Is Sam Bradford the leader the Eagles need?

What’s wrong with Sam Bradford?

All the hype leading up to the season talked about how Sam Bradford would excel in the Eagles high octane offense and how his accuracy and arm strength would propel him into the elite of the NFL. Resurrecting his career in the process with mastermind Chip Kelly and his creative schemes. Instead Bradford looks very timid, confused,scared, and hasn’t shown the qualities of a team leader.

To Bradfords defense, receivers haven’t done him many favors by dropping so many catchable passes. In the opening two games, balls have deflected off of various receivers’ hands for turnovers, as they struggle to find any separation to get some space and make the defense pay with YAC.

The line hasn’t done their part either allowing steady pressure in Bradfords face forcing him to rush throws and get rid of the ball long before he normally, forcing his throws to often be wayward and occasionally aimed at the wrong receiver entirely.

Bradford is under a microscope like no other in Philadelphia and this season means when it comes his future in Philadelphia. Bradford is making 16 million this year in the final season of his rookie contract and coming off 2 well documented ACL tears is at a crossroads of his career.

With the less than dismal performance in back to back games things aren’t looking good for Bradford or the Eagles. Bradford has 3.2 yards past the line of scrimmage per play on average..the second lowest in the league next to Matt McGloin of the Oakland Raiders. The NFL average sits at 6 yards.

Bradford has 2.2 seconds in the pocket before he feels pressure as compared to 2.6 as the league average. This is a sign of poor line blocking (As evident in the Dallas game where we saw defensive lineman after defensive line man tackling Murray when he tried to run). Bradford is forced to release the ball quicker than he wants causing the timing with his receivers to be off as well. The speed in which the ball leaves his hand is very low compared to what it could be, resulting in getting tipped a lot through the line of scrimmage whilst the bad throwing angles are causing a lot of poor balls out to the wide outs.12042209_10153504629366294_195325220_n

As I try to analyze this to be fair to Bradford, the offensive line is playing very poorly. Missed blocks and poor blocks are having a huge effect on the former Ram getting comfortable in the pocket and his ability to follow through on his throws. Having a lack of running game and picking up poor penalties forces obvious passing downs on almost every play. The windows are getting too small and we have yet to see a deep ball thrown in 2 games.

It almost makes you wonder why we let Desean go (Sorry had to go there) because he opened up the middle of the field for guys like Murray/Matthews/Sproles, Ertz and Celek to work.
While the Eagles have a number of problems and not just Bradford, he needs to assume a better leadership role. We need a guy who is going to take command of the huddle and earn the respect of his teammates and lead the team in tough times. We need him to show he has the heart of a Philadelphian, to dig deep and pull out something when there’s nothing left. We need a guy who has the us against the world attitude and embraces it. I’m not so sure we have that in Sam.

Bradley Barnes
Philly Sports Network