Sam Bradford is the right Quarterback for the Eagles, but not the right leader

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They say that honesty is the best policy, but in Sam Bradford’s case that may not be true. The Eagles Starting Quarterback met the media for the first time since his holdout earlier today and approached it very candidly..but it was perhaps the worst thing he could have done.

Yes, Bradford was able to regain some respect from the fans by showing an understanding of their frustration and stating that he is willing to help Wentz develop..but it’s clear he’s still of the mindset that he’s “not the guy”..and going public with those long term concerns regardless of how well you sugarcoat them, isn’t what you want to see from a starting Quarterback.

If Bradford had walked into the presser and told the world that he was ready to earn his long-term future in Philadelphia after stating this..

“Philadelphia was the place that I wanted to be. I wanted to play well for the next two years, create that stability and then sign a longer-term deal and stay here..for the rest of my career.”

..then it would be a sign of potential repentance for Sam Bradford. A man who has changed his mindset after taking the wrong actions for the right motives and is now ready to earn his long term spot in Philly. Instead, he filled the presser with a mixed bag. From quotes like this..

“If I continue to play at a high level each week on the field, if we continue to win games, I believe I’ll be the starting quarterback.”

..to contrasting quotes such as these:

Sam was clear in one thing. He’s here because it’s his best option. He’s going to approach this season as he would any other..because it’s his job and he realizes failing to do so is only going to result in a bigger hole to dig himself out of. But Bradford is still very aware of the Eagles long term plan and is reluctant to roll over completely..

“…I’m not completely naïve. I think you realize if the organization made the move to get to (pick number) 2.. at some point, it’s probably not going to be my team.” 

Whilst it’s understandable and the Eagles starting Quarterback said all the right things regarding his short term future, Bradford is evidently still bitter about the Eagles decision to trade up for Wentz. He can preach about “leading” his team until the time comes when it’s his team no longer all day long, but the moment you make a statement in which you recognize that you’re not going to be around for long..it’s going to be much harder to lead those players.

Instead of addressing the situation with a single mindset and a willingness to finally give closure to the media so we can all move on from it and focus on preparing for the 2016 season, Bradford was intent on making his views known. I’m not saying that the former first overall pick should have came out, apologized for his actions and said everything that his Head Coach would most likely want to hear..but in continuing to express discomfort and frustration, Bradford is only making things worse for himself.

It would be hard to run any business after telling a local newspaper that one day it won’t be your business anymore and the same applies here. His teammates most likely understand his frustration and will support him, but that doesn’t mean he’s the right leader for this team. The right Quarterback? Absolutely. The right leader? Absolutely not.

What Sam Bradford confirmed today was that he’s all about him this season. Very rarely did Sam make a comment about the team or even once acknowledge his long-term vision of the franchise. Sure, he spoke about the loyalty of his teammates..but if he didn’t he would have a mutiny on his hands. But what he failed to mention even once..was his aspiration to help the Eagles move in the right direction, his focus on succeeding with the team or even a desire to win games.

Howard Eskin enquired why Bradford wouldn’t fight for his long-term future regardless of who they drafted. His response?

“You can fight for that but at the same time I think you have to realize what the situation is.”

The entire interview was extremely “Bradford-centric”. There was never a moment in which Bradford acknowledged how his actions have affected the franchise, only that he aims to win the fans back with his actions in the future..and even that was a direct response to a question asking about his reactions to the opinions of the Philly faithful.

In a stark contrast, one of the first things Carson Wentz ever mentioned after being drafted by the Eagles was that he wants to win championships with the birds. THAT’s a man who can put the city on his shoulders and march forward. Whether he’s ready to do so or not right now is highly debatable, but when the right time comes he most certainly will be.

Bradford is back in Philadelphia. Bradford is going to start in Philadelphia and he’s more than likely going to play well in Philadelphia. But he hasn’t forgotten about what happened just a few weeks ago and he’s very quick to remind people of that. The business side of Football is very murky and whilst his teammates are going to get behind their Quarterback regardless..it’s hard to get fully behind a man who one minute is claiming that he wanted to stay here for the rest of his career and the next that he isn’t completely naive and is aware of the Eagles long term plan. The Eagles are getting behind Sam Bradford the Quarterback, not Sam Bradford the Eagle and Offensive leader.

 

Photo credit: AP/Matt Rourke

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