Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Situation Must Be Sorted Out Sooner Rather Than Later

The Philadelphia Eagles had one of the most active off-seasons last year, including trading for quarterback Sam Bradford. But all of that roster movement brought them a 7-9 record and a seat on the couch for the playoffs. Bradford was far from the only reason the Eagles failed to succeed in 2015, but he certainly was a part of why Philly didn’t make the postseason.

In 2015 the former Oklahoma Sooner signal caller threw for 3,725 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, while completing 65.0% of his passes. Despite Bradford not exactly lighting the football world on fire, the Eagles gave the quarterback a two-year, $35 million contract, with $22 million guaranteed in March.

Given that contract, one would think that Bradford would the guy under center come Sept. 11 when the Eagles are scheduled to open their 2016 season against the Cleveland Browns. But then Philly traded up in this year’s draft so they could select a quarterback. Bradford and his agent were then publicly unhappy and tried to get the Eagles to trade Bradford. Philadelphia did not trade him and they selected Carson Wentz out of North Dakota State with the number two overall pick this year. Now the Eagles coaching staff is not on the same page regarding their team’s quarterback situation, but they need to be, and soon.

Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Situation Must Be Sorted Out Sooner Rather Than Later

Despite the Eagles trading up to take Wentz, and Bradford wanting to be traded, most, including Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, figured it was still Bradford’s job to lose,  at least for the 2016 season. Philly’s head coach said that the quarterback depth chart heading into the 2016 season was Bradford, Chase Daniel, and then Wentz.

“He’s my guy,” Pederson said of Bradford last week. “He’s my number one guy. I want him to embrace that. Carson [Wentz] has a long way to go with this system. He is learning every day, but Sam [Bradford] is the guy.”

That sounds like a good endorsement from the head coach, who should ultimately be making the decision on who plays, but offensive coordinator Frank Reich was asked in an appearance on WIP-94.1 FM on Wednesday if Bradford is the number one guy and he responded with:

“No, that’s probably not the right impression. I’ve been around this business a long time as a player and as a coach, and one of the things I’ve really come to appreciate is it’s not a contradiction to say you’ve got to have order. Because if you don’t order it’s chaos. So, if you’re the head coach you gotta come in and you’ve gotta establish order. There has to be organization, there has to be order, but the other thing that, as coaches, that you’ve got to establish is a culture of competition. This is one of the most competitive industries in the world and so, to say that there’s not competition, that’s just the furthest thing from the truth.”

Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz also chimed in on the Eagles quarterback situation via CBS Philadelphia.

“Don’t judge [Carson Wentz] on somebody else and then also, don’t predetermine the results of the race. Just let him go play. Don’t put pressure on him.”

While those comments are not entirely blasphemous, neither Reich nor Schwartz see Bradford as the clear starter right now, even though Pederson, the head coach, has said publicly that Bradford is his guy. The coaching staff and the team need to get on the same page with respect to who will start under center. The quarterback and the rest of the offense need time to work together this off-season so they can be gelling when the regular season rolls around. The quarterbacks splitting reps with the first team for a good chunk of the off-season would not bode well for offensive chemistry in 2016.

It’s like the old saying, “if you have two quarterbacks, you actually have none.” The Eagles need to figure out their quarterback depth chart with certainty, sooner rather than later.

 

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JANUARY 03:  Sam Bradford #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws the ball in the first half against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on January 3, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)