Weekend Reading: The Bradford-Wentz Dynamic

Plus: What will be the biggest training camp battle?

Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

Carson Wentz and Sam Bradford. (Jeff Fusco)

This weekend’s roundup of the national stories about the Eagles.

Kurt Warner explains the Sam Bradford and Carson Wentz dynamic.

You’ve got one guy that’s supposed to be the starter that you’ve paid a lot of money to. There’s another guy, the young guy, that you expect to be the future of the franchise. But then the guy that’s in between those two is probably the guy that knows the offense better than anybody. So, very interesting room…I think they’re saying all the right things right now.

I think the real test will be when we get into a competitive situation and they’re competing to start for this football team, is it all smiles and patting each other on the back? Or when does it get competitive…because the hard part is when you start getting into a competition, you deal with that little guy that’s on each shoulder that says ‘okay, tell them everything you need to tell them and get them ready so that they can be the best player.’ And then on the other shoulder, it’s like ‘well don’t give them all your secrets because you don’t wanna be used against you when it comes time to compete.’

And so, that’s the thing that these guys are going to deal with, and hopefully, knowing a guy like Sam Bradford, a great young man, I don’t know about Carson, but I’ve heard some tremendous things about him, hopefully it’s ‘hey, we’re all going in this together, we want to have the best quarterback on the field, we’re gonna share everything we possibly can, and then we’re gonna let it fall as it may. Whoever the best quarterback is, we want on the football field,’ but that’s easier said than done when it comes to competition time.

Cameron DaSilva of FOX Sports takes a look at the Eagles’ quarterback battle and gives his prediction on what will happen.

Los Angeles took a quarterback first overall, and the Eagles followed suit with the second pick. Like [Jared] Goff, Carson Wentz isn’t ready for the pros at this moment — less so than Goff — but he has the physical tools of a player like Andrew Luck. He just needs time to get there, and the Eagles have to be patient with their future starter. Sam Bradford has been pegged as “the guy” by head coach Doug Pederson since Wentz was drafted, but his coordinators aren’t so sure that’s the case.

Of course, Bradford is the most expensive quarterback on the roster, eating up $18 million of the $30 million Philadelphia has tied to its signal callers next season. That alone gives him the advantage, as does his experience over Wentz and Chase Daniel. He’s far from a franchise quarterback, but he showed brief flashes of his past ability as a former No. 1 overall pick. Let it be known that this is Wentz’s team; he’ll just have to wait for his time. Unless Wentz drastically outperforms Bradford (and Daniel) in practice and throughout training camp, it’s going to be No. 7 lining up under center once again in Philadelphia (sorry Eagles fans).

Outcome: Bradford starts seven games before getting injured. Wentz takes over and never relinquishes the starting job.

Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins were ranked in The MMQB’s Top 15 safeties at No. 8 and No. 7, respectively.

He got overshadowed in St. Louis, which is now Los Angeles, but it was St. Louis when he was there of course. There were a lot of other stars on that defense, so it’s easy to have him get overlooked. But, one of the reasons those guys could be stars, particularly the other linebackers and corners, was that they had a trustworthy center fielder, and when you do that, you can be more aggressive at your other positions. So, McLeod is rangy, and he has ball skills as well, and I think he’s a decent tackler in space. So to me, he’s a poor man’s Earl Thomas…I think he’s really good, and I know other coaches who’ve gone against him feel even higher about him.

Jenkins is one of a handful of former corners at the top of our list here, guys that played corner and converted to safety, and there’s been other guys that have had nice careers to an extent. Antrel Rolle, who’s not going to be in this discussion now but would’ve been three years ago, he’s another example that comes to mind.  That former cornerback experience suits him well in some of the schemes that they did under Billy Davis, their previous d-coordinator. It’s not going to be as big a deal under Jim Schwartz, who’s going to be more traditional Cover 3, Cover 2, but the point is Jenkins, with what he’s been asked to do so far, has been a good all-around player in coverage and as a run defender up near the line of scrimmage. He sets the edge well, he has an understanding of angles and where the ball is going, and that versatility was very valuable in Philadelphia’s old scheme.

