NFL Analyst Greg Cosell On Sam Bradford: “A Little Skittish In The Pocket”

SamBradford41The clock is ticking and the Eagles training camp is getting closer and closer.  I’ve been digging for information about the Eagles new players and especially the most important new guy, quarterback, Sam Bradford.  NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell, who spends nearly every working day with former Eagles quarterback and ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, gave us his evaluation of Bradford and former Eagles quarterback Nick Foles to Ross Tucker on his podcast right after the deal was made.  I thought the specific points he made about both quarterbacks was very illuminating.

“Well I think right now you would probably rather have Foles, but I think you’re dealing with two-flawed quarterbacks at this point”, Cosell said.  “Bradford is the most talented thrower, but I think over time what’s happened with Bradford is.  He began his career essentially playing behind average to poor “O” lines and he got beat up a lot. Bradford has become “a little skittish in the pocket”.  He’s become “a little gun shy” and I think it’s impacted his accuracy.”

“When he came out of Oklahoma, one of his big strengths was that he was precisely accurate.  He hasn’t played that way in the NFL and of course he hasn’t played for a year in three/quarters, which is another issue in and of itself.   But he hasn’t played that way in the last part of his career when he has played. So that is a concern.”

“Foles on the other hand obviously had the great year a few years ago and last year really had issues with his mechanics, with his feet, threw way too many ball off balance. I think he became a little reactive to pressure, as well.  So you’re dealing with two quarterbacks who have things that they have got to work through in order to play at their best.”

First of all, we Eagles fans can agree with Cosell that Foles was definitely having some serious technique problems.  He wasn’t setting his feet, so the ball was going any and every where, which was resulting in turnovers.

Now on to Bradford, the reason I have spent so much time disclosing what people like Ron Jaworski and Kurt Warner have said about Bradford “losing his confidence in the pocket”, or or “getting a little skittish in the pocket”, is that this will give you an idea about what a serious challenge Bradford is facing as he makes his comeback.

It also explains why he hasn’t been able to accomplish much during his time in the NFL.  I refuse to believe you can blame a bad offensive line, a lack of quality receivers and injuries as the only reasons why an outstanding talent like Bradford has been a bust so far in his NFL career.  There have been times when he has been healthy, time to throw and open receivers.  Franchise level quarterbacks are able to win and make the playoffs with average and below average talent around them.

Look at Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Donovan McNabb during his early years with the Eagles.  All these guys made the guys around them better.  They made the playoffs with teams with average talent.

Cosell, Jaworski and Warner have made it clear that psychologically the Sam Bradford that the Eagles traded for isn’t the same Sam Bradford who was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 2010.  During the time since he was drafted, he has been beaten up physically and psychologically, which has caused him to get skittish in the pocket and lose his confidence in his ability to make plays down the field.

He not only has to “rehab his knee”, he must also “rehab his mind” and regain his confidence in the pocket.  You’re also talking about a guy, who hasn’t had real success since he was winning the Heisman Trophy in 2008.  That was seven years ago.  I see this as a huge challenge for him and Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.  It will be Shurmur’s job to hold Bradford’s hand through this process.  In all likelihood, Shurmur will be the good guy, constantly emphasizing the positive and encouraging Bradford, while Kelly will be the bad guy, pointing out mistakes and demanding production out of Bradford.

Now if you want to talk about a great reality show, they should just put a mic on Bradford and have three cameras following him around wherever he goes.

31 thoughts on “NFL Analyst Greg Cosell On Sam Bradford: “A Little Skittish In The Pocket”

  1. Good Article G-Man and many of the things that I have been saying all Off-Season you have been reporting on lately from JAwsa,Cossell, and Your Own Observations..
    Foles has his limitations but he did lead the Eagles to the NFC East Crown in 2013 and I saw no reason with an emphasis on his mechanics that he could do so again in 2015 behind a Healthy OL and Solid Running Game..
    Bradford on the other hand just has way too Question Marks in my opinion
    to count on… #1) His Durability Issues & #2) His Mental Toughness
    I think the 2015 Season will come down to Mark Sanchez having to save the Season which is probably not a good thing though I believe Sanchez can win the Eagles 8-9 Games which probably is not enough to make the Post-Season..
    If the Bradford Experiment does not work, then I have to seriously consider the Chip Kelly Era as another disappointment and with missed opportunities
    In Essence, Chip Kelly could very well be starting Year 4 of a 5 Year Plan with no long-term QB in Place which is kind of crazy when you think about
    it and we all know without a long-term Franchise QB in place, the chances of competing for a Super Bowl let alone Winning one is very doubtful
    Chip Kelly may decide after this Season that what the heck, Trade in half the Roster for his QB that he was unwilling to do last Draft with Marcus Mariota..Maybe Chip will go all in for a Russell Wilson, or Colin Kapernick or RG3 if any of them become available or if Kelly really thinks he can win with them… or we could just see Mark Sanchez trot out on the Field as the Eagles Starter come 2016 also…

  2. I have to disagree in a major way here. As I have said all along the ONLY issue with Bradford is his durability, which is a big issue no doubt. But as far as talent, when he was playing (albeit with a bad O-Line and terrible receivers) he had a very typical statistical arc as you would expect of any talented young QB:

    Rookie Year – Record stats for a QB at that time and O Rookie of the Year
    Soph Year – TERRIBLE year that brings his overall numbers way way down
    Third Year – bounce back with improvement on his rookie year numbers
    Fourth Year – Set to have a GREAT year (14 tds to 4 pics, 60+ completion, high QBR, etc) before he got hurt.

