As we all know by now, the Eagles moved up to the second overall pick in the Draft and selected quarterback Carson Wentz. Now, the Philly faithful want to see the returns in the investment immediately. However that might not be the smartest idea. Allow me to just explain my thought process before you click out of this article.
Doug Pederson continues to make it clear that Sam Bradford is the Eagles starting quarterback. Barring injury to Bradford, his stance on that is probably going to remain the same. People wonder why, and are quick to highlight their frustration at the idea. Which, if you truly believe the Eagles aren’t going to be competitive in 2016, is the wrong reaction to have.
The Eagles believe they can compete for the NFC East crown this season. The argument many fans have been having is, “Why not just start Wentz and try to compete with him?” That’s fine, understandable, and not completely out of the realm of possibilities. There have been plenty of instances where rookies have led their teams to the postseason.
Since 1983, a total of 12 rookie quarterbacks, have led their teams to the playoffs. Those names consist of:
and Robert Griffin III.
All of them started majority of the games their rookie seasons. But, only five played a full 16 (Wilson, Luck, Dalton, Ryan, and Flacco).
So clearly as you can see, it’s definitely possible that Carson Wentz can lead Eagles to the playoffs. But the likelihood of it happening, is slim. Teams and coaches will always come out to the public and say they’re going to be competitive and why wouldn’t they?
The harsh truth is that if Carson Wentz was a Quarterback ready to start in the NFL come week one, the Eagles would not have invested so heavily in Sam Bradford and instead sought out a trade up to a top pick much earlier. Wentz is an incredible talent..but as Coach Pederson alluded to in his press conference yesterday, he still has a long way to go.
Pederson says Carson Wentz has a long way to go in learning this offense. #Eagles
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) May 17, 2016
Pederson on whether Wentz will get a few series per game: "That’s hard to say when I got Chase Daniel sitting there.”
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) May 17, 2016
If you made up your mind already and want Carson Wentz as the Eagles starter week one, more power to you. This article obviously shouldn’t change your mind. You have every right in wanting to see the investment the Eagles made play. I’m just voicing my opinion on how I believe the Eagles as a team view the situation.
They believe they can win the NFC east. They don’t want to put that competitive pressure on a rookie quarterback just yet..especially one who has such a raw skill set that whilst impressive, needs a lot of work. It’s understandable, they paid Bradford his money purposely, so he’d start this year for them. Doug Pederson being a former quarterback himself, doesn’t want to put any type of pressure on a rookie quarterback.
Sam Bradford proved last season that he can not only start, but he can win games. In fact, in his 63 career games, Bradford has only lost 15 when his team have rushed for 100 yards or more. That may sound like a skewed statistic but as Liam Jenkins proved in an article a few months ago, the trend of a successful backfield and a winning Quarterback didn’t go hand-in-hand in 2015.
” QB records when the team rushed for 100+ yards
Alex Smith 10-3
Russell Wilson 10-5
Sam Bradford 7-1
Ryan Fitzpatrick 7-1
Kirk Cousins 6-1
Jameis Winston 5-7
Matt Ryan 5-4
Tom Brady 5-1
Derek Carr 4-2
Matt Stafford 4-2
Drew Brees 4-2
Blake Bortles 3-2
Ryan Tannehill 3-3
Eli Manning 2-2
Marcus Mariota 2-5″
We could go on all day about why Sam Bradford should start and the reason’s are relatively obvious. As a Quarterback, Sam Bradford is by far the best option if the Eagles want to go out and compete. He has an abundance of experience and like it or not, is coming off a very strong end to his 2015 season regardless of the off-the-field controversies.
Choosing to start a rookie and deny him of the environment to learn and marinate would defy the entire purpose of drafting him. Wentz would not just benefit from time to learn in such a QB friendly coaching tree but likely become a drastically better Quarterback because of it. For the Eagles to risk stunting that development for no logical reason when you have a perfectly capable game-winning QB in Sam Bradford would be absurd.
If/when the Eagles get eliminated from playoff contention, during any point of the season, we’ll maybe see Carson Wentz. If Bradford gets injured, but the Eagles still have a shot at postseason, we’ll see Chase Daniel. That’s just how it’s going to go.
Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports