Bradford-Kelly Combo Hits Field For First Time

Sam Bradford. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Sam Bradford. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Chip Kelly and Sam Bradford will work together on the practice field for the first time today.

During the first two weeks of the offseason training program, called Phase One, activities are limited to strength and conditioning and physical rehabilitation. We are now on to Phase Two, where player instruction and individual drills are permitted.

“So it’s our first look at what he is and where he is and what he can do,” said Kelly.

Bradford, recovering from his second torn ACL in as many seasons, is expected to be limited this spring but told reporters back in March that he plans on being ready for training camp.

“He’s on schedule from talking to our doctors and our trainers,” said Kelly. “I think when we traded for him the following Sunday, he was in this building, and he’s been here every day since.  I think he’s gone home one weekend.  He’s working extremely hard.  Really progressing out there.

“He can run around.  It’s a total non‑contact thing.  We don’t have any equipment on.  He can run around, we just haven’t specifically sat down to see what he can do, but we’re in the infancy stages of our offseason program.”

There was some question as to whether Kelly and Bradford would ever get to this moment. The head coach acknowledged that he had interest in trading up for Marcus Mariota. Multiple reports suggest that he was willing to include Bradford as part of a substantial package for his former QB. Kelly says no players were discussed. Regardless, Tennessee didn’t bite, the Mariota ship has sailed, and the head coach’s fates are now officially tied to Bradford — at least in the short term.

Kelly made the decision to move on from Nick Foles this offseason in favor of the former No. 1 overall pick out of Oklahoma. How does he know Bradford is going to be an upgrade?

“You don’t,” he told CSN’s Derrick Gunn. “You have to make educated decisions based on the information that you have and sometimes you’re right, and sometimes you’re wrong. But I think the one thing everybody’s got to know is we’re going to continue to try to make this thing a championship operation and that’s what this deal is all about.

“Ten wins … has it been fun that we took over a 4-12 team that has won 20 games in the past two years? We went from 4-12 to 20-12, but we still haven’t won a playoff game and we understand that. We’ve got to get better and we’re always going to strive … the one thing I can promise is that we’re not going to just sit there and hopefully in a couple of years we’re going to build this thing. We’re not waiting for the draft of 2017 to turn this thing around.

“If you want to play with the odds as we want to play, it’s got to be with a quarterback situation and then the only way you’re going to get a quarterback is you got to be really not very good so you finish in the top 1-2 in the draft. If we’re not very good and we finish with the top 1-2 in the draft, I don’t think I’m going to be here, so we better find another way to find a quarterback. And that’s what we did with Sam.”