McLeod Bethel-Thompson is the Eagles' third-string quarterback – for now.
With Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel and Carson Wentz atop the depth chart, Bethel-Thompson has flown under the radar during Training Camp. However, a hairline fracture of the ribs has sidelined Wentz uncluttering a small window for Bethel-Thompson to stage his skill set.
Offensive coordinator Frank Reich marveled at Bethel-Thompson's unceasing professionalism.
"McLeod is a real pro. I'm so glad we have him here. We thought that from the beginning. He handles himself like a pro," Reich said. "He's getting more reps in practice. It's up to Coach (Doug) Pederson, but he will likely get a little bit more playing time in a game. But he's ready to go and we're glad he's here."
At Monday's practice, Bethel-Thompson shook off any dust he had getting an ample amount of reps that had been previously reserved for Wentz, the first-round pick.
"I know I'm going to get more reps, but at the end of the day you have to prepare," Bethel-Thompson said. "If you weren't preparing before then it's already too late so I'm just putting the work in as usual."
Fortunately, the Eagles' coaching staff radiates with insightful individuals at quarterback. Head coach Doug Pederson spent 12 seasons as an NFL quarterback. Reich quarterbacked the largest comeback victory in NFL history (32 points) and quarterback coach John DeFilippo is entering his seventh NFL season as either a quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator. Bethel-Thompson referred to his situation as an Eagle as "quarterback paradise."
"I've been everywhere, so it's a great experience," Bethel-Thompson said. "Coach Pederson is a great coach and Frank is awesome (offensive coordinator) and Flip (Quarterback coach John DeFilippo) is a great quarterback coach and we have a good room so it's a good time."
Bethel-Thompson isn't just joking when he says he's been everywhere. After graduating from Sacramento State, he signed and played 12 games with the San Jose SaberCats of the Arena Football League in 2011. He was later signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Francisco 49ers, but was later waived just eight days before the start of the regular season. Undeterred, Bethel-Thompson then signed with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League and in a five year span from 2011-2015, Thompson signed to several practice squads including two stints each with the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers, and one stint with the New England Patriots.
"NFL stands for not for long so if you don't take advantage of your reps you're going to be out the door real quick, so it's a great opportunity," Bethel-Thompson said. "Obviously, I wish Carson a speedy recovery and to get back as soon as possible, but I have to take the most of this opportunity."