Sam Bradford: I Have A ‘Subtle’ Leadership Style
Sam Bradford knows his time is limited in Philadelphia, but rather than worrying about the future, he says he’s focused on the present and making the most of what is likely his last season with the Eagles. One way he’s doing so is by resuming the leadership role that comes with being the starting quarterback.
“I think you guys expect a big rah-rah, someone who’s yelling at people every play, and that’s just not me,” Bradford said. “I think there’s a lot of subtle things that you guys probably aren’t privy to or can’t hear from where you guys are at. But like I said, I just try to be myself and take control when I need to.”
Bradford offered grabbing guys so they don’t leave the huddle early as an example, and he recently returned from a trip to San Diego with the other quarterbacks and his primary receivers that he said helped build a bond with his teammates. In California, the group of guys had three throwing sessions, but they also spent a lot time off of the field with each other, including a day of paddle boarding.
“The biggest part of that is just getting together as a team and spending time together away from the facility,” Bradford said. “Football is great, I think that’s a bonus, but really just getting together, not spending six weeks apart, get around each other, build some chemistry — I think that was the best part about being out there in San Diego.”
One of the biggest changes Bradford is adjusting to with his teammates this offseason is also one of football’s most basic elements: huddling. The Eagles will do so much more under Doug Pederson, and they won’t worry about operating at a quick tempo.
Although there were times the Eagles got a big play last season because the defense wasn’t ready when the ball was snapped, Bradford says, there were also times he wanted to audible when he couldn’t.
“Being in a huddle gives you a chance to quarterback [and] sometimes take control,” Bradford said. “If you got a new play that week or a game plan specifically, you can really kind of remind a guy: ‘Hey, get your depth. I need you to sell this. Make sure we’re looking for this when we break the huddle.’ Which is nice, because it’s hard to communicate those things when you’re not in a huddle.
“Hopefully you call the right play when you break the huddle, but yes, if we got the wrong play on, then hopefully this year I can change it and we don’t waste plays and we can eliminate some of the negative plays that we had.”
However, that freedom also comes with much more responsibility. That’s why Bradford is particularly focused on dialing in with Jason Kelce on the Eagles’ protections and calls at the line of scrimmage during training camp.
“Communicating better at the line of scrimmage – me and Kelce have a lot to do this year,” Bradford said. “The quicker we can get on the same page [and] the quicker we can start speaking the same language out there, the better we’ll be as an offense.”