Pederson Reiterates Sam Bradford is the Eagles Starter
The Eagles will likely head into training camp with Sam Bradford as their starting quarterback, but will he be the starting quarterback Week 1 when the Eagles hos the Cleveland Browns?
"I'll answer that question when we get there," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said on Friday when asked if one of the other quarterbacks clearly out-performs Bradford throughout training camp and preseason.
While Pederson reaffirmed that Bradford is the guy, it seems that he and his coordinators might not have gotten that memo. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich seemed to indicate that the quarterback position was more of a competition than Pederson is letting on.
“Competition is great," Pederson explained. "It helped me as a quarterback. I look at what Sam's done and he's taken this thing and run with it. It's unbelievable what he's done. I'm so excited about the direction he's going, and the stuff that he's doing on the field right now are the things that I expected and what I saw at the end of the season last year from Sam Bradford. And my message has always been, ‘Don't look over your shoulder, look forward,’ and that's what he's done. He's embraced it."
The Eagles wrapped up OTA practices Friday, and if the last three weeks of OTA have shown anything, its that Bradford is firmly entrenched as the guy - even if there was a fair and open competition, as Pederson discussed what has separated him fro the pack these past three weeks.
"One is leadership," stated Pederson. "The fact that he's embraced that huddle. It's his huddle. He steps in every day when we get ready to compete and he's aggressive with the guys in the huddle and that's great to see from your leader and from your quarterback. The way he has anticipated throws, his accuracy on throws, how well he sees the field. He throws a nice ball; a nice, deep ball; Things like that have really made him the guy that I knew he was. Those are things that are exciting, finishing up our off-season and getting ready for camp. "
The team will hold their mandatory veteran minicamp next week but it still seems highly unlikely based on Pederson's comments Friday that Bradford can lose his grip on the starting position, saying he has separated himself from the other quarterbacks in camp
"I think so. I think so," Pederson said. "I think he's done an outstanding job. Again, when you're spreading reps equally, with three guys, that's what you want to see, and I think he's really done a nice job and taken that next step to be the leader of this football team and be the starter, and he's done a good job there."
While it is assumed by many that Bradford will “win” the job, veteran Chase Daniels and rookie Carson Wentz have impressed.
"I've seen a lot," Pederson said about what he has seen fro his three quarterbacks during OTAs.
"I feel like Sam [QB Sam Bradford] is doing exactly what I've expected of him and what he's expected to do. He's having an outstanding offseason right now. These OTAs have been great for him. I think Chase [QB Chase Daniel] is right there as the backup right now and he's pushing and challenging Sam from the aspect of not only on-the-field stuff, but in the classroom, as well.And Carson [QB Carson Wentz] is learning. Carson has been doing very well. Each day he's taken a step in the right direction and you know, it's a great room. The room has a lot of great conversation, a lot of great dialogue, bouncing ideas, coming to me with ideas about plays and situations. It's been everything I've expected."