    Its funny that G mentions Drew Bress because this is exactly the kind of arc that bress had before he went to NOLA. As for Brady, Rodgers and Luck….sure Bradford is nothing like those guys but those guys don’t win the super bowl every year. You don’t need a top 5 or even top 10 guy to win (i.e. Flacco and Eli).

    I worry about Bradford’s durability but that is where my concerns begin and end. I think that is how Kelly is approaching the situation which is why he made the deal.

    1. Bradford is too soft and will never make in a tough demanding market as Philly
      This is the bottom line that many who follow the game feel about Sam Bradford but are afraid to say publicly..

      1. Too soft? “Many who follow the game feel but are afraid to say it” WTF are you talking about? Who is afraid to say what? Are you smoking weed? You just make up shit.
        He’s not tough enough for hilly, he’s not a philly kind of guy, philly guys bring a lunch pale to work, he’s too sensitive for philly….it is a LAZY way of playing to the fever pitched fan base. Mcnabb wasn’t a philly guy, Schmidt wasn’t, Rollins, Hamels etc of course all of them were quite successful even tho they were soft and sensitive… Bullshit fraud

        1. You’ll see here in about a Month or So..
          You can read between the lines of what Curt Warner, Ron Jaworski, Greg Cosell and others have said… Or you can simply watch it with your own eyes..
          Bradford Plays Scared in the Pocket and you can’t play that way at the NFL Level and be Successful.. It’s that Simple..

        2. Cant, Ron Jaworski, Kurt Warner, and Greg Cosell all have effectively said that Bradford has been skittish in the pocket due to his injuries, which turned him into a check down Charlie. He has not been able to shake the mental concerns done by the physical injuries he has had. That is a mental toughness issue. Jaws said it best, Bradford has not shown that he is willing to look down the gun barrel…hence, the check down Charlie label. As soon as he believes there is pressure, he delivers the ball to the back or the closest open receiver, not allowing the receivers to get into their routes downfield. Yes he gets rid of the ball fast, because he checks down.

          1. Honestly, that is just the trendy narrative right now. I challenge each of them and all of you to go back and look at the first 7 games of 2013 before the two ACL injuries.

            I guarantee you will have no idea where this notion of “check down Charlie” is coming from. In each of those games, his number one receiver was either a TE or WR and in each game he had several completions of 30+ yards.

            The one area I will agree with is that he has to trust his knee again. Once he clears that hurtle he will be fine.

            People need to understand when media members (local and national) simply play into trendy narratives. The only one I fully respect is Jaws because he has an interest in our club so you know he is truly watching all the snaps and not just joining the narrative. Jaws has said that the hardest think he will have to come back from is the mental hurtle of trusting his knee again.

            Regardless, the check down Charlie label is a joke if you actually look at his last games played.

            1. It’s not a trendy narrative, it’s a fact. I am going to take kurt Warner’s word for it as a QB, and an analyst who watched plenty of Bradford, and he knows the game, especially the QB position.

              1. If it is not a trendy narrative then rationalize his last 7 games with the statements Kurt is putting out there. Know how to spot a trendy analysis…..they talk in generalities and not specifics because the specifics don’t support their point. In this instance, Bradford was playing top 10 QB football last we saw him healthy.

                Health and health alone is the concern.

              2. You’re looking at such a small sample of his pro career. Overall, Bradford has been Average at best. And yes, he’s been skittish in the pocket…Checkdown Chuck! Nick Foles went through a nice 7 game stretch too…streaks happen, overall, Bradford has not been anything special…read the posts Rams fans wrote on him, there is a reason Jeff Fischer and the Rams organization gave up on him. I hope he lights it up, his history of playing scared says otherwise.

              3. Eagle…I’m not just focusing on a small sample size…as I mentioned above, Bradford followed a very similar career arc as some really good QBs and it was just starting to peek prior to the injuries.

                I would say similar things about Foles who had a bad year and I am anxious to see how he rebounds this year. The main difference between Foles and Bradford is that Bradford has all the physical tools that make up a stud QB whereas Foles’ great year was more a matter of circumstance.

            2. Cant, we are all going to find out very soon. No Eagles fan has really paid attention to Sam Bradford over his five year career, and why would we, that’s why I went to Rams sites and read what they were saying as well as listening to Kurt Warner’s take on Bradford. When the games begin, I’m all in and hope Sam ‘chicken legs’ Bradford can be the guy. Based off of what I have seen, I’m more skeptical than optimistic.

