Bradford Delivers Bathroom Speech Before Win
In the back left corner of the Eagles’ locker room, a space tucked away below the midnight green seats, and the pink-tinged logos, and the pressure of 1-3, there is a bathroom.
The walls are lined with white and green tiles, and showers likely run hot, and it’s where Sam Bradford tried to save the Eagles’ season.
After the team returned from warm-ups, a number of players said, Bradford called the Eagles’ entire offense into the bright bathroom to give them pre-game inspiration.
“Sam pulled us back there by the showers and had an offensive meeting” Lane Johnson told reporters after the game. “[He] said, ‘It’s time to go. We have the talent. We have the ability. We just have to go out there and get it done. It’s just a matter of executing.'”
Johnson grinned as he recounted the story, and later added that it was the first time the team had a meeting in a bathroom.
Perhaps they should try it more often.
Bradford and the Eagles’ offense started slow once again on Sunday, with Bradford himself handcuffing their first two cohesive drives with red zone interceptions.
But the quarterback bounced back to finish with a 73.3% completion percentage and two touchdowns to accompany those turnovers, backing up his pre-game words with his best outing as an Eagle.
Bradford and the Eagles’ offense dominated New Orleans’ defense after the two interceptions, piling up 515 yards of offense, one of the highest tallies of Chip Kelly‘s 38-game tenure with the team.
Kelly said after the game that he was impressed with the way Bradford bounced back from his errors. Mistakes happen, Kelly said, citing a poor play call of his own: a screen pass in the red zone.
All he cares about is how you come back from them.
“I thought [Bradford] did a good job,” Kelly said. “That stuff’s going to happen; a lot of it is your response after it.
“We’re all going to make mistakes. When you make them, do you continue to dwell upon them? Or do you learn from it?”
At halftime, Bradford had just one touchdown pass to his two interceptions, and the Eagles only had 10 points and a three-point lead despite racking up 300 yards of offense in 30 minutes.
Bradford said after the game he was very happy with the way his teammates responded to the underwhelming first-half production, because they didn’t hang their heads after miscues and instead focused on the positives.
“We had 300 yards at halftime,” Bradford said. “I don’t think they had stopped us once. It was just, I was stopping us, throwing interceptions in the red zone.
“We knew it was still out there, we knew we were able to move the football on them. That really wasn’t the problem. At halftime, we were still confident.”
Still, it wasn’t a perfect outing from the Eagles’ newest steward. Bradford admitted he simply under-threw the ball on his first interception of the afternoon, an out-route to Riley Cooper in the end zone that should have resulted in a touchdown.
“The first one to Coop, I just missed the throw,” Bradford said. “It was behind him. You can’t miss that one behind him; you’ve just got to put it back to the pylon and let him go get it.”
But Bradford showed resiliency and fire in the Eagles’ second win of the season. For an offense, and a team, desperately in need of positives, Bradford provided the spark, and he said afterward he isn’t ready to rest on their laurels of one big victory.
“Obviously the win is nice,” he said. “The big thing for us, and this team, is to build on this. By no means are we where we want to be as a team, but I think today is a step in the right direction.”