News emerged earlier that Sam Bradford won’t get the start against the Colts on Sunday but will play against the Ravens for the Eagles second pre-season game. The story has caused a lot of concern amongst fans, but it’s not all bad news. Here are three reasons that Bradford’s absence actually benefits the Eagles.
3. Fall before you fly eagles fly
Despite claiming he’s 100%, sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry. Bradford may be disgruntled with Chips decision but the last thing any of us would want is Bradford to go all out against the Colts and pick up an injury that could have huge consequences on the regular season. He has been lighting up practice, there is no concern over his ability at this point. He’s had maybe one off day out of ten..and even that was still more impressive than Sanchez. There are a number of reasons for keeping him out of a game scenario for one more week, but the biggest benefit has to be an extra week of live training scenarios with Baltimore to ease him back into game situations and to make sure he is beyond 100% and is ready to go a full game.
2. Quarterback Wars: Tebow strikes back
It’s already been noted by Chip Kelly that the majority of the reps in the opening pre-season game will fall onto the shoulders of Matt Barkley and Tim Tebow. Which means one thing. Chip is still undecided as to who is going to line up as QB3 on the final roster. Whilst having Bradford take the reigns would be amazing to see, giving Tebow a game scenario to fully see how much he has/hasn’t improved is a better option for team harmony. Settle the position battles early and build chemistry. It gives Barkley one last do or die bout to determine his future as a Philadelphia Eagle with trade rumours arising for the QB who falls short of the final roster. It’s very hard to determine who you want on your roster for 16 weeks based just off of training camp scenarios. You want to see how your QB performs over an entire quarter or even an entire game in a competitive scenario, making pre-season the perfect opportunity for Barkley and Tebow to prove their worth.
1. The bigger picture
This is arguably the most controversial point on the list but also the most important. If Sam Bradford stepped out onto Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, he would no doubt be the focal point of all media attention. Camera’s watching his every step just waiting to pick at the slightest error or until he endures a big hit. By removing that pressure, it forces to the cameras and indeed the fans to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. This team is more than just Sam Bradford and this is only a pre-season game.
Bradford’s absence gives us a chance to look at every other Eagles player and see how much of an overall step forward taken. This Offense requires the strongest of chemistry and seeing how tight the unit bond together with 2-3 Quarterbacks all taking reps is going to be a very telling sign of how successful the team is going to be. If each QB has a scoring drive or if each running back picks up decent yardage then it shows just how well the O-Line have played and how dynamic this Offense has the potential to be.
With so many receiving options and different Quarterbacks naturally having better partnerships with different receivers due to time spent with them on the practice field, it will also give each wideout a real shot to show what they can do in a bid to make the roster.