By now, you’ve probably learned that, when it comes to these NFL stars or any other professional athlete, any question about what it will be like to lock horns with former teammates and coaches will normally be answered generically with phrases like ‘it’s just another game’ or ‘this game is between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants, not any particular player versus any particular team’. Take James Bradberry for instance.
One of Philly’s prized acquisitions of the past couple of months, Bradberry’s decision to join the Birds assured him of two things: a one-year deal worth up to $10 million and two games in which he’ll suit up in the midnight green (or kelly green) to face the team he played for during the past two NFL regular seasons.
But, that’s not all…
So, you’d figure those games versus the Giants would give James Bradberry an additional adrenaline boost, right?
No Eagles coach, player, or fan has to be reminded that games versus Big Blue should be circled, highlighted, and underlined. We aren’t just talking about any regular-season game. These are divisional battles that we always look to later to determine playoff seeding. It’s also a game versus one of the Eagles’ top three rivals.
Couple that with the fact that this is the team that basically told James Bradberry that ‘we don’t want you anymore’ (we’re paraphrasing of course but you get where we’re coming from), and you have to believe that this is one of those games that James circled himself. After all, we’ve all heard rumors that the opportunity to play New York twice factored into his decision, right?
Recently, the 2020 Pro Bowler spoke with members of the Philly media (along with and, in addition to stating that this Eagles defense will allow him to play the game he’s comfortable playing, he sees Philly’s two-game tilt with the G-Men as, you guessed it, two games on the 17-game slate that aren’t any different than the other 15.
Here are a couple of quotes straight from the source, beginning with his understanding of the business side that comes along with being a premier player at the NFL level and how the Giants chose to handle his situation.
"First of all, I understand that it’s a business, so I put my business cap on first and understanding that I’m an asset (and that) they want something for me. That was part of the game. Personally, I didn’t necessarily like it, but it’s a business at the end of the day and I understand that…"
In relation to the theories that he may harbor some animosity toward his former tea, Bradberry said this.
"I’m looking forward to every game that we play next year. It’s 17 games. I know we have to win a lot of them to make it to the playoffs, so I’m looking forward to all of the games we play."
Sure, we respect his professionalism. Heck, we expected nothing but professionalism. We’ve always admired Bradberry from a distance and have never been given any reason to believe he’d handle himself in any other manner.
Every now and again, it would be cool to hear one of these guys say they’re ticked off and can’t wait to stick it to everyone that doubted them though. We’re teasing of course… sort of. Maybe all of this is because we keep thinking about Alshon Jeffery guaranteeing that win in the Super Bowl. Maybe we’re here for all of the smoke sometimes.
Oh well, we’re giving it a rest… for now. Who cares what these guys say anyway? Bulletin board material is overrated. All that matters is these guys show up and bring it when it’s time for kickoff, and we’re sure James Bradberry will do that during every Eagles game whether he sees one as an opportunity to prove the doubters wrong or not. Expect big things from Number 24 all season.