Ped­er­son: Brad­ford trade great for ev­ery­one

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Bob Grotz bgrotz@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @BobGrotz on Twit­ter

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.”

BOB LEVERONE — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The Ea­gles and the Vik­ings both flour­ished be­cause of the trade of quar­ter­back Sam Brad­ford.

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