Doug Pederson's media session on Tuesday marked his first post-practice press conference as head coach of the Eagles. It also marked the first time he spoke since Sam Bradford ended his trade demand and returned to Philadelphia last week.
Naturally, then, Pederson was asked about Bradford and his standing with the team. To little surprise, Pederson said what he's been saying all offseason: Bradford is the Eagles' starting quarterback.
"You know what, [the relationship] has been great," Pederson said when asked how things have been since Bradford's return. "I’ve actually talked to Sam since he’s been back and I told him my feelings haven’t changed. He’s my guy. He’s the No. 1 guy and I just want him to embrace that and let’s not look backward, but look forward."
It's clear Bradford's failed stunt did not really impact his current standing with the team. When asked if there's an open quarterback competition, Pederson once again committed to Bradford.
"Sam’s still the starter," he said. "Carson has a long way to go with this system. He’s learning every day but Sam’s the guy."
Earlier this offseason, prior to when the Eagles drafted a quarterback, Pederson said Bradford needs to not look over his shoulder but instead focus on the present. The problem is that Bradford clearly did look over his shoulder by requesting a trade. Moving forward, Pederson expects Bradford to not do that again.
"I expect Sam not to look over his shoulder," Pederson said. "I expect Sam to look forward. He’s getting himself ready for the season. He’s getting ready for Cleveland. That’s what I expect from Sam."
"As professionals, it his job. I know he’s going to embrace it. That’s the type of guy he is. So I have no doubt in my mind that he is going to be my guy and he’s going to be starting against Cleveland Day 1. We’re not looking back over our shoulder."
Bradford is the team's starter of the present. But everyone knows it's likely Carson Wentz is the quarterback of the future. Pederson was asked about how he intends to handle Wentz while Bradford is in the spotlight.
"My plan is to keep developing Carson," he said. "Carson has a lot to learn not only from just the playbook but how to be a professional quarterback, how to handle the media and Philadelphia, get to know his teammates … there’s a lot involved."
"That’s the beauty of having two veterans guys in front of a Carson Wentz. That’s the plan. Keep developing Carson, keep developing Chase, and getting Sam ready to go for opening day. "