If Hollywood ever needs to launch a football-centric sequel to “Serendipity,” Ben Bredeson and Kevin Zeitler are prepared for starring roles.
Take into account this timeline: In January, Zeitler, a Giants guard, and Bredeson, a Ravens guard, begin coaching collectively and notice they share like minds on residing in Wisconsin, blocking methods and meals. In March, they grow to be teammates after the Giants minimize Zeitler for salary-cap financial savings and he indicators with the Ravens. In August, Zeitler mentors Bredeson throughout coaching camp. And, on Aug. 31, all the pieces will get turned the other way up.
At the moment, Bredeson is the Giants’ left guard — except a hand harm sidelines him Sunday in opposition to the Saints — and Zeitler is the Ravens’ proper guard. It’s as if in some way they swapped our bodies from 9 months in the past.
“It’s just funny how the world works,” Bredeson mentioned. “All of a sudden we switch teams in a year.”
The enterprise of the NFL comes at you quick. The win-now Ravens signing Zeitler, 31, finally made Bredeson expendable. The rebuilding Giants cutting Zeitler created a depth scarcity that made Bredeson, 23, a commerce goal.
“We were all jacked up to be teammates,” Zeitler instructed The Submit. “He was having one heck of a preseason — that I-figured-it-out moment as a young guy — and then boom, he gets sent off to New York.”
Right here’s the place Zeitler might’ve been bitter after he was the Giants’ greatest offensive linemen two years working. Until you understand that’s not his fashion.
“As sad as I was to see him go, I was excited for him because he definitely fits what the Giants are trying to do,” Zeitler mentioned. “I told him how much I loved playing for Jason Garrett and the system we were running, and how with coach [Joe] Judge you are really going to work hard but it pays off because you are going to be in the best shape of your life. And I told him all the good restaurants to hit up, too.”
Proper after receiving phrase of his commerce, Bredeson discovered Zeitler within the hallway of the Ravens facility. His retelling of the story appears like one pal introducing one other to a bunch of strangers at a celebration.
“I’m like, ‘You are giving 15 names right now, but I don’t have any faces, so I’ll just try to meet them when I get there,’ ” Bredeson mentioned. “But he told me I was going to love it. He’s a great friend, and somebody I’m going to continue to lean on as a great resource throughout my career.”
About 10 years in the past, Bredeson joined a bunch of different highschool soccer stars coaching at NX Degree Sports activities Efficiency in Wisconsin. Zeitler, a 2012 first-round choose, was one of many huge names within the NFL coaching group that concurrently used the identical facility. Bredeson earned his spot in that prestigious NFL coaching group final 12 months, after he was a fourth-round draft choose.
“I was always the young kid and Kevin was a big deal coming out of our area,” Bredeson mentioned. “For me, that was a sweet moment when you are working out every day with the guy you looked up to. I like to pick his brain and see what works for him and try it out.”
Bredeson has performed 85 % of the Giants’ offensive snaps, taking on as a full-time starter final week. Zeitler is the No. 34-ranked guard within the NFL, in accordance with Professional Soccer Focus, and his pull-block on Lamar Jackson’s fourth-and-1 sealed the Ravens’ huge Week 2 win over the Chiefs.
“It did suck, but what can you do?” Zeitler mentioned of his launch from the Giants. “Life throws crazy things at you. I loved my time with the Giants. No hard feelings at all. Now I’m trying to do my best out here, and Ben is there. He’s a strong, hard-nosed, young guy who is never going to complain, going to keep his feet turning every play, and he can handle it mentally.”
Zeitler didn’t give Bredeson any outdated Giants gear for his welcome to East Rutherford as a result of he saves all of it from every of his groups for retirement. However he did supply a tip: Buddy as much as Nick Gates, one of many Giants’ max-effort gamers, a fast learner and a co-captain.
So, think about Zeitler’s response watching his former staff play on Sept. 16, when Gates broke his leg at Washington.
“My wife was full-out balling in tears,” Zeitler mentioned. “We were on the phone with him as soon as we could, asking, ‘Do you need us to come down and bring you anything? We’re only 45 minutes away.’ Leaving New York, we definitely miss Gatesy. He’s a great leader.”
In a remaining serendipitous twist, Gates’ harm opened the door for Bredeson as a starter. If Bredeson’s hand forces him out Sunday, the Giants might begin their fourth totally different left guard in as many video games.
“A lot has been going on in a few weeks, and I’ve been trying to make an impact as much as I can as early as possible,” Bredeson mentioned. “There has been a little bit more responsibility added here and there. I just roll with it. This is where I’m at, and I’m going to make the most of everything.”