Although he’s been plagued by injuries throughout his NFL career, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford is being severely underrated this season. During his time with the St. Louis Rams, Bradford wasn’t exactly in the best position to succeed. Even when he was healthy and on the field, he was surrounded by a mediocre supporting cast, at best.
That won’t be the case in Philadelphia as Bradford will be surrounded by a plethora of talent. Not only will the 27-year old gunslinger have plenty of pass catching weapons to throw to in Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz, but he’ll be protected by one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. Yes, even with the loss of both starting guards, Evan Mathis and Todd Herremans, the Eagles will still provide one of, if not the best offensive line Bradford has ever played behind.
Let’s not forget Bradford will have the best stable of running backs in the NFL to hand the ball off to as well. His former college roommate at Oklahoma, running back DeMarco Murray, will lead the bunch with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles providing a whole lot of talent in the rotation as well. All of these factors go hand in hand with Bradford having one hell of a season in 2015, right?
Apparently not, because Bradford is being severely underrated heading into his first season with the Eagles. Despite being surrounded by a boatload of talent, people still don’t believe in Bradford, likely because of his injury history. It’s easy to get lost in the fact that he’s struggled to stay on the field throughout his career but if Bradford can stay healthy, there’s no reason why he can’t be one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL this upcoming season.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly runs a unique offense, unlike any other in the NFL and it’s proven to be one of the most “quarterback friendly” systems in the NFL. Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez all posted respectable numbers in Kelly’s uptempo spread attack so Bradford will likely do the same. He possesses the accuracy, arm strength and quick decision making that no other quarterback Kelly has worked with in the NFL had thus far.
Yet somehow Bradford is still being overlooked, whether it’s in preseason quarterback rankings or even fantasy football rankings. According to Andy Benoit of MMQB.com, Bradford is just the 22nd best quarterback in his positional rankings for the upcoming season. Here’s Benoit’s explanation for the projected Eagles’ starter’s ranking:
"22. Sam Bradford, EaglesHe’s almost impossible to critique given his injury woes. But if healthy (huge if) he’s a snappy, accurate passer fit for a spread scheme."
Rightfully so, Benoit calls Bradford’s health into question, which is perfectly fine. But he fails to mention just how perfect of a fit Bradford is in Kelly’s uptempo, spread scheme. “Snappy” and “accurate” don’t quite paint the full picture considering Bradford can make nearly every throw a quarterback needs to make in the NFL. If healthy, he’ll add a whole new dimension to the Eagles’ passing attack considering he is one of the better deep passers in the NFL.
But once again, Bradford’s health is the main point in any discussion surrounding him. Kelly is clearly banking on his sports science theories and training staff to get Bradford ready for the beginning of training camp and ultimately for the regular season opener on Monday Night Football against the Atlanta Falcons.
While it’s easy to see why so many people are concerned about Bradford’s health, it’s just as easy to forgot how good Bradford has been when he is on the field. If he can stay healthy and on the field for the Eagles during the upcoming season, one thing is for sure, Sam Bradford won’t ever be overlooked again.
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