You'll won't have to look far to find people who do not like the Eagles trade of Nick Foles (and other stuff!) for Sam Bradford, so how about we take a look at what someone who does it has to say?
In fact, what about someone who says the Eagles won this trade?
John Breech of CBS Sports actually thinks that. He grades the trade a B+ for the Eagles while just a C+ for the Rams. His reasoning stems from Bradford's description of changes to his college offense in a 2013 ESPN piece on the "evolution" of the Rams.
"Our offense changed dramatically," Bradford said. "We went no-huddle, fast break. We had 11 personnel, 10 personnel, smaller, faster and spread it out to start throwing the ball a lot more. I remember that first spring, I really wasn't sure I was going to like it because I had never run the no-huddle before. It seemed like everything happened too fast but the more we did it, the more comfortable I got with it. It turned out; it was probably the best move we made because we were really good at it."
No huddle? Spreading the defense out? Sounds familiar. Let's read on.
Bradford would take snaps in the gun but the concepts were designed for him to make quick reads and get the ball out to the Sooners' assortment of playmakers, who could turn short catches into big gains.
"He was the point guard who was distributing," Wilson said. "He was very instinctive, very good mind."
It's interesting to hear Bradford described as the "point guard" of the Oklahoma offense because that's exactly how people like Chris Brown (@smartfootball) described the role of the QB in Chip's offense.
It's also how Mark Sanchez described it after he took over in November.
"It feels like a fastbreak in basketball - you're the point guard, just dish it to the open guy," Sanchez told reporters after taking over for an injured Foles. "Don't hang on to it too long, try not to get hit. That's pretty much the name of the game."
Oh and there's one more person who used the QB/Point Guard analogy for Chips offense, who was that again? Oh yeah CHIP KELLY.
New Eagles coach Chip Kelly once told me he would pick Rajon Rondo as the ideal triggerman for his offense, the point being that Kelly wants a quarterback who can maintain the tempo he's looking to dictate and distribute the ball all over the field.
Back to the Sam Bradford piece from 2013.
The next step was speeding up the offense to keep opposing defenses off balance. Using a term he'd heard from Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, Wilson, now the head coach at Indiana, wanted to "play fast but not hurry."
Bradford's ability to make quick decisions combined with an up-tempo pace would allow the Sooners to keep their foot on the gas for entire games.
"[Sam's] got Wi-Fi in his brain to process real quick," Wilson said.
Working out of the shotgun, spreading the ball around. spreading out the defense, playing up tempo for the entire game, keep defenses off balance... Sounds a lot like how Chip Kelly likes to play and at least in college Sam Bradford was really good at it. He completed over 67% of his passes and threw for 88 TDs vs just 16 INTs over 3 seasons. It was a performance good enough to make him the #1 overall pick in the 2010 draft.
But of course, that's kind of where things started to go south for Bradford. He did manage a pretty solid rookie of the year campaign in 2010 under Pat Shurmur and his "dink and dunk" offense. He never quite built on that rookie year though with ok to not really very good (also injured) seasons in 2011 (after which Shurmur was fired) and 2012.
But in 2013, it was looking like a light might be coming on. Over the first 7 games of the 2013 season Bradford was completing over 60% of his passes and had thrown for 14 TDs against just 4 picks. As John Breech (who inspired this piece way back at the beginning) notes, that projects out to a 32 TD, 9 INT 16 game campaign. His QB rating was a career high 90.9. To be fair, Bradford was still throwing for a paltry 6.4 yards per attempt, but he was legitimately more productive and efficient with the ball than he'd been over the first few years of his career.
Then he tears his ACL ending his 2013 season before we ever got to find out whether he would deliver the big numbers he was on pace for.
Then he tore the same ACL again before the 2014 season ever began.
So we're reaching back 2 years at this point but there was at least some evidence that Bradford, who had very little talent on offense to work with and was more suited to have played in a Chip Kelly like system right away instead of the conservative, traditional systems he did with Shurmur and Brian Schottenheimer... was starting to figure the NFL out.
Is 7 games in 2013 and a heck of a college career in '07 & '08 playing in an uptempo system enough to erase 2 major injuries and 5 years of an underwhelming pro career? For Chip Kelly the answer appears to be kind of yes. He hasn't made a major commitment to Bradford (yet), but it does appear that he's identified the former Sooner as his QB for 2015.
So... does anyone agree with Chip now?