Luke Easterling from Bleacher Report thinks that the biggest training camp battle for the Eagles is at defensive end.

Defensive End: Connor Barwin vs. Brandon Graham vs. Vinny Curry

You can never have too many pass-rushers, and the Eagles are set up to test that theory with this trio.

Barwin is the most experienced and productive of the group, with two double-digit sack seasons to his credit—2011 and 2014—and missing only one start in the past five seasons. The Eagles re-signed Graham following a 2014 season in which he tied his career high with 5.5 sacks, which he topped with 6.5 in 2015.

Curry only notched 3.5 sacks last year, but he bagged nine in 2014, proving he can put up big numbers. The new regime in Philly thought enough of Curry to sign him to a five-year extension this offseason worth nearly $50 million.

The Verdict

Barwin turns 30 this October, making him the elder statesman among these three. With the money the Eagles have poured into the younger pair recently, they could end up pushing them to start and letting Barwinback off to a more rotational role, which would give him more rest and allow him to be more effective later in games.

Howie Roseman is a general manager that is under pressure to get results for 2016, writes Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks.

6. Howie Roseman, Eagles: Everybody can grasp the meaning of the phrase “Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true.” I know Roseman can. Once banished to the proverbial basement like that poor sap in Office Space, Roseman outlasted coach Chip Kelly’s three-year reign and now has full control over the whole show in Philly. Obviously the pressure is all on him now, and if rookie coach Doug Pederson bombs or the three-headed quarterback platoon of Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel and Carson Wentz doesn’t quite add up to success, there’s going to be some ’splaining to do. On the positive side, this is the NFC East. The road from 7–9 to division supremacy isn’t exactly a navigational nightmare.

Chris Chase of FOX Sports pens an open letter to three quarterbacks who overplayed their hand this offseason, including Bradford.

Since you came into the league, 20 quarterbacks have started 60 games. Of those 20, you rank last in every major category, except completion percentage. You’re 19th in that.

Still, the Eagles signed you to a contract worth $22 million guaranteed a few months ago. Now, there’s no such thing as a guranteed starting job in the NFL so the contract shouldn’t have been taken as such. But especially with the short, two-year-deal, this obviously was a “put up or shut up” contract. It should have come as no surprise when Carson Wentz came to town, drafted No. 2 overall. It should actually have served as inspiration. The Eagles weren’t your future but since this is an NFL where Brock Osweiler gets $72 million, you were playing for a new one. Instead you chose to whine – “but Brock Osweiler, but Brock Osweiler,” is what I’m guessing you said – and evidently look for a trade. Also, enough about Brock Osweiler. All of you!

On the bright side, you’re now manning up and organizing summer workouts with your teammates, which makes you at least somewhat self-aware. So that’s nice.


A guy who can’t believe you have the same career earnings as Roger Federer

Chase Daniel, who will fill a similar role in Philadelphia, was given a lot of credit by Alex Smith in helping him prepare for games, reports the Kansas City Star’s Terez Paylor.

“I think a lot of times people kind of make the assumption — especially with a veteran starter — that it’s a one-direction relationship where the starter’s the guy that has all this wisdom and goes out and plays, and he’s helping out the younger guys, and helping develop them,” Smith said. “And, certainly, that is half of it.

“But I do think it’s very, very important that that comes back, that your backup is watching film with you. Because as soon as I’m stepping off the field here, you know, I’m asking, ‘Hey, what did you guys see on this, what did you guys see on that?’ I’m constantly bouncing things off of those guys, and it can’t always be coaches (helping me).”

This is where Daniel, who was Smith’s No. 2 quarterback from 2013 to 2015, really shined. Over the last three years, Smith — both publicly and privately — repeatedly praised Daniel’s smarts and willingness to help him prepare each week, even though Daniel desperately wanted an opportunity to start. That’s the reason he left in free agency.