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.
Honestly I’m not concerned with the emotional stability of Sam Bradford with that being the case the reason why (IMHO) there seems to be concerns about Bradford is all due to Bradford himself. Bradford taking his brief hiatus indirectly shook the Eagles confidence in the player. The reoccurring theme to me seems to be “competition.” Until Bradford ran out of the complex due to competition the Eagles probably have second guessed their stance on him as being “their guy” yet they have to save face at least the HC has to with his stance on Bradford. With that being the case I think the Eagles players and brass are pleasantly surprised with how quickly Wentz is picking things up. I think he’s moving faster than all of them anticipated. I have read at least two articles where writers have said (granted its practice in shorts and probably just one day as well) Wentz has looked better than Bradford. Players have been giving Wentz a lot of praise, and he’s been doing things in camp leaders do. Now all this is well and good at least until the pads com on, but Wentz is impressing his coaches and teammates. Sure everyone can act as if they are okay with what Bradford did, but they can’t deny the fact he wants to be elsewhere and he’s implied he wants to be on a better team. In other words he doesn’t think very highly of his current teammates. The bottom line is winning is what matters most. IF Bradford gives the Eagles the best chance to win he’s going to play; however if the kid shows he’s ready to go week one and beats out Bradford and Daniel in camp and in the preseason why not start him day one?
Bradford isn’t my focus either. My central thrust here is that there is lack of leadership. If the head man points in a direction, it’s on the guys he hired to back him up, to actually back him up.
If winning is what matters most, isn’t it of utmost importance that the players know that the staff is moving in a unified direction? The coordinators publicly coming out and refuting what Pederson said, gives the impression that they disagree with the teams direction. Pederson is a brand new and unproven coach, and so far his starting QB has stormed off, and his coaches are publicly refuting him. It’s not a good look. It gives the impression that we’re worse off than we were under Kelly.
I wrote this article because it seems that fans can’t find the forest because all they see are the trees around them. People have made this into Bradford v Wentz, or “look at what a douchebag Bradford is”. In reality it isn’t really either. This all goes back to the leadership here.
When Bradford stormed off, he should have been demoted and sat behind Chase Daniel. But our leadership handed down no discipline. Our leadership has said that they will sit and develop Wentz, the initial pecking order being Bradford/Daniel/Wentz. Now first and third are competing?? It gives the impression of weakness of resolve at the top.
Mind you, Bradford isn’t the focus. However, Wentz is still brand new to the NFL. He is learning how the Eagles treat their athletes and once he gets to talk with more NFL veterans (especially QB’s), he will begin to compare what he has learned. We haven’t won a playoff game since 2009, and it’s not like players are lining up to come here anymore. Add to that the talent we can’t add to Wentz do to trading it away to get him, and you have to wonder what picture he’s forming in his mind of this place.
If there were better leadership right now, none of these things would be in question.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Right now I am also concerned with the leadership and the dysfunction of the Eagles. Perhaps there is some backtracking being done by the Eagles here. Like you mentioned nothing was done to discipline Bradford for leaving although these are voluntary workouts. All in all the players are choosing to come to these, but that doesn’t mean Bradford should be rewarded for coming back if the other guys were here working. Perhaps the message has changed (and certainly people are allowed to change their minds right) because they want to put Bradford on notice that he can’t come in, play like a dog, and think he’s going to keep his spot. If he truly wants another contract then he’s going to have to be at his best. All in all its too soon to judge this coaching staff, but these seemingly contradicting comments are most certainly a concern.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I agree with what you’re saying. I’m just saying that if the message changed it should be Pederson that introduced it first. The optics on this don’t look good.
I agree with you also. Coming from the coordinators it seems as if the house is a mess. I will state Pederson has somewhat hedged on the idea of Bradford being the guy. He didn’t do it directly, but he did mention that Bradford was missing valuable time and he implied he was starting to lose ground. Time will tell what Chase Daniel is here for. Personally I think the best case scenario is for Bradford to be out there and play his best season ever so the Eagles can move him and recoup a pick or two. I don’t have a lot of faith in the abilities in Sam. I just hope he shows some kind of worth for the Eagles sake. I never thought they should have brought him back even without knowing if they would have gotten a QB. I just felt he was a step in the wrong direction. So far he’s proving he was a bad decision still.
LikeLiked by 1 person
This is why I thought the Eagles would just let him leave after last season. I was galled when they actually re-signed him.
I think on this years team and with the division the way it is, if Bradford played 16 games we’d pull off at least 9-7 and win the East. That said, without at least one playoff win, winning the East is meaningless.
Even if we did win a playoff game behind Bradford, I don’t think we could get anything for him now. The Eagles have already tipped their hand about him leaving and with them needing cap space after they do Cox’s extension, paying Bradford 9.5M next year to ride pine isn’t happening.
Howie Roseman really is a shitty Poker player isn’t he?