What’s Next For Sam Bradford?

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Photo By Jeff Fusco

Give Sam Bradford credit. As he approached a group of reporters on the practice field Tuesday, he knew what questions were coming before anybody said a word.

“Before we start,” Bradford said with a smile. “I do not know when I’m going to be back.”

The Eagles quarterback continued to participate in 7-on-7 drills, but he’s yet to take a snap during the 11-on-11 period.

Asked if he’d be ready for that by training camp, Chip Kelly said, “God, we hope so.”

Added Bradford: “If I’m not ready for 11 on 11 by training camp, then I think something has gone terribly wrong.”

The Eagles have two more minicamp practices Wednesday and Thursday. After that, many players will return to their home towns or go on vacation or attend various training facilities throughout the country.

Bradford, however, will stay in Philadelphia, learning the intricacies of the offense and taking the necessary steps to get back to full health.

“I’m gonna be around here most of the time,” he said. “We sat down a little bit last week with the strength staff and the training staff and kind of put together a plan. I think it’s five-and-a-half, six weeks from the time we leave Thursday to when we get back, so I plan on sticking around here and just continuing to work.

“We’re past just the weight room and training room stuff. It’s more getting on the field, working through some different drills, continuing to throw, continuing to do sports-specific stuff.”

Bradford has learned a variety of offenses during his time in the NFL. The passing concepts the Eagles use are not foreign to him, but the way Kelly often uses the quarterback to account for an unblocked defender in the run game is new.

“The biggest difference for me is the run game, some of the zone read stuff,” Bradford said. “I didn’t do that in college, obviously. I haven’t done that in the NFL, so I think some of the terminology and some of the reads in the run game have been a little different than what I’m used to.

“We have the option to throw the ball, not just run the ball. But I think it forces the defense to stay honest. If they want to really sell out to stop DeMarco [Murray] or [Darren] Sproles or Ryan [Mathews], they’re gonna leave something on the back side open. Whether I keep it and run for 5, 10 or throw the ball to a back side in route or something, it forces them to play it true.”

During Kelly’s time here, he’s only had one quarterback (Michael Vick) capable of making defenses pay on the zone read. Considering Bradford is coming off of two ACL injuries, chances are they’ll rely even more on packaged plays where he has the option to throw the ball, rather than run it on true zone reads.

Meanwhile, Bradford feels he has the smarts to efficiently operate the tempo aspect of the offense.

“I think you’ve gotta be able to make quick decisions,” he said. “This offense strives when you get that first first down, and you just get it rolling. I think that’s my job, get the first first down, get us moving and keep making quick decisions.”