Weekend Reading: Deep Dive On Bradford

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Here are some Eagles-related links worth checking out this weekend.

Paul Domowitch of the Daily News takes a long look into Sam Bradford’s background:

On this particular day, an assistant coach from Michigan dropped by the school to make a sales pitch to young Sam.

The coach knew that, in addition to being an all-state quarterback, Bradford also played on the basketball and golf teams at Putnam City North. Which presented him with an opportunity to drop Michigan alum Tom Brady’s name into the conversation for the 100th time.

“You know, son,” the coach said. “Tom is a big golfer. I think I probably could arrange for you to play a round with him. Would you like that? He’d give you a few strokes, of course.”

Bradford looked at the coach, smiled, and without the slightest hint of arrogance, replied, “I don’t need any strokes.”

The Eagles will bring in offensive lineman Jared Wheeler for a workout Monday. Zach Berman on The Inquirer takes a look at some other free agent guard options.

Davin Joseph        6-3, 313, 31

A 2006 first-round pick who is a two-time Pro Bowler, Joseph received a $53-million contract from the Buccaneers in 2011. He played seven years in Tampa Bay before spending last year in St. Louis. He has experience in zone-blocking schemes.

Dan Connolly        6-4, 305, 32

Connolly was the starting left guard for the Patriots in the Super Bowl. He has 71 career starts and was a captain in New England.

Justin Blalock        6-4, 306, 31

The Falcons cut Blalock after he started 125 games at left guard over eight seasons. He’s missed only three games in his career, although he wasn’t viewed as an ideal fit in the Redskins’ zone blocking scheme.

Fletcher Cox told CSN Philly that the Eagles have the best front seven in the NFL:

“Being honest, I think we should be No. 1 in the league,” Cox said. “I say that for (several) reasons.

“We have a bunch of great guys, and they are going to put everything they got on the field. They are going to leave it on the field. They are a bunch of selfless guy that’s going to play for another and to let each other know they are there to win the games.”

Cox, speaking Thursday on Comcast SportsNet’s Quick Slants, singled out [Cedric] Thornton, a former undrafted free agent, as the Eagles’ most underrated player.

“Because he’s a hard-nose guy who comes out every day in practice, even on game day, just to show the whole NFL that he can be one of the top guys,” Cox said. “I talk to him every day [about] how he just wants to better himself. We watch each other, learn from each other and we compete against each other.”

Patrick Wall of Bleeding Green Nation lists four Eagles who may be a long shot to make the 53-man roster, including Earl Wolff:

Perhaps more than any other player on this list, Earl Wolff’s mission is clear: stay healthy and win the second starting safety job. The Eagles’ fifth round pick in 2013, Wolff has shown flashes, but his progress has been hampered by injury. In two seasons Wolff has played in only 18 games in two seasons, starting seven. Wolf missed the last eight games of the 2014 season after undergoing knee surgery, and has yet to step foot on the field for OTAs.

This year, though, Wolff will be facing stiffer competition than ever before. Walter Thurmond III appears to have the early lead in the race for the starting spot opposite Malcolm Jenkins, and that’s far from the end of it. Guys like Ed Reynolds and Jaylen Watkins are also vying for that spot.

Phil Sheridan of ESPN disagrees with Cary Williams’ assessment of Chip Kelly:

There are two areas of contention here. First, Williams’ belief that Kelly’s high-tempo practices wore the Eagles out for games seems consistent with the team’s December fade. The Eagles lost three consecutive games, dropping from 9-3 and first place in the NFC East to 9-5 and out of the playoffs. Could that have been a result of working too hard in practice all season?

Maybe, but doubtful. Kelly adjusts his practices constantly, accounting for player feedback, time of year and other factors. In 2013, the Eagles went 7-1 in the second half of the season, rising from 3-5 to 10-6 and the division title. Their biggest game of the 2013 season, the finale against the Dallas Cowboys, was a resounding victory.