Training Camp is just around the corner and as important as it is for every team in the NFL and every player who participates, for Sam Bradford, it may be his most important in his entire career.
Sam Bradford was signed with a huge question mark over his head. With two ACL injuries to his name, could he be the Quarterback to take this team to greatness or would old demons come back to haunt the former number one pick? Bradford participated in OTA’s with his brace still on the leg as his rehab is nearing the end, but he only took part in 7-on-7 action. Training camp will mark the first time, in a long time that he will take part in 11-on 11.
The former Ram has seemed confident that he will be ready for training camp which is encouraging, even more encouraging is that there are no sources spreading negative press around or doubting his fitness levels. As far as everyone knows, Bradford will be almost back to 100% come August 2nd. But here’s what people aren’t talking about. The Quarterback has already spoken about how his 7-on-7 experiences felt faster than what he’s previously experienced. He actually performed solidly in OTA’s but if there is a learning curve to be had, then it’s set for a steep incline come August.
Not only does Sam Bradford have to adapt to 11-on-11 scenarios but then prepare for pre-season and league games, but he has to do it fast. To do so, that means taking a lot of reps to familiarise himself with such a complex Offense. It only took roughly 60 reps last year for his ACL to cost Bradford his entire 2014 campaign. There has to be a balance. The Offense he finds himself in right now is very different to that in St. Louis. It’s a lot more demanding. With the tempo being as fast as it is, that ACL is going to be put under a lot more stress than in recent years..
Whilst wanting to give Bradford enough room to breathe and ease his way back into full contact competition, the coaching staff need to make sure that he is ready for a game. Becuase when the lights come on, the midnight green colours are radiating from the Quarterback, should a sack come..Bradford has to be able to take it without losing his cool or his confidence. A tackle from an opposing NFL Defense is very different compared to a tackle from a teammate.
Now, I think it’s a given that should he come out of Training Camp fully healthy, that he is going to put hugely impressive numbers on the board. Michael Vick, Nick Foles and even the Sanchize himself have all succeeded under Kelly’s system, someone with a skillset such as Bradford’s will be no exception. It’s just making sure that Bradford is more mentally and physically prepared than ever. Eagles fans have every faith in Chip and rightly so, the question is, can Bradford have the season he was always destined for?