Chip Kelly Wants To Keep Bradford In Philly
After Sam Bradford continued to show improvement while winning another game at quarterback for the Eagles yesterday, Chip Kelly touched on how Bradford fits in Philadelphia long term.
At his afternoon press conference today, the head coach was asked whether he wants Bradford to be his quarterback beyond the 2015 season.
“We’ve always wanted Sam here,” Kelly said. “We wouldn’t have traded for him if we thought he was going to be here for a year.”
Over his last four starts, Bradford has completed 80 of 123 passes (65.0%) for 898 yards, five touchdowns, one interception and a 96.9 rating. The Eagles are 5-1 in the last six games Bradford has started and finished and 6-2 in the last eight.
“Sam as a whole has progressed as the season’s gone along,” Kelly said. “It takes a long while to play quarterback in this league. There are so many different things you have to get. And when we got Sam, we knew — with any quarterback — it’s going to take some time. Name any quarterback playing at a really high level now and they’ve been playing in the same system for years — not for months — and that’s what Sam’s case is.
“He’s just been playing our system for months, but I’ve said it and I’ll continue to say it, I just see improvement from Sam on a weekly basis that gets you excited about him. I thought he threw the ball extremely well yesterday. We could’ve helped him a little bit better. I thought we had too many drops that really would have extended a lot of things for us on Sunday, but I think Sam has improved in all aspects of his game.”
Kelly was also asked how long he expected it to take for Bradford to reach the level he’s currently playing at. Although Bradford’s passer rating was just 77.4 yesterday, his one interception went through the hands of Brent Celek.
Bradford also completed a 53-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor, the third-longest touchdown of the quarterback’s career.
“There’s no timetable on it,” Kelly said. “I don’t think anybody knows, but I just know it’s not an easy position to play. Name a quarterback who’s playing well right now and then look at how many years he’s been in that system. Very rarely is it a first-year player that does that.
“Whether he’s moving into a system or whether he’s a rookie coming into the league — Andy Dalton was playing at a really high level, but now what year is he in Cincinnati’s system? Look at how well Cam [Newton]’s playing and look what year that is with him in Carolina; it’s five years for him. And then you look at the [Aaron] Rodgers’s, the [Drew] Brees’s, the [Tom] Brady’s, the [Ben] Roethlisberger’s.
“The guys that are playing really, really well right now, it’s because they’ve got experience. It’s something you can’t manufacture. It’s just — you have to let it play itself out.”