Philadelphia Eagles fans organized a petition on Change.org asking Pope Francis to bless the knees of new quarterback Sam Bradford.
Phladelphia Eagles fans want Pope Francis to bless Sam Bradford's knees.
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The Pope will visit Philadelphia on Sept. 26 and 27, per USCCB.org. Eagles fans organized a petition on Change.org asking him that their quarterback be injury-free:
"The Pope is coming to Philly! Our city! With this Eagles season coming up, a lot of our Super Bowl hopes rely on Sam Bradford's knees staying healthy. So, with one of the most religious representatives in the world visiting our wonderful place we call home, how about we get him to bless Bradford's knees during his visit to Philly!
"This town deserves a Super Bowl, and a healthy Bradford is the only way we will have a parade down Broad Street! Please sign this petition and Go Eagles and Welcome to Philly, Pope Francis!!!!"
As of 12:54 a.m. ET on Aug. 11, 1,319 Eagles fans have signed the petition. It can be viewed in full here.
The Eagles traded Nick Foles and two draft picks to the St. Louis Rams for Bradford. So far, Philadelphia likes what it sees in its new quarterback.
Jason Peters spoke with The Delaware County Times' Bob Grotz on Aug. 8. The Eagles' left tackle told Grotz that Bradford is similar to Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers:
"It's effortless. I mean, it shoots out of his hand like a cannon. The guy has an arm, man. We've just got to keep him clean and good things are going to happen this year.
"You'd have to compare the release to somebody like Aaron Rodgers' release. The quickness. The decisiveness. That's what I see. I played with him in the Pro Bowl. The quickness of him getting rid of the ball, that's what I see."
Bradford had four practices with the Eagles leading up to Aug. 7. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Zach Berman reported on the development. >
These practices have intensified as each day passed. Bradford's left knee has not bothered him. It has already gone through two surgeries.
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly told Berman that Bradford has improved everyday. Kelly also confirmed he hasn't seen any flaws in Bradford's lower-body mechanics.
Bradford scrambled with the football for the first time last Tuesday. That was when the defense tried to swarm him. It also prompted Kelly to dub Bradford as "a pretty athletic guy," per Berman.
Bradford tore his ACL in Oct. 2013 when he was still with the Rams. He told The Philadelphia Inquirer last week he will not hesitate to run when the situation calls for it:
"I think I feel better than what I was expecting. I thought my knee would hold up, but I wasn't sure. I hadn't put it through four days of practices coming into camp. But the way my knee feels now, it feels great.
"You can't take that (running) out of my game; but at the same time, it's not worth two extra yards."
Bradford said he's confident about his running abilities when the pocket collapses.
This was what he told ESPN's Phil Sherian on Aug. 7:
"I feel pretty good about that. We tried to simulate that. But it's hard to simulate those game situations We can do a little bit of that in practice. But you can't simulate when the pocket breaks down and I've got to make a hard hitch and scramble.
"I've been in a few of those situations so far, and I've found my knee has held its own.
"It's crazy. It seems just like yesterday I was in Cleveland, walking to the locker room. I thought this day would never come. But here we are, a little over a week away (from the preseason opener) -- we'll get out there and play some real football."
Bradford will play his first game as Eagles quarterback on Sept. 14. The Eagles will visit the Atlanta Falcons on that day per PhiladelphiaEagles.com.
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