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May 25, 2016

Bradford not a lock to be Eagles starting QB when season begins

Eagles NFL
051816ChaseDaniel Matt Rourke/AP

From left to right: Sam Bradford, Chase Daniel and Carson Wentz. Is that how the Week 1 depth chart will read?

Despite what we've been hearing from Philadelphia Eagles coaches and executives in recent weeks, it's still too early to know who will lead the team's offense when they face the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 of the 2016 season.

And, according to Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich, it appears the team is viewing it as an open competition. Here's what he told Angelo Cataldi and the rest of the WIP Morning Show on Wednesday morning when asked if Sam Bradford was the clear No. 1 QB on the depth chart:

“No, that’s probably not the right impression,” Reich said. “I’ve been around this business a long time as a player and as a coach, and one of the things I’ve really come to appreciate is it’s not a contradiction to say you’ve got to have order. Because if you don’t order it’s chaos. So, if you’re the head coach you gotta come in and you’ve gotta establish order. There has to be organization, there has to be order, but the other thing that — as coaches — that you’ve got to establish is a culture of competition. This is one of the most competitive industries in the world and so, to say that there’s not competition, that’s just the furthest thing from the truth.

“So, I don’t see the problem with creating order and competition at the same time, personally,” Reich continued. “Every one of us as a coach and a player, you’re working harder to get better, but in that process you have to establish order and things have a way of working themselves out.” [CBS 3 Philly]

With each passing day, Bradford's hold on the starting quarterback spot over rookie Carson Wentz seems less secure.

Last week, following Bradford's return to practice after requesting a trade, head coach Doug Pederson reiterated what he said following the selection of Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick: the QB depth chart is currently Bradford, Chase Daniel and then Wentz (in that order).

On Tuesday, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who was the head coach in Detroit when the Lions drafted Matthew Stafford, met with the media and when asked what he's seen from Wentz and what he believes is the key when trying to develop rookie quarterbacks.

"You know, there's a lot of things," Schwartz admitted. "I think I probably would say similar to some of these other questions I had. Don't judge him on somebody else, and then also don't predetermine the results of the race. Just let him go play. Don't put pressure on him. I can't speak for Carson and what's going on. I have my own worries. You guys saw how crappy a practice that was: We've got enough worries on defense right now. 

"But I think that when we drafted Stafford, we just let it play. Was he our best quarterback? Was he ready? Unfortunately, he got hurt both his first and second year probably from holding the ball a little too long at times. He learned those lessons, and his third year he really, really took off. But I think he had enough command those other years that he was ready to play. We wouldn't have put him on the field otherwise."

And now, given Reich's comments, it could be more of an open competition than any of us realized. 

Here's the full interview with Reich that aired on WIP:

Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin