Philadelphia Eagles: James Bradberry reveals Giants biggest strength

James Bradberry #24, John Hightower #82 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
James Bradberry #24, John Hightower #82 (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

James Bradberry was once someone the Philadelphia Eagles were watching.

It seems as though the Philadelphia Eagles have been desperate for help at the cornerback position for a while, so desperate that they actually handed a one-year deal to Ronald Darby during 2019’s offseason. Remember that? It seems like that was three years ago.

Here’s what’s sad about that. The move was both terrible and a decent idea at the time. Believe it or not, during 2019’s free-agency signing period, Darby was seen as one of the better cornerbacks in 2019’s pool of available talent. The theory was the Eagles were already familiar with him and if he could hold up physically, rolling the dice on him was worth the risk.

Well, as most of you know, that gamble didn’t pay off, so once 2020’s offseason rolled around, the Birds were, again, in the market for a cornerback. They wanted Byron Jones. That didn’t work out, and he signed with the Miami Dolphins. The second-best guy available was considered to be James Bradberry. Philly missed an opportunity to add him too. To make matters worse, he signed with a divisional rival, the New York Giants. Thank goodness the Eagles made the trade for Darius Slay.

Here’s something Philadelphia Eagles coaches need to consider.

Regardless of what either team’s record is, the Philadelphia Eagles’ and New York Giants’ games are going to be hard-fought and competitive more often than not. Divisional rivals are the ones who know you the most. You can’t trick them. It’s hard to come up with something that they haven’t seen before, but every once in a while, somebody gives you something.

Heading into Philly’s Week 10 rematch with New York, Bradberry sat with a few members of New York’s media, and he shared what might be New York’s biggest strength on defense, their ability to ease in and out of both man and zone coverages to keep opposing offenses off-balance. Here’s a quote.

"I think you just explained it. It’s hard for people to break down if we’re in man on or zone. It changes up sometimes with the corners coming over in zone or in man, so (we’re) very multiple I would say. It’s hard for teams to break down what we’re in. So, I think (Joe Judge) is doing a good job of changing things up and keeping the offense on their toes from time to time."

So far, in 2020, Bradberry has started all nine of New York’s games, and he’s racked up 28 tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, 12 pass breakups, and three interceptions. One of those picks came versus Carson Wentz in Week 7 while playing 81 percent of the total defensive snaps.

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The expectation is the Eagles will have Alshon Jeffery back for that one, but how much he will play or contribute is still up in the air. Whether Bradberry is lined up against Jeffery, Travis Fulgham, or Jalen Reagor, Carson Wentz will need to know where he is at all times. Expect different looks all game long from the Giants secondary. Expect another close game in this rivalry, but when the smoke clears and the dust settles, expect an Eagles win.