Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford has many detractors, but defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo of the New York Giants isn’t one of them.
Head coach Chip Kelly has lauded Bradford as a perfect fit in his up-tempo offense ever since landing him in a quarterback-to-quarterback trade that sent Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams.
Spagnuolo, who was the head coach of the Rams from 2009-2011, is of the same mind. He spoke in glowing terms about his former quarterback with the folks at 97.5 The Fanatic on Wednesday:
“I know he’s going to do great things there,” Spagnuolo said.
For most fans, the biggest issue with Bradford is that he’s been injured so often, and the Rams weren’t featured on the national stage very often. Both factors have contributed to the notion that the former Oklahoma Sooner isn’t worthy of the franchise quarterback distinction.
“Trust me when I tell you he’s got all the skills, and I keep going back to the fierce competitor because I believe elite quarterbacks in this league have that,” Spagnuolo said. “You think of them all, the Aaron Rodgers, the Tom Bradys, the Peyton Mannings, Eli Mannings, they’re all very fierce competitors. They love the challenge. They love to rally people around them, and Sam has that. I really believe that.”
Don’t slap the “bust” label on Bradford just yet.
Remember, this kid was the No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, and for good reason. He completed 67.6 percent of his passes in college, passed for 8.403 yards while throwing 88 flipping touchdowns compared to just 16 interceptions.
He’s really good.
But injuries have derailed his promising career. Perhaps this is why Kelly has expanded his ever-growing team of scientists to keep his team on the cutting edge of health.
It will certainly help Bradford’s cause to play behind a terrific offensive line, which is something he never had playing in St. Louis. It will also help his cause that Kelly’s offense is predicated off the run and that his passing game is often a quick-hitting attack.
Spagnuolo knows he’s going to have his hands full preparing for Kelly’s Eagles, especially if Bradford is the one pulling the trigger. That said, there are a lot of “ifs” in the scenario for Philadelphia this upcoming year, with Bradford’s health representing king-of-the-hill status on that list.
Photo: USA Today Sports