Eagles QB Sam Bradford gets sacked by Redskins OLBs Ryan Kerrigan (91) and Trent Murphy during Washington's 23-20 win Sunday.
This is not the Monday to beat down Sam Bradford.
As lead professor in the honors class titled, “He Ain’t the Guy,” I’d be happy to get on that high horse and pop off about how the former Heisman winner has no clue what he’s doing, that he’s a bad fit for this offense, if not every offense, that Chip Kelly made a brutal miscalculation in trading for him, that everyone who bleeds midnight green, not to mention is precursor, Kelly (no relation to Chip) green, eventually will rue the day he ever put on the Eagles uniform.
But I can’t … probably because I’ve never hopped off that horse, since each of those beliefs are forever burned into my core. That being said, today, following another life-sucking loss in what appears to be shaping up as a season to be filled with life-sucking losses, just isn’t the day to get back in the bully pulpit and push for people to join me.
Not if Sunday’s effort is the impetus for that.
The reality is, Bradford wasn’t the problem against the Redskins. Oh, he wasn’t the solution, obviously, either. I mean, that’s the ultimate issue anyway. He’s not gifted enough to be a solution for a team trying to find itself, create a culture like no other and win the ultimate prize, a Super Bowl. Or two, or four.
That’s not on him, though. That’s on the people who promoted him as being that … but that’s another story for another day.
This one, well, you can’t put that 23-20 defeat on Bradford. You can’t even draw the comparisons to Nick Foles, the quarterback Kelly deemed less capable when he traded the youngster to St. Louis for Bradford, saying how the Eagles would be better off had he remained in Philly. Which, of course, the feeling here never has wavered in that they would be, especially over the long haul.
It’s just, Bradford was … fine against Washington. The numbers, the actual performance, they were classic Bradford – the former making the latter seem better. He teased a little, made it seem like, hey, maybe this guy is special, maybe he actually is the guy.
Only the reality, as it always does, ultimately surfaces: He Ain’t the Guy.
But you can’t kill him, or even blame him, for Sunday. He played well enough. He made enough plays. The fact he finally unloaded a few bombs, including a 62-yarder to Riley Cooper that resulted in the Eagles’ first touchdown against the ’Skins, was enough to cause a region-wide lessening of blood-pressure prescriptions. Plus, he spearheaded a second-half surge that saw the visiting Birds erase a 13-0 halftime deficit and take a 20-16 lead into the final minute.
Foles, as luck, and having a great rookie running back at his disposal, would have it, directed the Rams to victory in Arizona. So, the comparison rationalizing automatically goes, he wins while Bradford loses, so he played better. But he didn’t.
Sorry, going 16 of 24 passing for 171 yards and two TDs with no picks against a good team doesn’t trump going 15 of 28 for 270 yards and three TDs with no picks … even against a not-so-good team.
No, any finger-pointing today at Bradford is misguided. At the coach/GM, though …
- Jack Kerwin | email@example.com
BS'ERS R US: Backtracking and revisionist history seems to be the order of the day anymore with the Philly sports media. Not only are most distancing themselves from ever having proclaimed Eagles coach Chip Kelly as a genius, a likely revolutionary figure in the NFL, they are backpedaling on all the pom-pom waving as to Sam Bradford being a franchise quarterback.
Guys, gals, whomever, just face it. You were duped, and, in turn, the people to whom you pitch information and supposed insight were duped just the same. Why? Because, in Philly, more so than any other big-league city, they’re all fans and they all get caught up in hope, and that’s fine. What isn’t is trying to walk that fine line, or pretend it doesn’t exist altogether, when reality hits that you were wrong and then stating you never professed what you had.
Sorry, don’t wanna hear writing legend Ray Didinger explain how Bradford was never viewed to have a great arm when Saint Ray and his cohorts wouldn’t shut up about the guy’s arm in the preseason, or, hell, even as soon as Kelly traded Nick Foles to get him. Sorry, don’t wanna hear Fanatic nighttime yakker Joe DeCamara now chit-chat in this calming, ever-knowing and understanding way as if he always knew the struggles this team would have going on when he was predicting ridiculously unachievable heights for it just like most other sports media members in town. They’re all bailing now, and they’re taking no ownership of their BS in the process, and the beauty is, all those prior words they are leaving unclaimed will be scarfed up should the Birds start winning.
MORE MEMORY LOSS: The outcry for Darren Sproles to get more “touches” started in the preseason and then really picked up steam after his punt return for a touchdown against the Jets a week ago. My question is, doesn’t anyone remember how this guy looked like he had nothing in the tank after the first few games of last season, when he was a year younger than he is now? Not for nothing, and being fully aware of Mrs. Sproles piping up last year about how Kelly’s misuse of her husband was why his production went down, but Kelly has a lot more pressing issues with the job he’s doing than getting a sparkplug more opportunities to ignite an entire team.
Especially one that has shown a tendency to wear down, and whose brilliance always has been reliant on the abbreviation of his snaps. To wit, Sproles is on pace for the second highest season total for rushing attempts in his career – and the second lowest per-carry average. In 2009, he rushed 93 times at a 3.7 ypc clip. This year, he’s on pace for those numbers to be 84 and 3.8. That’s not good for a guy who “normal” season yields 51 carries for a 5.1 clip. It’s the same thing with receiving, where Sproles is on pace to average a career-low in yards per catch.
GREAT QUIP: Just taking a quick trip through my Facebook newsfeed Sunday allowed some humor to enter the equation when it came to these Birds. A personal fave, though: “Who would have thought the Eagles Phillies would have had their seasons end on the same day?” Funny thing is, if you ask me, the Phillies, dreadful as they were, overachieved in 2015 by avoiding 100 losses. Seriously. The abomination of misfits and culprits that were placed out there in red pinstripes this season had no business winning any more than, say, 55 or 56 games. It was that bad. Yet, it eked out 63 of ’em. To me, they exceeded expectations.
Right now, for me, the Eagles are meeting their expectations. The realistic ones.