By Harry Allison
Nothing has Eagles’ diehards on more pins and needles than Sam Bradford.
Two ACL surgeries in two consecutive seasons will do that to a fan base!
But Chip Kelly has bet that Bradford is his man under center for now and maybe “for 1,000 years,” as he once joked about Nick Foles, who was traded to the Rams for Bradford.
“He’s smart,” Kelly said of Bradford after the trade. “I think he’s wired right.”
Kelly is hoping that despite all of the question marks surrounding Bradford — like his twice-torn ACL and the losing record as a quarterback — Bradford’s ability to diagnosis the play quickly will result in the offense moving ever faster with him under center.
So far, in Bradford’s 49 career starts, that has been the case.
In 2013, the last time Bradford played in the NFL, he got rid of the ball a blistering 2.67 seconds after the snap on average. By comparison, Foles got rid of the ball in an average of 3.11 seconds in 2013, nearly a full half-second slower despite the fact he was playing in an offense that was predicated on quick reads and quick decisions.
Here is a look at how quickly Bradford has gotten rid of the ball since 2011, when Pro Football Focus started keeping track of the stat:
2011: 2.59 seconds (12th in NFL)
2012: 2.57 seconds (10th in NFL)
2013: 2.67 seconds (20th in NFL)
As you can see, Bradford has traditionally gotten rid of the ball very quickly, despite playing in a traditional west-coast offense, not one built around making quick decisions.
Although Foles was able to get rid of the ball in an average of 2.8 seconds, an improvement from 2013, it was still far slower than Bradford has done it throughout his career. It was also slower than Mark Sanchez, who attempted a pass in an average of 2.64 seconds last season.