Pederson: Bradford trade great for everyone
PHILADELPHIA >> Leave it to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, during Vikings week, to put a smiley face on the deal sending Sam Bradford to Minnesota for first and fourth-round picks.
The trade has worked out for everyone including Bradford and Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz.
“Really, for both teams it’s a win-win,” Pederson said Wednesday. “I feel like Sam, given this opportunity he’s excelled, he’s done well. He went to a fabulous football team, a playoff football team. And you know, we’re taking a young quarterback who’s … I mean we’re 3-2. We started out 3-0. And we’ve just got to get back to that. We’re close in a lot of areas and we’ve just got to keep that focus.”
It’s going to be win-lose this weekend at the Linc as one team almost certainly will prevail. The Vikings (5-0) are 2 1-2 point favorites.
Bradford leads the league with a 70.4 completion percentage and his 109.8 passer rating ranks second overall. He’s thrown for 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. He’s also been sacked 8 times, which is an area the Eagles will try to exploit.
“Our pass rush,” Pederson said “has got to show up this week.”
You may not agree with Pederson in his projection of how Bradford would have performed had he stuck with the Eagles. The Eagles have hit the skids offensively the past couple of games largely because they lack serious threats at the skills positions, and the offensive line is breaking in a rookie right tackle.
“I was fully confident that he was going to have the type of success that he’s having now with Minnesota,” Pederson said of Bradford. “He came off the preseason with us here an all-time high. He was throwing the ball with accuracy, decisiveness. He was feeling comfortable with the offense.”
In addition to the skills players, Pederson failed to factor in the fan vibe with respect to Bradford. How long would it take for long-suffering Eagles fans to demand Wentz? One interception? Or would it take two before the fans broke into a soccer style chant of “We want Wentz!”
Wentz, by the way, has thrown seven touchdowns and just one interception for a 99.9 rating.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer suggested on a conference call that he couldn’t “speak for Philadelphia” in terms of the win-win for both teams assessment. Then he changed his mind.
“I think he’s probably right,” Zimmer said. “Obviously their quarterback is playing really well and I think he’s going to be a great quarterback as well. … But I think it’s brought another dimension to us, to our players. You lose a guy like Teddy Bridgewater … and all of the sudden there’s a guy like Bradford, it lifts your football team. I think it’s been a win for us and I’m sure they feel the same way.”
The Eagles and the Vikings both flourished because of the trade of quarterback Sam Bradford.