Josh Sweat came up with one of the biggest plays of the game in the Eagles’ 24-21 win over the Saints on Sunday. Sweat got a strip sack on 4th-and-2 in the fourth quarter and the Eagles scored the eventual game-winner on the ensuing drive.
But that strip-sack doesn’t happen without a big play from rookie linebacker Shaun Bradley out of Temple.
During his press conference on Tuesday morning, Jim Schwartz made that point two separate times.
“We had miscommunication there,” Schwartz said. “But Shaun Bradley, who was out there pretty much for his first extended playing time, did a good job getting a receiver covered down the middle even though we didn't have the overlap that we needed, we were able to buy a little bit of time for Josh to come back.”
On the play, Taysom Hill sprints out right and expected to be able to hit Emmanuel Sanders for what should have — at the very least — been a big gain.
Despite the miscommunication in their zone defense, Bradley makes a heck of a play to stick on the two-time Pro Bowl receiver deep down the field. Hill can’t deliver the throw and Sweat comes through with the strip sack.
“Josh making that sack probably had a lot to do with Shaun Bradley and his role in that coverage, just bought time, the quarterback was looking for him, didn't expect Shaun to be on him,” Schwartz said.
Bradley on Sunday played 10 defensive snaps, which isn’t a ton but is the second-highest number of snaps he’s taken in a game all season. In total, the sixth-round pick has played 65 snaps all season but has shown some really good flashes. Sure, third-round pick Davion Taylor missed this last game with injury but Bradley has doubled him in defensive snaps this season.
And as bad as the Eagles ‘ linebackers have been at times this season, Bradley was never really expected to play much on defense as a rookie. But he was expected to play a ton on special teams and he has.
In fact, through 13 games, Bradley has played 254 snaps on special teams, the most of any player. He has now logged more special teams snaps than Alex Singleton, who is second with 248. Davion Taylor had just 177 in his 12 games.
Bradley is tied for first on the team with 11 special teams tackles.
“He’s done a great job of just continuing to develop,” Eagles special teams coordinator Dave Fipp said. “He came into this league obviously in a weird year, didn’t get the preseason games. … I would say as the season's gone on, he’s gotten better and better and he’s made more plays. He still got a lot of room for development and improvement. I talked to him yesterday online and went through the game with him. He’s really conscientious, and I look forward to continuing to work with him. He’s a talented player. I think the future's really bright for him.”
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