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Looking At The Eagles' Quarterback Picture With An Optimistic View

This feature is a weekly piece on titled From The Eagles, featuring Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. The intention is to provide a perspective directly from the Philadelphia Eagles in this forum for the great fans who visit BGN.

The story, it seems, now comes down to football. And when it comes to football, the Eagles have a quarterback picture that is as intriguing, and as talent-laden and as bright as any they have had in a long, long time.

That's the perspective here. If this plan unfolds the way the Eagles think it will unfold, well, the quarterback position here will be as well stocked top to bottom as any group the Eagles have had in many years.

Sam Bradford conducted his press conference on Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex honestly and professionally. He understands the landscape, he knows how the fans feel and he knows the only way to win them back is to win football games and play well this season.

So ...

From the inside here, the Eagles are excited about the quarterback picture. They've got a veteran in Sam Bradford who showed in the last half of the 2015 season that when the rust was knocked off his game and he gained confidence in his legs and in driving the football, he played well. Head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich believes that Bradford has the necessary skill set to thrive in this offense. Bradford sure looked comfortable in the first day of Organized Team Activities on Tuesday as the media had the chance to watch the entire practice. He was accurate and decisive with his throws. He had good zip on the ball. He played with confidence. It was a good day for Bradford, who is the starting quarterback and who has the backing of the coaching staff and the locker room.

What is Bradford's ceiling? That's the interesting question for the immediate future, and it's why the Eagles are working him with a coaching staff that they think is perfectly suited for bringing out the best in quarterbacks: Pederson and Reich each played for a dozen years in the NFL at the quarterback position and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo (who played quarterback at James Madison) has been both an offensive coordinator and a quarterbacks coach in this league.

It's a quarterback-friendly system taught by three men who understand everything that goes into the position. The Eagles fortified the offensive line in the draft and in free agency, added some punch at wide receiver (Rueben Randle and Chris Givens), have a solid set of tight ends and think that fifth-round draft pick Wendell Smallwood and young veteran Kenjon Barner will supplement a backfield led by the talents of Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.

So it figures that Bradford, healthy for the first offseason in many years, has a chance to have the best season of his career. He missed two weeks after leaving the voluntary workouts, but Bradford had no problem making up for lost ground in the offense and in regaining his standing in the locker room. The drama, then, is in the background.

Behind Bradford is Chase Daniel, who is not going to wow anyone with his stature or his arm strength or the beauty of his passes. He's a thinking-man's quarterback, a coach on the field (as he's been referred to many times by Pederson). Daniel has been invaluable helping the rest of the offense understand the Pederson/Reich version of the West Coast offense -€” which will feature a lot of formations and player motion and the kind of variety we saw in the Andy Reid years, with some Reich influence based off his days with the Chargers. (I can see the Eagles throwing the ball down the field vertically a bit more, and involving the tight ends a whole lot).

Daniel is the right fit for No. 2 in this offense. He knows it almost as well as Pederson, having played in Kansas City for three seasons. And he'll be just fine if he's needed to finish a game, or fill in for a week or two in the course of a season.

Then there's Wentz, who is in the developmental stage of his career. He's got all the makings of being a special quarterback, but the Eagles know that he's started only 23 games in his college career at North Dakota State. Wentz on Tuesday looked better than any rookie I've seen in his first day of full-team OTA's and he's only going to get better. But the Eagles are in no rush to throw him to the wolves. He has so much to learn about the game -€” not only the offense and all of its language and checks and nuances, but about the complex defensive schemes he is going to see and the pressure packages that teams are going to throw at him.

This is a rare opportunity to win now with a veteran and push Bradford to have the best season he has ever had, and at the same time develop a super-talented rookie and groom him at the right pace for the future. The Eagles don't look at this in any way other than positive. They have the talents of Bradford, a former No. 1 overall draft pick who is healthy, and they have the promise of Wentz and they have a No. 2 quarterback in Daniel is who an uber-brain and who is selfless and who is going to be a great example for both Bradford and Wentz on how to operate this offense.

That's the optimistic view. That's how the team sees it. The Eagles have a situation unlike most in the league and certainly unlike they have had in recent seasons: They have depth in talent and they intend to make the most of it at the quarterback position.

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