We’re weeks away from Philadelphia’s Monday night season opener in Georgia against the Falcons. In arguably the busiest, and most controversial, offseason for any team in NFL history, the Eagles face several questions. One of those questions could be partially answered tomorrow night against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Eagles traded LeSean McCoy, dropped Evan Mathis, Todd Herremans and Brandon Boykin and failed to re-sign Trent Cole and Jeremy Maclin. The Eagles signed DeMarco Murray, Bryon Maxwell, Ryan Mathews and Tim Tebow, traded for Kiko Alonso and drafted Nelson Agholor and Eric Rowe.
The biggest transaction, however, was Sam Bradford.
Philadelphia finished second in the NFL last season in sacks. Philadelphia finished 10th in Defense DVOA last season. They have one of the best front sevens in football. They should be even better with an improved secondary.
It won’t mean anything if Bradford can’t be the guy.
All reports from Philadelphia’s training camp have been positive about Bradford’s play.
He’s accurate, in rhythm, smart, ready and most importantly, healthy.
That’s nice. It’s nice to see he’s effective in basically touch football.
No one ever doubted Bradford’s arm. Even though his numbers while quarterbacking the St. Louis Rams suggest otherwise, Bradford has always been considered a precise, consistently accurate quarterback.
He just has never been able to stay on the field.
Tomorrow marks Bradford’s first chance to showcase his accuracy in game-like scenery.
Expect him to throw accurate. Expect him to be in rhythm. Expect him to be smart. Expect him to be ready. And pray to God he stay healthy.
Bradford has skill players he never had with the Rams. Philadelphia’s third running back, Darren Sproles, might be the most explosive player Bradford’s ever played with, and he’ll only touch the ball 10 times a game. Even though Bradford will be without tight end Zach Ertz for the preseason, and maybe Murray tomorrow night; he has plenty of options to showcase his ability. Ideally, Bradford plays one series resulting in a touchdown throw before getting the rest of the night off.
But it’s not always an ideal world.
Bradford could throw five touchdowns to zero interceptions in five drives tomorrow night, but the “can he stay healthy?” question will still linger.
That’s why, even if Bradford throws well tomorrow, the question of if Bradford can be the guy can only be partially answered, but that’s just the way it is.