WAY back on May 13th (13 days ago, less than 2 full weeks), I wrote an article blaming the Eagles organization for creating the problem with Sam Bradford. I got a lot of backlash from my readers, and I have to admit that it stung a little. Fast forward to today and here again they seem to be pulling the rug out from under Bradford.
Two days ago Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz said about the QB pecking order here “don’t pre-determine the result of the race.”
Yesterday on WIP radio, Offensive Coordinator Frank Reich would not cop to the idea of Bradford being the clear Starter.
However, Head Coach Doug Pederson has said things like:
“He’s my guy”. He’s the No. 1 guy. I just want him to embrace that. Let’s not look backward. Let’s look forward.”
“I expect Sam to not look over his shoulder. I expect Sam to look forward. He’s getting himself ready for the season. He’s getting ready for Cleveland. …That is the message I gave him. No need to look over your shoulder. You’re the guy. Let’s embrace it, let’s go.”
Pederson’s quotes aren’t from February or March. They’re from May 17th . Nine days ago. NINE!
How is the team supposed to get on the same page, if the coaching staff can’t? Unless this is a case of the tail wagging the dog, and Pederson is just a figurehead… Seems to me that when the HC makes a call, it’s the job of his staff to back him up. Any misgivings they have with his decisions should be closed door discussions.
For his part, Reich did his best to tap dance around refuting his boss. He muddled around with a statement about how it was necessary to say Bradford was the starter to establish sense of order, but that even with that order established, there must be competition. That by the way, is total horseshit. It completely flies in the face of what Pederson said when he said “No need to look over your shoulder. You’re the guy.” It seems that Doug and Frank need to have closed door discussion.
Schwartz didn’t tap dance. Some have an issue with a Defensive coach talking about QB’s, but I don’t. My issue with Schwartz is that he too, is speaking out of turn on two counts. The first is that he knows what his boss is trying to do, and should back him at least publicly. Second, Schwartz cites his experience with playing QB Matt Stafford as a rookie in Detroit. Trouble is, that doesn’t correlate with this situation at all.
Look, Pederson has it in his head that he wants to develop Carson Wentz instead of throwing him to the wolves. All reports say that Wentz throws a pretty ball that is easy to catch, but there is more to being an NFL QB than that. Making the jump from a FCS college team to the NFL (as Wentz is doing) is a bigger leap than the one Stafford had to make coming from a FBS college team.
The FBS produces better NFL players. Here is a list of FCS teams and a list of FBS teams. This is why even draft scouts called Wentz “developmental”. Sure there’s a chance he could get lucky and be just dandy out there. But the odds are slim that a guy who played against second rate college competition, will hit the ground running as a rookie in the NFL. This is why Pederson wants to develop Wentz, and it is the only reason Bradford is starting.
So if Pederson has a plan, and if he’s already publicly made a decision, shouldn’t that plan and that decision be backed up by his staff? Or are we about to watch the HC have his plan overruled by the staff? And what would Bradford’s reaction be to that? At what point will people begin to acknowledge that he is getting a little bit more screwed by this organization every day? It makes me wonder why they even bothered to re-sign him. I can’t stand Bradford, so it pains me to have to say these things. but fair is fair.
The bottom line here, is that management has destabilized the QB position on this team, and it seems there is no end in sight. I wonder what the next 13 days will bring.