Eagles Camp Notes: Bradford Looking for Papal Help?
Perhaps the most encouraging part of Sam Bradford's training camp performance thus far has been the fact that the oft-injured signal caller has been able to take the vast majority of first-team reps since Day 1.
There has been no scaling back of his workload and no maintenance days for Bradford but that hasn't stopped some Eagles fans from starting an online petition calling for Pope Francis to bless Bradford‘s knees when the Pontiff visits Philadelphia this fall.
“If I got to meet the Pope, I think that would be pretty cool,” Bradford said after Tuesday's practice when told about the effort. “If he wanted to bless my knees, then all I’m for it.”
Bradford had one of his better days at camp, particularly when throwing the back-shoulder fade in the hurry-up offense, a staple of Aaron Rodgers' repertoire in Green Bay and a weapon that could help the Eagles greatly in the red zone by utilizing the size and strength of receivers like Jordan Matthews and Riley Cooper.
Bradford is medically cleared to debut Sunday against Indianapolis but Chip Kelly is still weighing whether to put his projected Week 1 starter in harm's way this early.
Bradford, however, would like to knock off some of the rust even if it's just for a series or two.
"I think it would just make me more anxious for the second game," Bradford said when asked about sitting out against the Colts. "I kind of went through that last year when I was in St. Louis. (Rams) coach (Jeff) Fisher decided to hold me out of the first preseason game. You get those butterflies any time you start to get to play again and to have to wait another week to play, the buildup obviously intensifies and you just get a little more anxious."
*The biggest position battles continue to be at nickel back after the ACL injury to rookie JaCorey Shepherd and right guard where ex-Seattle third-round pick John Moffitt was the latest to get first-team reps after a two-day audition for Julian Vandervelde.So far Moffitt, Vandervelde, Matt Tobin and Andrew Gardner have each gotten two practices with the first team.Does that make the Day 9 guy the winner? Perhaps, at least until practice No. 10.Kelly, meanwhile, threw a new wrinkle into the mix at slot cornerback by announcing rookie second-round pick Eric Rowe would now be taking some reps inside after spending the entire offseason and the first week of camp outside the numbers."We're going to rotate a lot of guys in there," Kelly claimed. (Jaylen) Watkins will be in there, Eric Rowe will be in there, [CB E.J.) Biggers will be in there, and we all know that we have Walter (Thurmond) and Malcolm (Jenkins), but we had already planned for the first two weeks of just using corners in there anyway. We'll make an adjustment if need be after this Colts' week."Watkins remains Plan A with Shepherd out of the mix.
"Jaylen has done a nice job," Kelly said. "He did a nice job since camp has started, so I know Billy (defensive coordinator Bill Davis) and Cory (defensive backs coach Cory Undlin) have been happy with him. He's got some versatility: he's got nickel, he's got corner, he's got safety ability. But we feel like Jaylen has done a nice job since we got here."
*ILB Kiko Alonso missed his filth straight practice due to a concussion.