different aggression.”

29 Responses to “Bridgewater Hoping To Make History”

  1. CharlieB Says:

    I don’t know if you can still call Tony Gonzalez or Antonio Gates “recent.”

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    More than likely he will…be history. but, let’s root for the guy. Unfortunately we’d be rooting against a bubble TE.

  3. Rod Munch Says:

    The Dunkaneers!

  4. Rod Munch Says:

    Pure project guy.

    With the XFL and the Alliance of American Football coming over the next two years it would be interesting if the NFL aligned with either one to be a developmental league. Or I wonder if either one might take guys who are 18+ and give them a paycheck to play as opposed to going to college. That could be a niche for either league if they’re smart about it and don’t think they’re going to compete with the NFL and just have nothing but NFL castoffs – which have their place, but if you could sell these guys are future NFL stars perhaps there is a market.

  5. AlteredEgo Says:

    His learning curve with the NFL is asymptote

  6. Destinjohnny Says:

    Move him to de
    We have 96 tight ends

  7. OneBucPerson Says:

    Hey man, I wouldn’t mind giving him a shot. As far as I see it Cross is an FB and Auclair’s spot is up for grabs.

  8. Buccaneer scotty Says:

    Developmental League? The XFL will take over the NFL especially with sissy rules NFL has it’s in self destruct mode and has less than 5 years

  9. Joe Says:

    Alliance of American Football

    Joe was thinking same thing.

    AAF debuts in January.

  10. Lou. Says:


    Why do you say that Auclair’s spot is up for grabs? I thought Auclair was the Howard-lite backup. Another receiving TE or a full-package-in-training would ease the strain of finding more depth, especially since Brate May become a cap casualty.

    And weren’t the reports on Auclair positive?

  11. AlteredEgo Says:

    Auclair ain’t going anywhere…he’ll play an increased role this year on the 53….Bridgewater is a passing fancy….

  12. JimmyJack Says:

    I liked what I saw from Auclair last year. Looking forward to seeing him in August.

  13. Mike Johnson Says:

    I hope this guy learned food Mngt skills in college. He’s gonna need them after cutdown.

  14. Rod Munch Says:

    Joe – I didn’t even realize Steve Spurrier was the coach of the Orlando team. Not sure if I missed it or if no one cared, but Steve Spurrier coaching the Bandits is the first football I have a clear memory of.

  15. teacherman777 Says:

    @mike johnson

    You are a callous, coldhearted, disgusting human being.

    You have no compassion or love.

    Please dont tell me you are a “christian.”

    Because you are nothing like Yehoshua.

    You are a horrible human!

    God bless all these dreamers and hardworkers at rookie mini-camp.

  16. teacherman777 Says:

    @altered ego

    Nice word!! Thanks for teaching me!

  17. Tampa Bay Demon Says:

    @mike Johnson

    Wow, those are some pretty deplorable comments, man. Why would you assume that this young man will have to work a fast food restaurant if football does not work out. How do you know he is not studying to be a Physicist or to be in Criminal Law, or literally anything else? — Pretty cold comments, honestly.

  18. teacherman777 Says:

    @tampa bay demon

    Thx for backing me up!

  19. Tampa Bay Demon Says:


    Absolutely, man. – I don’t understand those kind of comments.

  20. Easy Says:

    These filler stories are always nice to read about.

  21. Curse of Gruden Says:

    I read Bridgewater had a degree in nuclear physics and is chasing his dream before he takes a job at NASA.

  22. Trench War Says:

    Tough sledding especially since we are pretty stacked at TE, but who knows if players are judged, chosen on their athletic abilities and knowledge of the playbook, and not just strictly on seniority, maybe he gets his shot. Take advantage of every rep, make the most out of moment of practice and playing time, put good work on tape, maybe he’ll get that shot. But he certainly has a hill to climb. Good Luck fella!

  23. Rhenry Says:

    What’s wrong with managing a fast food joint. It’s honest work.

  24. Jjones Says:

    Funny how a so called Christian bashes another person on here and thinks they’re a righteous human being, hypocrite.

  25. Buccos Says:

    I believe it was Ghandi that once said, “I would become a Christian if I didn’t know so many.”

  26. Owlykat Says:

    Auclair not only can catch passes in traffic but he is a great blocker too. He can step in for Howard to spell him or if he is injured. This kid is a raw talent who has to learn all that. If he is promising he may make our practice squad like Dotson did and may make our team three years from now, if he is lucky.

  27. Tampa Bay Demon Says:


    Definitely a true and fair point, Rhenry, and didn’t intend to suggest otherwise.

  28. Buddy Says:

    Shows what a joke the equipment guy at Bucs is. Wow, what is this amateurhour? Get him some Bucs gloves.

  29. Keisha Says:

    Well, this Bridgewater is my relative he is college educated, and we have our own family oil and gas company, that asshole needs to keep flipping burgers. Black excellence over here!!! Google US