Try typing in the name “Sam Bradford” into a twitter search. It’s pretty ugly.
The Eagles’ starting quarterback alienated himself from many Eagles fans when he demanded a trade a few weeks ago, just after learning the Birds were trading up toNo. 2 overall to draft Carson Wentz.
“I’m not completely naive,” Bradford said.”I think you realize… at some point it’sprobably not going to be my team.”
Bradford, speaking to the media after returning to Philly for OTAs, acknowledged there’s a lot of hate out there.
“He doesn’t have social media but he knows what people are saying about him,” receiver Jordan Matthews said.
“I haven’t read it first hand but other people have made it pretty clear that it’s not pretty out there,” Bradford said on the subject.
So what can he do to fix things?
According to Doug Pederson and several of Bradford’s Eagles’ teammates, he doesn’t need to do anything in the locker room. The Birds have welcomed back the quarterback with open arms, and the QB took reps with the first team during practice.
“He came in and got right back to work,” Matthews said. “I feel like that was the right thing to do… He hit me on a ball today, he’s the same Sam. He is gassed up, he is fired up.”
Things were business as usual on the football side of things, and figure to continue as such with coach Pederson’s proclamation that “Sam’s still the starter. Carson has a long way to go.”
Getting the Philly fans back in his corner? That’s another story entirely.
“If you win, everything is forgiven,” Matthews said.”That’s the biggest thing.It helps that Sam is the way he is. A littleof it will blow over,but this is Philadelphia it isn’t like any other NFLcity, we know that. The fans take it seriously. For Sam, if he wants to fix it, he has to go out there and win.”
Bradford expressed virtually the sentiment earlier during a press conference in the Eagles’ auditorium.
“I get it, they have every right to be frustrated,” Bradford said, also telling media members that he has no regrets about the trade demand — which he affirms was his agent Tom Condon’s idea.”I think the only thing I can do going forward is to continueto get better, go out there in September and win football games and hopefully win them back. I don’t think theres anything I can say.”
Actions speak louder than words — especially when it comes to professional sports. But Matthews, who has become rather close with Bradford during recent months (including a ‘retreat’ to Bradford’s Oklahoma home to work on building chemistry) thinks that this particular quarterback, with his shy, humble disposition is uniquely prepared to overcome this challenge.
“It helps that Sam is the way he is because if some guys are “unhappy” or want a different situation and they have a totally differentpersonality, it can be a cancer inthe locker room,” Matthews said.”But you can’t really tell what’s going on with Sam. All that stuff is happening but when he came back he got back to work. All the other stuff,it’s nullified if we go out there and win.
“Once the pads go on, Sam is not going tobe sitting back thinking, ‘oh man what if?’ Sam is ready to go in and win a freaking football game. He’s not the first person in the NFL to look for situations to make more money orbetter his position, he’s just a quarterback and is looked at a little different.”
“Ifim cool with it,” the wideout said,”everybody should be cool.”