Should Eagles Consider Position Change for Bradley?

Written By Bob Cunningham On Saturday, February 06, 2010

Would Stewart Bradley be more useful elsewhere?



I don't mean I want Stewart Bradley moved to wide receiver or have him take over at corner when Sheldon Brown moves to safety, but should the Eagles consider moving Bradley out of the MIKE position and slide him over to SAM?

Strong-side linebacker has been a problem for this team ever since Carlos Emmons left and headed to New York earlier this decade. The Chris Gocong experiment did not work the way they thought it would, and now the Birds are once again left with no answers at SAM.

However, Bradley is a guy who fits perfectly. He's got a rare combination of size (6'4, 254) and athleticism that would allow him to not only play the run on the strong side, but able to cover even the upper echelon of tight ends.

Let's also not forget that SAM is not uncharted territory for Bradley. In fact, he played SAM linebacker at Nebraska, and it was the move to MIKE that was actually the gamble for Bradley.

But as is usually the case, a solution to one problem only brings up more problems. The obvious one being, who would then move into the middle?

It's not ideal, but if the Birds were to draft Navorro Bowman with their first round pick, they could play him immediately at WILL and move Witherspoon into the MIKE spot again. It's not ideal because Witherspoon isn't quite big enough (6'1, 235) to play middle linebacker, but he's smart and quick enough to make up for it.

Not only that, but even in a down year Brodrick Bunkley and Mike Patterson are still very good at eating up blocks and not allowing the guards to get to the second level.

I would rather see the Birds pick up a guy who can play SAM, or perhaps see Moise Fokou flourish and be able to cover the tight ends, but I just don't see it happening. For next year, the Birds could do very well with a trio of Bowman, Witherspoon, and Bradley.

Even Akeem Jordan at WILL (if the Birds don't draft Bowman) would work out just fine.

I'm drawing the line. I'm personally sick and tired of seeing tight ends gouge this defense and if it means moving Bradley to SAM to make it stop, then I'm all for it.

Will he be able to run as well as he did before the knee injury? I'm not sure, no one is, but it's a risk I would certainly be happy to see them take in an effort to stop the tight ends.


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