What They’re Saying About the Eagles

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Sam Bradford. (USA Today Sports)

Here’s what the local and national media are saying about the Eagles this week.

ESPN’s John Clayton believes the Eagles should give Sam Bradford a contract similar to the one the Rams gave Nick Foleswrites NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks.

The Eagles have a decision to make when it comes to quarterback Sam Bradford, who is set to become a free agent this offseason.

The debate is going on in San Francisco as well, and speaking on radio row Tuesday, ESPN analyst John Clayton sounded skeptical that the Eagles should pay what it will take to keep Bradford.

“I think they should, but they have to watch the price. Maybe if they want to do a provisional contract, like Nick Foles (got from the St. Louis Rams) at two years, $24 million and change, that would be a fair thing,” Clayton said. “If the cost goes up to $16 million, that is manageable, but it would have to be a (Miami Dolphins quarterback) Ryan Tannehill type deal, where they could get out of it after a year or two.”

Also from Shorr-Parks, former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon believes the Eagles should give Bradford time to prove himself in a familiar system.

Gannon is in someways a good example of what Bradford could become for the Eagles, as he struggled early on in his career before playing some of his best football later. In fact, Gannon didn’t even make the playoffs until his 12th season. Bradford has yet to make the playoffs six seasons into his career.

“In today’s NFL, we have no patience,” Gannon said. “We fire coaches after a few seasons, we fire coordinators if things don’t go well early. If you look at the great teams in football, like the Patriots, they have had great continuity with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Even when they lose coordinators they keep the same system and promote from within.”

As for Bradford, Gannon believes a lot of his struggles have been because of the constant change around him, whether it be in St. Louis or with the Eagles.

“I think that has been the challenge for Sam. If you really study Sam Bradford, his first three years in St. Louis, he had three different systems, three different coordinators,” Gannon said. “I think you can ride this guy out. If you look at the system he is going to play in now, it is very similar to the system he played in his first season in St. Louis. I think he is probably a guy who will function a bit better in that system.”

The Inquirer’s Bob Ford writes that Vinny Curry, who now has a chance to start over with Jim Schwartz, would have been a favorite of Jim Johnson.

Jim Johnson referred to defensive linemen who could get after the quarterback as “fastballs,” and the former Eagles coordinator liked to throw as many of them as he could.

Vinny Curry, whose singular identifiable NFL skill is that he can cause an awful lot of havoc in the backfield, would have been Johnson’s kind of guy. There are some other things at which he might not be as proficient, but for a defensive coach who believes the most important job is making the opposing quarterback uncomfortable, Curry is a valuable card to hold.

From what we can tell so far, Jim Schwartz, the new defensive coordinator on head coach Doug Pederson‘s staff, doesn’t mind having some fastballs, either. The front office gave him one this week, locking up Curry to a long-term contract that keeps the 2012 second-round pick out of free agency.

By locking up Vinny Curry, and likely Fletcher Cox, the Eagles’ defensive line has become a tricky situation, writes Tommy Lawlor.

The DT position is now very tricky.

Cedric Thornton is a free agent. Bennie Logan is in the final year of his deal. Cox is also in the final year of his deal, but if anything goes wrong in negotiations they would just use the franchise tag on him. He will be an Eagle in 2016 and 2017 at the very least.

I think Jim Schwartz would like to have 4 DTs to regularly rotate. He’ll have Cox and Logan starting this year. There are no clear backups. Beau Allen is more of a 3-4 NT. The Eagles have to figure out if he can be effective in the new system. Taylor Hart has the kind of frame that Schwartz loves, but he might not be DT material. Hart may need to go to a 3-4 team where he is a natural DE.

Travis Raciti was on the practice squad in 2015, but he could be an excellent fit in the new scheme.

Should the Eagles take a look at Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, or Johnny Manziel? Philly Voice’s Jimmy Kempski weighs in.

Robert Griffin III

In 2012, a number of offenses began implementing zone read looks, and opposing defenses weren’t quite ready for it. 2012 was the year Griffin won Rookie of the Year honors and led the Redskins to an NFC East title. It was also the year the Niners went to the Super Bowl with Kaepernick at the helm. As they do with any “new” offensive look, defenses adapted, and quarterbacks who relied on those concepts to succeed are faltering years later.

Griffin’s decline accelerated more quickly than Kaepernick’s because he was seriously injured. He was eventually benched during the 2015 preseason in favor of Kirk Cousins, who at the time was the most interception-prone starting quarterback in the NFL.

In games Griffin played the majority of the snaps in 2014, the Redskins went 1-6. He threw four TD passes on the season, was picked off 6 times, fumbled 9 times and was sacked 33 times. That is absurdly bad.