Eagles Droppings 4/27: Bradley Ready To Return, More Grades, Hunt On Giants, Westbrook Takes Physical
By Lance Epstein
In a Philadelphia Eagles conference call on Tuesday morning where fans received the opportunity to ask their favorite players and head coach Andy Reid anything they wanted, a important question was directed in Stewart Bradley's direction. The question that was asked to the starting middle linebacker was about his recovery from his torn ACL suffered in training camp last year.
"I'm coming along great, and in fact I was just cleared by the doctors to practice this weekend," Bradley said. "I am really excited to get back on the field. I don't think I will have any limitations.
"I've missed the game, the competition. I can't wait to get it started."
Bradley is expected to participate in the team's mandatory minicamp coming up this weekend in Philadelphia. Even though Bradley was cleared to play by doctors, the Eagles do not want him overexerting himself and re-injuring his knee.
Reid stated this past weekend that both Bradley and his workout buddy, tight end Cornelius Ingram would participate in five practices this upcoming week.
This is major news for the Eagles because Bradley's presence on the inside was sorely missed last year. The Eagles used six different middle linebackers and 11 combinations at the linebacking position. Furthermore, is the only linebacker on the team that has proven to have the ability to shutdown opposing team's tight ends and be stout against the run.
Do not underestimate the return of Bradley, his leadership and along with his talent is a giant boost to the Eagles defense.
More Draft Grades:
Earlier this week on Eaglesmix.com there was a article revealing some of the national media's grades on the Eagles draft. Most thought very highly of the Eagles class and what they were able to accumulate with the 55th overall pick. Today, National Football Post's West Bunting and Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Narwocki have weighed in on the Eagles draft.
Bunting gives the Eagles a solid 'B' for their excellent value in the first two rounds and following it up with great value later in the draft.
A deep class that offers some intriguing bodies on all levels. I wasn’t overly impressed with some of their mid-round picks, but getting guys like DE Brandon Graham and FS Nathaniel Allen early and values like DT Jeff Owens and DE Ricky Sapp late makes this group tough to pick on. Grade: B
As for Narwocki, he says the Eagles deserve a 'A-minus' for their ability to find talent in rounds 5-7.
As one of the league’s more active teams dealing during the draft, Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman began a youth movement this offseason, dealing veteran QB Donovan McNabb for a second-round pick this year and a conditional fourth-rounder next year. They also shipped out a number of older veterans, such as Lito Sheppard [hate to inform him that he was not on the Eagles last year], Sheldon Brown and Chris Clemons , and younger players, such as LB Chris Gocong and WR Brandon Gibson, in exchange for picks or players. Veterans who arrived as part of draft trades include OT Jason Peters, LB Will Witherspoon, DE Darryl Tapp and LB Ernie Sims , which collectively would appear to tilt in the Eagles’ favor, despite concerns about a number of the additions, the rich contract that was given to Peters and the loss of a franchise quarterback. Beyond all the activity in the trade market, the Eagles had the ammunition to really revamp the roster through the draft, with a league-high 13 picks. And they largely focused on the defensive side of the ball, where they brought in nine fresh faces, including three defensive ends (Brandon Graham, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim andRicky Sapp) who could all see some type of action early, most notably Graham, for whom they moved up aggressively in the first round to land. FS Nate Allen, who will forever be linked to McNabb, has the cover skills to play corner or safety. CB Trevard Lindley and OLB Keenan Clayton were reaches in the fourth round, although Clayton could factor on special teams. QB Mike Kafka is perfectly suited for the Eagles’ West Coast offense. TE Clay Harbor(notes) could develop into a solid contributor. Good value was found in Rounds 5-7, as WR Riley Cooper could compete for a roster spot and ILB Jamar Chaney and FS Kurt Coleman could potentially help on special teams. While completely retooling the roster, the Eagles easily landed four starters and found a lot of quality depth, although the jury remains out on the decision to deal McNabb.
Even a couple days after the draft, the Eagles are still receiving high praise for their ability to collect talent late rounds that could pay off big dividends for the Eagles. In a interesting side note, the Eagles converted the 55th overall pick into five players from this draft.
Hunt Making Return To NFL:
A couple of days ago, former Eagle and Penn State running back Tony Hunt received a tryout from the Giants. Hunt was a third-round selection by the Eagles in the 2007 draft, but ultimately became a draft bust.
Reid and the Eagles originally tried Hunt out at the running back position, but when it became clear he was not fast enough and was too big for the position, they tried to move him to fullback. After a couple of games at the fullback position, the Hunt experiment was over. The club released him and he has not caught on anywhere else.
While fans hate to see him succeed in Giants blue, they can appreciate if he makes a NFL roster and fulfills his dream.
Westbrook The Ram?
According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch, former Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook took a physical with the Rams and passed it as well.
Westbrook is entering his ninth season in the NFL, but last season he was marred with leg injuries and concussion problems, which ultimately lead to his release from the Eagles. Of course, Westbrook is not the player he was five years ago or even three years ago, but he should be able to help a Rams team looking for leadership and a third down back.
However, with the concussion problems Westbrook has had it might just be a better alternative to retire and be a coach or reporter like Tiki Barber.