NFL Network reporter Albert Breer dropped an interesting tidbit during an interview with Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic on Thursday afternoon. According to Breer, Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford wasn't thrilled with the team's decision to fire Chip Kelly. In fact, according to Breer, he was "very upset." Breer touched on this in response to a question about how the new coaching hire will impact Bradford's future.
"I think it all depends on who they hire as the coach," Breer said. "Sam’s been through a lot. Go back to his rookie year with Pat Shurmur, he leaves, he gets Josh McDaniels his second year, obviously things in St. Louis went sideways at the end with the last two years with him having ACL tears. He never really played a full year uninjured with the same coordinator two years in a row, and that’s going to be the case again this year unless they hire Pat Shurmur as the head coach."
"My sense of it, at least — and I’ve heard Sam was very upset when they fired Chip — my sense of it is that Sam would probably prioritize stability. If you’re trying to sell Sam Bradford on staying in Philadelphia, I think you’re going to have to show him a model that looks like it’s going to be stable for at least a few years so he can grow through it."
The nugget about Bradford being upset prompted Missanelli to dig deeper, which resulted in the following exchange:
Missanelli: "You said something that really piqued my interest. He was upset when Chip Kelly was fired? It seemed like this system shackled him from being able to audible and read defenses and things like that."
Breer: I think it was more … the guy has been through a lot in the last six years. I think he’s comfortable with Pat Shurmur, and I think he finally felt like at the end of the year it was finally starting to click more. And it’s not perfect, but Chip was willing to adapt his system to the players that were in it, and I think we started to see that near the end of the year where they were starting to learn each other to the point where the offense was starting to become Sam’s. So after going through that process of coming back from the knee injury and missing all the spring, and learning Chip’s terminology and the system, and Chip and Pat having to fit the system to what Sam did … they go through all that whole process, and then, boom, now Sam’s going to have to go through it again probably. That’s what it was more about.
Based on this clarification, Bradford's disappointment didn't have as much to do with Kelly being gone as much as it was the quarterback realizing he has to learn another new system in 2016.
Bradford's frustration is understandable, but now it's up to him to make the best choice for himself from here on out. It remains to be seen if he wants to be back with Philadelphia or not. It also remains to be seen if the new Eagles coach will even want him. The Eagles' quarterback situation is complicated and there's no easy answer.
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