As Shaun Bradley spoke to reporters on Friday, and intruder jumped on stage, interrupted him and shouted into the microphone at the NovaCare Complex.
“Vote this guy for Pro Bowl right here!” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “He leads the NFL in freaking special teams tackles.”
Well, not quite. Bradley is tied for second in the NFL in special teams tackles, but is first in the NFC with 10.
But the point remains.
Bradley, 24, has been a standout for the Eagles as a special teams ace this season. And he’s their representative on the Pro Bowl ballot as a special teamer.
“I dreamed of playing in the NFL as a kid so being in the Pro Bowl (would be) icing on the cake. It’s kind of crazy, man,” Bradley said. “I just gotta stay focused, keep doing what we’re doing and try to win these games.”
The Eagles drafted Bradley, a South Jersey native, in the sixth-round out of Temple in 2020. He played in 15 games as a rookie and really began to show promise on special teams.
This season, Bradley has played just 28 total snaps on defense but has played 206 on special teams. That’s the second most on the team behind gunner Andre Chachere.
“I would say it starts in college,” Bradley said. “I played a lot of special teams in college, I did a lot of drills and did it all four years when I was there. So I was kinda used to it. Honestly, it’s just taking what you have to do for the team and enhancing on it.”
Aside from his solid play, Bradley also brings the energy on game days and during the week. During training camp, he would announce his presence every morning with a scream as he walked out of the weight room and into practice. Every morning.
“To play this game, you got to have some sort of edge to you,” special teams coordinator Michael Clay said. “And Shaun has that edge.”
Bradley also brings the energy during games, like when he absolutely popped return man Diontae Spencer last week in Denver.
“It was exciting. I can’t really describe it,” Bradley said. “It’s like a whole different surge of energy goes through your body. I hope it gets the defense ready to go because that’s who’s coming on next. It brings a lot of energy out there and sets the tone.”
The Eagles have rotated quite a bit at the linebacker positions this season. They began the year with Eric Wilson and Alex Singleton as their primary linebackers. Since then, Wilson has been cut and Singleton has been relegated to rotational guy.
Taking their place has been T.J. Edwards and Davion Taylor as the top two ‘backers. Genard Avery gets most of the reps as the strong side linebacker.
That means that Bradley has been left out on defense. Sirianni has spent most of the season stressing the importance of roles. Bradley’s role right now is to play special teams. He takes that seriously.
“I’m just focused on what I’m doing, focused on what I can do to help the team win,” Bradley said. “I’ve always been a team-first guy. Wins are most important to me. I’m going to do whatever the team needs me to do. That’s my position right now and that’s what I’m going to focus on.”
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