The Philadelphia Eagles have stirred up a considerable amount of controversy this offseason which has included a head coaching change, a blockbuster trade and an unhappy quarterback.
Chip Kelly was fired by the Eagles on Dec. 29 after three seasons as the head coach and just one playoff appearance. A few weeks later, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson was hired to fill the void.
Pederson and the Eagles received mixed reactions when they executed a trade with the Cleveland Browns to move up to No. 2 in the 2016 NFL Draft. They stayed true to speculation by selecting North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. Philadelphia’s veteran quarterback Sam Bradford was none too pleased with the team’s decision to move up for a quarterback and immediately demanded a trade.
Bradford was signed to a two-year, $35 million deal earlier in the offseason, which is hardly a contract that would suggest the organization has faith in you as a long-term solution. It meant that they had few options and needed Bradford as a bridge to their next guy, whoever it may be.
Despite the Wentz selection, Pederson backed Bradford by saying that he’ll be the starting quarterback on opening weekend. Bradford hasn’t exactly blown anyone away throughout his career, but he’s the best option until Wentz is ready for NFL-game action. College to NFL is a difficult transition for any quarterback, but Wentz’s FCS experience suggests he may need more time.
Offensive coordinator Frank Reich contradicted Pederson’s statement this week by saying that Bradford is not the necessarily the current starting quarterback.
“This is one of the most competitive industries in the world and so, to say that there’s not competition, that’s just the furthest thing from the truth,” Reich told WIP-94.1 on Wednesday. “I don’t see the problem with creating order and competition at the same time, personally.”
Competition is meant to bring the best out of every player, so in that sense, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Reich telling the media that nothing has been decided yet. The issue lies with the fact that he publicly contradicted what Pederson recently said which can cause friction in a locker room. Philadelphia needs to create an impression of organizational stability, especially with a young quarterback, therefore it might be productive for Pederson and Reich to have a private discussion about the direction of the team.