Bradford: ‘I Don’t Think Anyone Should Be Worried’

Troy Taormina / USA TODAY Sports

Troy Taormina / USA TODAY Sports

After tearing the ACL in his left knee for the second time in as many seasons last August, Sam Bradford suggested he was contemplating retirement.

“To put all the work in to come back and to be ready — I thought that I was playing at a very high level in training camp last year — to have all of that taken away again, there was a brief period of time where I really wasn’t sure that I wanted to go through it again,” he said. “But I went home, kind of cleared my head for a week and realized that there’s no way that football cannot be a part of my life.”

So he got to work, and set off on a rehabilitation regimen that was all too familiar. It was more difficult on him mentally than physically the second time around, he said, but he’s been able to push through. The 27-year-old QB is not fully recovered quite yet and the timetable for when he will be 100 percent is “kind of up in the air right now,” but he does expect to be ready for training camp.

From what the doctors tell him, the fact that he suffered two ACL tears to the same knee in such a short time was “kind of one of those freak deals,” though it was agreed that this time they would take the rehab process a bit more slowly. Bradford says he understands if Eagles fans are skeptical given the injury history.

“I’d probably be a little apprehensive, too. But I know how hard I’ve worked to get back the second time around. I’m ready to go,” said Bradford at his introductory press conference. “As soon as they clear me, I can’t wait to get on the field. I don’t think anyone should be worried. I think once they see me on the field and see how hard I’m going to work to get back, I think all those doubts will be gone from their minds.”

Interestingly enough, Bradford revealed that he has known for the past three or four weeks that he might be heading to Philadelphia via trade. That doesn’t mean that his head still wasn’t spinning some, being on a new team in a new city and standing in front of the large Philadelphia media contingent (“It’s already more people than in St. Louis,” he joked) but he sounded excited to have landed with Chip Kelly and the Eagles.

“I think any quarterback in this league would love to play for Chip in his offense,” he said. “It’s extremely quarterback friendly. In the tape that I’ve watched, it just looks like it’s a lot of fun to play in. I think it’s similar to what I did in college at Oklahoma, so I’m extremely excited to be here and ready to get rolling.”

What are the similarities?

“I think making quick decisions, getting the ball out of your hand. A lot of the run-pass options are similar to what we did in college — obviously not me running the football, but the running backs with some of the quick game — and then pushing the ball down the field in play-action. There is just a lot of carryover into what we did at Oklahoma, and I think my skill set fits that perfectly.”

His roommate at Oklahoma was DeMarco Murray, and Bradford says he’s “absolutely” been recruiting him to come to the Eagles.

While time will tell whether this will be his long-term address or just a pit stop, Bradford was certainly talking like he wants to do right by this organization.

“I think I have a lot to prove. I have a lot to prove to everyone in this building. I think Coach Kelly took a leap of faith bringing me in here, obviously he believes in me, and now it’s my time to prove to everyone else in this building that I belong here,” he said.