              1. you are right Eagle and so is the Gent who said
                ‘ check down charlie ” is a trendy name . Truth is, we will all know pretty soon about Kells wisdom and bradfords mental toughness and his thin bones that gcobb said he has . All this stuff does is keep fans interested, analyst, writers etc, we will know soon about all of these issues with jaws, kelly,, bradford. warner et al.Bradford came close to quitting football after his 2nd a.c.l. that should worry any Eagle fan.But it will all be very evident by the 3rd or 4th game of season.Or sooner , it is all very intriguing, what kelly has or hasn’t done.

      2. Foles wasn’t really the problem. The Offensive Line was THE problem last year. That was the difference between Foles play one year to the next. If the O-Line provides better protection Foles doesn’t get hurt, and his season would have looked a lot different.

        That was partly why Sanchez had some minor success, because the O-LIne started to get healthy, and some continuity, giving him reasonably the protection he needed…..

        .I don’t blame Foles 100% at all

        1. Sanchez was also able to maneuver in the pocket a lot better than Foles, which bought him time. As far as the O line, I think the Guard position is a mess, which will not give Bradford much confidence. That’s on Chip. If I’m a d coordinator, I am attacking the guards every chance I get.

          1. Defenses will attack right up the gut versus the Eagles against the smaller Center Kelce and 2 New Guards (Barbree and probably Tobin or Moffitt)

            I See New DC’s for the Redskins, Spags with Giants, Marinelli with the Cowboys, McDermott with the Panthers, Rex Ryan with the Bills, The Jets Defense are all going to attack that interior of the Eagles OL..

          2. on some plays yes I agree with you Eagle, but again, he had the luxury of having the Offensive Line start to mesh a lot better than it was with Foles under center.

            They were MESS. Some plays the Defensive player was in the backfield with Foles, and Shady, pretty much at hike. Mobility wouldn’t have helped Foles – It couldn’t even help Shady at times.

        2. GMCliff..
          Do you believe, as I do, that the 2015 Eagles would have been better to keep Foles and that 2nd Round 2016 Draft Pick and to use that $13 Million Salary being paid to Bradford, and have addressed the Safety & Guard Position
          I think Kelly will regret ever making this Trade

          1. That’s hard to say Paul for me. Because if Bradford was visibly, and reasonably healthy, no one would question the move….

            Chip wanted Mariota – For me that would have been a mistake. I think he would have flopped with the Eagles, as well as the Titans – but took a chance on Bradford.

            The 13 million is irrelevant, if he plays well or flops, because that’s what you would have been paying Shady had he not traded him – but you wouldn’t have – Alonzo(who I don’t like), Murray, Matthews, or Agholar. He chose to spread it out.

            I think the Foles move was Chips trying to put the team in a better position to run his Offense, with a QB he was more comfortable, and confident in. If Bradford flops – it’s just 13 million for 1 year. So he really chose to pay Bradford, instead of Shady.

            1. Do note GMCliff that if Bradford evered played to his Hype and remained Healthy, the Rams would not have even thought about trading him.. Doesn’t it concern anyone that a franchise like the Rams after paying 80% of Bradford’s $75 Million Rookie Deal may as well play it out and see if he finally catches fire in his Final Season? For Jeff Fisher & GM Snead to give up on Bradford now after all they have been thru is a more newsworthy than what Jaws,Cosell or any other oundit says… They gave up on Bradford for he gave up on himself and the game of Football..

              1. But that wasn’t your question bruh. You asked if I thought the team would be better with Foles at a lower base salary, and stated that I understand the rational behind Chips decision – can’t say I agree with it or not – but it better work.

      3. Paul if this true, or close to being true, why did kelly give up what he did to get Bradford?He must have know what jaws etc knows, He may even have spoken with them. The team is cooked if bradford is a s skittish as all pundits say. Just cant figure what kelly was thinking when he made the deal, for a oft injured, Q.B. who also has some fear of injury problems , That part does not make sense if your kelly , No doubt his job is secure till his contract runs out . 3 more years.

        1. Because Kelly is not very well versed yet as a GM in Terms of Trades, Player Values, Trade Value, etc..
          Look at McCoy for Kiko Alonso straight up ? That was asinine also …
          Rex Ryan laughed and couldn’t sign off on that deal fast enough…

          1. you guys understand that its july, the dead time in football and ‘pundits’ have to say something to make you idiots post on this site and watch their network right?

  3. Foles is the hell outta here and no one will miss his slow,throwing off his back foot while being rushed ass. Foles is more injury prone than Sam Bradford and Bradford has an higher pedigree. So, We have the better of 2 injury prone QB’s.

    Now, let’s see if Chip’s staff can keep Sam healthy which will yield a higher reward.

    Vick is out there who would be a premium back up if something was to happen, so there’s no sweat. `our offense is better minus Foles.

    Go Eagles!

    1. Eagles already have a Capable Back-up in Sanchez, why the hell would Chip Kelly be interested in Mike Vick who quit on his Teammates last year on the Jets when he had multiple chances to overtake the weak Geno Smith and still was unprepared in understanding the “complicated” Offense of the Jets..
      Vick is Toast as I told you he was 3 Years ago…

    2. a premium back up? vick? i assume you didn’t see any jets games last year or read that he even admitted he didn’t prepare well enough to enter games..

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