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Training Camp Preview: Quarterback

Posted Jul 13, 2016

Training Camp Roster: Quarterback
Name Age Exp. Signed Through Note
Sam Bradford 28 7 2017 Set team records for completions and completion percentage in first year with Eagles.
Chase Daniel 29 8 2018 Spent past three seasons with Doug Pederson as the backup to Alex Smith in Kansas City.
Carson Wentz 23 R 2019 No. 2 overall pick has time to learn behind two veterans and a stellar coaching staff.

Our Training Camp position preview series kicks off with the quarterback position, one that underwent a plethora of change in the 2016 offseason.

Two of the three quarterbacks on the roster to end the 2015 season are gone. Mark Sanchez was traded to Denver where he is competing for the starting job vacated by Peyton Manning’s retirement. Thad Lewis followed Chip Kelly to San Francisco.

The one signal-caller who is back is Sam Bradford, who signed a two-year contract prior to hitting the free agent market.

Bradford was acquired by the Eagles in 2015 after landing on Injured Reserve due to an ACL injury in back-to-back seasons. He greatly improved in the second half of the season to finish with the franchise record for completions (346) and completion percentage (65.03) as well as a career-high 3,725 passing yards. After the bye week in 2015, Bradford had a 97.0 passer rating, which was good for a tie for seventh best in the league.

In his second year in Philadelphia, Bradford will benefit from having the full offseason to train instead of rehab for the first time since prior to the 2013 campaign.

He will also be aided by a coaching staff led by head coach Doug Pederson, who helped turn the career of Alex Smith around. Also a former No. 1 overall pick, Smith struggled early in his career, but set new personal bests in yards and passer rating in 2015 while throwing just 20 interceptions over the past three years with Pederson. Offensive coordinator Frank Reich helped guide San Diego's Philip Rivers to three consecutive 4,000-yard passing seasons. Quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo got Derek Carr’s career started on the right foot in Oakland.

And even though Bradford has to learn a new offense, he played in the West Coast system early in his career in St. Louis. He set the NFL rookie record for completions and also had a streak of 174 straight games without an interception, also an NFL rookie record.

Bradford's return gives the Eagles their best chance to win in 2016. Fully understanding how important it is to have depth at the position, the Eagles added veteran Chase Daniel in free agency.

Daniel spent the past three seasons in Kansas City with Pederson and comes to Philadelphia with the knowledge and ability to step in and efficiently run the offense. Daniel, much like Pederson during his 12-year playing career, has been the backup to Pro Bowl quarterbacks. First, Daniel spent four years in New Orleans behind Drew Brees before working with Smith at the Chiefs. Pederson operated as a player-coach to an extent before officially wearing a headset and he brought Daniel to help ease the transition for other players into the offense.

And yes, of course, there is the addition of Carson Wentz, the highest-drafted player by the Eagles since 1999 when Donovan McNabb was also selected with the No. 2 overall pick. The Eagles made a pair of bold moves in the first round of the NFL Draft to have the ability to select a potentially franchise-altering talent.

The former North Dakota State quarterback has impressed both teammates and coaches thus far and his development is one of the stories to watch during Training Camp. Wentz boasts great size (6-5, 237 pounds), arm strength, a winning pedigree (20-3 record as a starter, back-to-back National Championships) and a strong knowledge of the working in a West Coast-style offense with the ability to take charge at the line of scrimmage.

Fans will be fixated on Wentz during the preseason. Afterward, the Eagles plan to essentially shelve him and let him grow behind the scenes while Bradford leads the way during the season.

There was a lot of change in the quarterback room this offseason. The Eagles are still in search of stability at the position, something the team has lacked since McNabb was traded to Washington on Easter Sunday back in 2010. Between a stocked depth chart and outstanding coaching, the belief is that the position will be a strength now and for years to come.

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