I was listening to former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah's Move the Sticks podcast this week where he was discussing the Eagles shocking trade for Sam Bradford. In the discussion he mentioned an illuminating tidbit that just might give us some insight into what motivated Chip Kelly to make the move.
Last year in one of his regular "Ask 5" segments, where he asks 5 NFL execs the same question, the subject was Marcus Mariota's best pro comparison. He got several of the answers you might expect (Kaepernick, RG3) but the last answer seems extremely relevant right now.
The last NFL exec said the best pro comp for Mariota was Sam Bradford. "He's a more athletic version of Sam Bradford," said the exec.
"The quick decision making, quick release, accurate guys that's what Mariota is and that's what Sam Bradford has," he said. "I think he's a much better thrower coming out than Mariota is."
Jeremiah echoed those sentiments at the end of last year writing, "Personally, I thought Bradford was more a accurate passer in college than Mariota."
This goes back to what we discussed about Bradford's college offense the day after the trade. It was super high tempo, spread concept predicated on making fast decisions and getting the ball out quick. People forget that when Bradford was in college, it wasn't then offensive coordinator Chip Kelly's Ducks that played the most snaps in the nation... It was Bradford's Sooners.
So it's not hard to guess where Chip Kelly's admiration for Bradford began. As the newly minted coordinator at Oregon he was trying to get his team to play as fast the Sam Bradford and oh yeah... DeMarco Murray led Oklahoma Sooners.
Now here we are 7 years later in the pros and Kelly's got that guy to run his offense.