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August 06, 2016

Eagles Links: Sam Bradford clearly on top of quarterback depth chart

Sam Bradford didn’t have the smoothest of offseasons. At one point, his agent was doing all the speaking for him, requesting a trade. That didn’t go over well at all in Philly, or with the Bennett bros. To be fair, it’s hard to please either Philly or the Bennett bros.

Heading into training camp, all eyes were on Carson Wentz, and that is still largely the case. Here’s the thing, though: Somewhat under the radar, Bradford has clearly looked like the team’s best quarterback. Here’s our own Jimmy Kempski, who watches practice every day:

There aren't many people out there who have been as critical of Bradford as me, but Sleeves has had a very solid camp. Carson Wentz is bigger, stronger, younger, more athletic, has a more powerful arm, and there are times when the rookie first round pick will make a "wow" play that Bradford or backup Chase Daniel could only dream of making. However, Bradford has easily been the most accurate quarterback of the three, as well as the most consistent on a day-to-day basis.

The Inquirer’s Jeff McLane expressed these same sentiments the other day:

Anyone that is pushing the Wentz-could-beat-out-Bradford narrative should be disqualified from covering the Eagles. That isn’t to say Wentz won’t be good or that Bradford will be the NFL MVP this season. But it’s become increasingly clear that the rookie isn’t ready and won’t be close to it for some time – as the team had expected. Wentz looks great one moment, completely lost the next – like a rookie quarterback.

Bradford will still likely be traded or released at the end of the season, but with the Eagles trying to win the NFC East in 2016, he needs to be the starter. Right now, Bradford is the Eagles’ best quarterback.

In case you missed it at PhillyVoice

1.    Training camp notes: Fletcher Cox is still a beast, and there’s a special stick figure drawing of the kicking battle in there.

2.    Five training camp standouts: The safety tandem is balling out, and Jordan Matthews “is catching everything thrown his way.”

3.    Dropping like flies: Matthews and Zach Ertz both went down with injuries during the live period on Friday…

4.    And Ertz wasn’t happy. Dougie P is still going to have his team hitting, though.

5.    Some good news: Ryan Mathews and Brandon Brooks practiced for the first time in training camp, giving the offense a nice boost.

Other Eagles news, notes and analysis from around the web:

New defensive scheme in Philadelphia good news for Brandon Graham: Pro Football Focus

For anyone with Jim Washburn PTSD, the Eagles plan to run “a skinnier-9” this season:

For anybody worrying about the Eagles employing the wide-9 technique alignment we saw for defensive ends under Jim Schwartz in Detroit, Graham told us that they aren’t lining up quite that wide, precisely because they don’t want to get caught leaving gaps that are too big to cover up.

When the Lions were running the wide-9, the linebackers were under tremendous pressure to fill gaps too big for them to reasonably defend, and it cost them the longer they ran it. Here, they won’t be under quite that much pressure, but the scheme still asks a lot of them.

Ranking under-25 talent of all 32 NFL teams: Scott Kacsmar, ESPN Insider

Ertz and Cox turned 25 last year, which means the Eagles are ranked (gulp…) 30th in the NFL:

The Eagles actually gain back a Pro Bowler from injury, but it's just kicker Cody Parkey, who had marginal value on kickoffs in 2014. We'd also normally give a boost for drafting a quarterback No. 2 overall, but we downgraded Philadelphia for the decision to redshirt Carson Wentz this year. Even if he were the starter, Wentz raises plenty of red flags given his limited experience in a run-heavy offense against lesser college competition.

I liked Tommy Lawlor’s take on this tweet:

You love the assistant coaches and players interacting like this. Practice can be long and hard. Summer days are brutally hot. Little things like this break up the monotony and bring some fun to the day. It also gets the competitive juices flowing and that can help players.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann