Sam Bradford doing 'outstanding job' in OTAs, coach says

ByPhil Sheridan ESPN logo
Monday, June 6, 2016

PHILADELPHIA -- Three weeks after his brief holdout, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford has "taken this thing and run with it," according to coach Doug Pederson.

Pederson said Friday that Bradford had established himself as the top quarterback during organized team activities.

"I think he's done an outstanding job," Pederson said. "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. He's done a good job there."

Pederson said the Eagles' quarterback depth chart remains unchanged. Bradford is the No. 1 quarterback and will be the starter when the season begins. Chase Daniel is No. 2, and rookie Carson Wentz is the No. 3 quarterback.

"I've said that from day one," Pederson said.

Last week, though, both of Pederson's coordinators made comments that raised questions about the team's plan. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who was head coach of the Detroit Lions when they drafted Matthew Stafford in 2009, said he believed that a rookie should play when ready. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich said that the pecking order gave the team structure but that competition could change Bradford's status.

"It's still a competition," Pederson said. "Listen, I brought guys in here at all positions for competition. That's what makes you better. Iron sharpens iron. Don't misunderstand what we're saying. I've played the position. Donovan McNabb was drafted to take over my spot eventually. That's just the nature of the deal."

Pederson said an injury could change the depth chart. As for competition, he said he couldn't rule out Wentz or Daniel outperforming Bradford in training camp.

"But competition is great. 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."

Pederson also commended Wentz's work in OTAs, saying he has picked up the offense well and has great athleticism.

The Eagles signed Bradford to a two-year, $35 million contract in March. After they made the trade to move up to the No. 2 pick in the draft to take Wentz, Bradford skipped two weeks of voluntary practices and his agent requested a trade.

After the draft, with the chances for a trade diminished, Bradford returned to OTAs. He has been present ever since.