In the free agency craze, the Arizona Cardinals have acquired another player to address a need they have. The Cardinals have signed linebacker Stewart Bradley, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles to a five-year contract. With Gerald Hayes being released, he and Paris Lenon will get to battle to start at the inside linebacker position.
Who exactly is this guy?
He played for Philly for four seasons, but missed all of 2009 with a knee injury. In 2008 he has 151 tackles. While playing in a 4-3 scheme in Philly, he was able to play both the inside and outside backer positions. Here in Arizona, he will play inside.
Here is his Scouts, Inc. profile:
Bradley missed the 2009 season with a knee injury but is slated to rejoin the Eagles in the middle of their defense in 2010. He has a good combination of size, strength and athleticism for the middle linebacker position. Bradley has very good vision and instincts. He has good lateral agility and balance. He is a solid tackler between the tackles but can be inconsistent in space. Bradley has good range as a middle linebacker and shows an excellent ability to redirect back to cutback plays. He is somewhat limited in coverage and needs to improve his reads to become a more complete player.
If you remember Strohman, he also emailed me to offer me this about him:
If he can stay on the field and healthy he should make a good compliment to Daryl Washington and be the run stuffing ILB you need. He just has to stay healthy.
PFF rated him positively in run defense both in 2008 and 2010.
Ken Whisenhunt said this about him:
"I think when Stewart's playing, he's one of the top linebackers in the game. He's had a couple injuries here and there, but we'll get a chance to see him and get a physical on him (Saturday). The opportunity there for a big-time playmaker at that position is something we thought we had a need for. And we thought we got a very good player. He can play any one of the (linebacker) positions. He was outside in college. He can play either one of the inside positions. In some of our sub packages he can get down in a (stance) and be an outside rusher. His coverage ability, some of the things he can do in space, gives us another weapon that we can use in different capacities."
Lenon put up solid numbers, but as noted by several members here, he struggled to take on blocks. Bradley appears to be exactly the type of player they were seeking to improve the play at ILB. I imagine Lenon will move into the reserve role that was envisioned for him when he was signed a year ago.
For the Twitter folk out there, he is @stewbradley.