Early Birds: Pederson on Bradford, drafting a QB
During Doug Pederson's first three years with the Green Bay Packers, the team drafted a quarterback each season. Two of those quarterbacks never played in the NFL. The other was Matt Hasselbeck, who has played 17 seasons for four teams.
Pederson wants to create a quarterback pipeline in Philadelphia, and Jeffrey Lurie said the Eagles want to get back to drafting a quarterback every season or every other season.
The team does not have a young quarterback on the roster, so there is an emphasis on taking one this year. That's why the Eagles are on the road looking at quarterbacks, with reports already linking them to private workouts of California's Jared Goff, North Dakota State's Carson Wentz, Memphis' Paxton Lynch, and Stanford's Kevin Hogan. Pederson said he would personally scout the top four to six quarterbacks in the draft.
The implications of drafting a quarterback in the first round are different than doing so in the seventh round, but the Eagles already made a significant investment in Sam Bradford being the starter for the 2016 season. Still, if the Eagles take a quarterback in the early rounds of the draft, it raises the question of what that would signal to Bradford. His contract is structured so most of the money is in the first year of the deal, so Bradford likely knows there is not a long-term commitment now. But Pederson shared his memories of Brett Favre's reaction when the Packers brought in quarterbacks as an example of how the No. 1 quarterback must think.
"He didn't think about it one bit," Pederson said. "And honestly, if you're the starter, who cares? Who cares? Why are you looking over your shoulder, if you're the starter. And that's the way Sam has to approach this. Even with Chase [Daniel] there. And even if we go out and draft a quarterback this year. If you're the guy, you're the guy. You're looking forward and not behind. If you're constantly looking behind, that's a problem."
Pederson was not in Green Bay when the Packers took Aaron Rodgers in the first round in 2005, so the reaction could be different if it's a first-round pick. But Pederson has emphasized competition on the roster. He had no problem with Chase Daniel saying he was coming after the starting job. Daniel used to tell Drew Brees the same thing in New Orleans.
"It's friendly fire," Pederson said. "It's motivation. It's competition. I've talked about that a little bit with these guys, with every position on the team. And why not? A confident guy, if you're that confident, you'll prove it on the field."