Forget about Terrell Suggs' questionable hit on Sam Bradford for a moment and consider the other shot the Eagles quarterback took against the Ravens, one exemplary of the kind of contact that he will be more susceptible to this season.

It came in the pocket and after Bradford held the ball too long in Saturday's preseason win. He got the pass off to Nelson Agholor, but he paused as he heaved it and the pass sailed high and off the receiver's hands.

The incompletion was inconsequential compared to the chest blow he took from 335-pound nose tackle Brandon Williams. Bradford got up, just as he did after Suggs' knee shot, but it took a few extra seconds as he collected himself.

It was a mini-milestone of sorts, just like the earlier impact, because Bradford was able to avoid injury a year removed from the second torn anterior cruciate ligament of his career. But the hits will keep coming, whether he's part of a zone-read play or he's throwing in and out of the pocket.

While the Suggs play has generated much attention about whether Bradford can or cannot be hit on running plays, in all likelihood there won't be many opportunities for defenders, especially if the Eagles run as few zone-read plays as Chip Kelly says they do.

But Bradford, assuming he plays all 16 games, will drop to throw about 600 times this season. That's a lot of chances for pass rushers to tee off on him. And there is no need for a rules interpretation. If you can get to him before he throws or is in the act of throwing, he's fair game.

The best defense, of course, is getting rid of the ball before there is any chance of getting slaughtered. And for the most part that has been one area in which Bradford, comparatively speaking, has excelled.

He just didn't on that throw to Agholor. He held on to the ball for approximately 3.6 seconds. Nearly every play is different, based on the call, the personnel, the defense, the down, the distance, the field position, and the clock, among other things. But generally, 3.6 seconds is too long.

Last season, Peyton Manning (2.25 seconds) and Tom Brady (2.38) were first and second among the 41 NFL quarterbacks who took 25 percent of their team's snaps in the time it took to throw, according to Pro Football Focus. The average was 2.62 seconds.

Mark Sanchez averaged 2.62 seconds and was tied for 16th and Nick Foles averaged 2.74 seconds and was tied for 27th. Foles had improved over the year before - he averaged 3.09 seconds and was 38th out of 42 in 2013 - but his time to throw was a weakness.

His season-ending shoulder injury last year was due, in part, to his hesitation in the pocket. It was there all over again when he stared down a receiver, pumped and threw a pick six in the Rams' preseason game on Sunday night. Michael Vick (3.41 seconds and 41st in 2013) had similar issues.

Bradford was by no means Manning or Brady in St. Louis. And you could say his quick release time was a product of checking down more than necessary. But he averaged 2.70 seconds (15th in the NFL) to throw in 2013. He averaged 2.70 seconds in 2012 and 2.69 seconds in 2011.

"First of all, I don't think I'm anywhere near those guys," Bradford said of Manning and Brady. "You just try to pick up stuff. I think watching Manning, you can learn that throwaways are good sometimes. He gets the ball out quick.

"He doesn't take many hits at all and I think that's because if his first or second reads are not there, and three's not looking good, the ball still comes out."

The physical part of throwing quickly is, of course, part of the equation - the footwork, the windup and the release. But the mental part is just important, and probably more so, according to Bradford.

"I'd say it's probably a little bit more just on the mental part," Bradford said, "knowing where your answers are, knowing where your read starts, where the progression is, feeling it, and just trying to get the ball out on time."

Kelly has said on many occasions that his ideal quarterback is razor sharp at processing information - from when he gets the call to throwing the ball on either progression reads (1, 2, 3, etc.) or coverage reads (based on pre-snap reading of the defense).

There's certainly more to playing quarterback at a high level than having a quick release. Aaron Rodgers holds the ball longer than most because he can extends plays with his legs, just like Vick. But there is an obvious correlation between the mind and the arm.

"He is really sharp at processing things, and that's part of the thing about being a great quarterback," Kelly said of Bradford. "You've got to be a great decision maker and I think he really makes good decisions."

There was only a small sample of plays on Saturday night to see Bradford in action. He admitted that he was rusty. He overthrew Riley Cooper on a deep post ("I was excited," he said) and he threw high to a covered Seyi Ajirotutu. There were strong passes, too.

But he was late to Agholor - "I kind of double-clutched it," Bradford said. - and he paid for it.

@Jeff_McLane