Dissecting The Philadelphia Eagles' Quarterback Situation
The NFL continues to be a passing league, forcing coaches to change their strategies and organizational philosophies to focus on finding a franchise quarterback. In Philadelphia, however, this coach has formed his reputation on not adapting to the norm.
After a breakout year in 2013, throwing for an astonishing 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions, Nick Foles seemed to emerge as the franchise quarterback the Philadelphia Eagles desperately needed. Despite a regression from his dominance in his sophomore season, the young signal caller was still a productive, yet unlikely fit in Chip Kelly's offense.
Nonetheless, Kelly continued his controversial decision making during the 2015 offseason by trading Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams for the injury-ridden, former first overall draft pick, Sam Bradford. This caused ripples in major media as well as with causal fans, as trading for such an injury-prone quarterback in a passing-dominant league is a bold, yet potentially disastrous move.
Also, retaining Mark Sanchez and adding veteran Tim Tebow in the offseason has returned the Eagles' QB situation once again to a questionable state.
At this point, Sam Bradford seemingly sits alone at the top of the depth chart, but nothing is out of the realm of possibility. Although the chance for injury is a constant fear, there are some encouraging signs for the projected starter.
In his career with the St. Louis Rams, Bradford threw for 59 TD's and 38 interceptions, along with a 79.3 passer rating. Although these are not superb numbers, his successful career at Oklahoma suggests that there is still potential in this quarterback, especially given that most of his struggles throughout his career have been health related. If he can remain healthy in Philadelphia for a full season, the results can be very encouraging for the Eagles.
His probable backup, Mark Sanchez, has had a relatively successful career in both New York and Philadelphia. In addition to taking the Jets to multiple AFC Championship Games, Sanchez did a solid job backing up Nick Foles.
During his only season in Philadelphia, he recorded a 88.4 quarterback rating in nine games, but could not bring the Philadelphia Eagles to a playoff birth. However, viewing his statistics and impact, he is one of the most successful backup quarterbacks in the NFL, giving Kelly some security in the event Bradford goes down.
The wildcard at the position is former Denver signal caller Tim Tebow. Although he endures a great deal of criticism due to his statistics and throwing motion, he proved that he can win in the NFL even if only in a small amount of playing time. He helped take a struggling Broncos team to the playoffs and defeat the Steelers in the Wild Card round. He may not make much of an impact at quarterback, but a creative coach such as Kelly will find a way to utilize a great athlete in their offense.
Although Philadelphia does not have an ideal quarterback situation, the team did add vital pieces in free agency, such as Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray, to improve the roster and support Sam Bradford as he tries to stay on the field and be successful. With Chip Kelly as the head coach, the Eagles will definitely produce some exciting football during the 2015-16 season.