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Sam Bradford: Perfect System & Pope Blessed Knees?

Sam Bradford

Nothing summarizes the emotion of this upcoming football season for Philadelphia more than a petition created by a group of Eagles fans to have Pope Francis bless Sam Bradford’s knees.

Sam Bradford 2015

Sam BradfordSam Bradford didn’t play in the Eagles first pre-season game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, yet many fans wished he had.

Instead, backup QB’s Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley and even Tim Tebow had their moments in what seemed to be a very QB friendly offense that move the chains with ease.

With raving reviews from Eagles training camp about Bradford and the fact that the team’s backup gunslingers were so successful on Sunday despite being very erratic at times, fans are dying to see what Bradford can do in Chip Kelly’s offense.

Sam Bradford was held out of the Eagle’s first pre-season game for precautionary measures. He is not being rushed into action, and true fans know that his health is more important than anything in 2015.

In fact, nothing summarizes the emotion of this upcoming football season for Philadelphia more than a petition created by a group of Eagles fans to have Pope Francis bless Sam Bradford’s knees.

I’m not making this up.

There is a real petition with more than 6,000 names on it to have Pope Francis bless a football players knees.

Now that’s paranoia at it’s finest, but can you blame them?

Chip Kelly’s quarterbacks have totaled 65 touchdowns over the last two seasons. Kelly has made the absolute most out of the hand he was dealt in his first two seasons. But this past off-season (after gaining control of the roster) the Eagles coach shook things up in a big way, acquiring Sam Bradford through trade with the St. Louis Rams.

With back to back 10-6 seasons under Chip Kelly, the Eagles look primed for another successful year. Just this time with the QB Coach Kelly hand-picked himself. Many believe the key to the teams success isn’t so much on whether Bradford can get the job done, it’s whether he can last a full season.

Can Smoothies Fix Everything?

veA3WHXChip Kelly made headlines back in 2013 when he introduced personalized smoothies for Eagle players. He got rid of “Taco Tuesday’s” and really put a conscious effort into improving the health of his million dollar athletes.

Strength training and dieting have changed so much in the last decade, and it’s any wonder why more NFL teams haven’t copied Kelly’s approach after successfully keeping his players healthier on average league-wide. Kelly wants his players staying properly hydrated and believes in fine tuning a players diet to maximise optimal efficiency. According to Supps R Us, protein powder is one the most popular supplements in the world and an essential part in building muscles. It’s obvious that Protein is a key ingredient in Kelly’s smoothies, yet just about everything else remains a secret. The recipes are guarded by Kelly’s sports science department.

What Exactly is Sports Science?

In a nutshell, Sports Science looks at the recovery and health of an athlete in a completely different point of view.

Their version of “reconditioning” is directed by a performance team and medically supported. The program design begins with the end goal in mind, which is a return to competition. They then design a progression backward to the surgery. This process allows the performance team to address all aspects of athletic development immediately post-injury or surgery to best prepare the individual for the true demands of competition that lay ahead.

Interestingly enough, they don’t like braces, and it often takes longer than traditional rehab:

Many post-op rehabilitation protocols consider themselves progressive by offering accelerated programs and return to play strategies that get athletes back to competition very early. Bill Knowles, Director of Reconditioning and Athletic Development is not in favor of these strategies. Reconditioning is a performance-based model that values a longer preparation period, NOT an earlier return to competition.

2015 Prediction

Sam Bradford has not missed a single rep of training camp thus far. Per beat reporter Eliot Shorr-Parks, Bradford has shown “no signs” of the injury that sidelined him for the entire 2014 season. He’s shown a “cannon for an arm” and the ball “flies out of his hand.”

Chip Kelly has said that he doesn’t believe in depth charts and that Mark Sanchez has a real shot at winning the starting job. Yet from what I saw last season (and on Sunday) and from what I’ve heard throughout Eagles training camp, the QB competition is as close as Lincoln Financial Field is to the Moon. The job is Bradford’s as long as he can stay healthy.

With a young receiving group, three solid running backs, and above average offensive line, there is a realistic chance that Sam Bradford could rebound with great success and is the front runner for comeback player of the year in my books. If Chip Kelly can make a super stars out of Nick Foles and Mark Sanchez, I’m confident he can rebuild Bradford’s reputation and lean on the strengths and abilities that lead the Rams to draft Bradford first overall back in the 2010 NFL Draft.

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