By Harry Allison
New Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz is gathering many of the players who played for him in Buffalo and Detroit.
Nigel Bradham is one of four players from Schwartz’s past that have been brought in by Eagles. Bradham was at his best when he and Schwartz were together with the Buffalo Bills.
The aggressive nature of Schwartz’s offense allows Bradham to get into position to make a lot of plays as a linebacker.
“It’s more so just being in a great scheme,” Bradham said earlier this week before practice. “Coach Schwartz knows what kind of guys he wants in his scheme. He has put me in a lot of positions. He will use my blitzing ability, hitting, coverage. I’ll be in a position to make a lot of plays. I am looking forward to the season.”
Most teams will want to establish the running game. The NFL has become a passing league, but teams desire the tone-setting physical play that comes with the running game.
Schwartz wants to take away what teams do best and do so with aggression. His desire is to frustrate the opponent into anxiously making a mistake. Bradham played for two bullish defensive coordinators in college at Florida State.
Bradham played for two bullish defensive coordinators in college at Florida State. They had a goal of stifling the run.
“I played two years with Mickey Andrews and two years with Mark Stoops,” Bradham said. “The main thing that we have to do first is to stop the run. In this system, it is all about attacking, being very aggressive. Taking things they want to do away from them. It puts them in a bad situation.”
Linebackers always read the run first. Their job is to stop the running game. Play action passes are designed to take advantage of aggressive linebackers that attack the line of scrimmage to blow up the running game.
As a veteran, Bradham knows where to look first when deciphering whether or not the play is a run or pass.
“I read my keys. I stay clued in on the linemen,” Bradham said. “At the end of the day, they will tell you everything. If they are slow off the ball and not really coming off, you know it is a pass. If they are attacking, getting downhill and you hear pads crashing, you know it’s a run. You have to be tuned into your keys. They will tell you.”