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James Bradberry ‘definitely wanted to come back’ to Philly

The Eagles’ CB talked about free agency, and what he’s seen from the new defensive coaches.

The Eagles made plenty of free agency moves this offseason, but one surprise, was being able to bring back James Bradberry. The cornerback spoke to reporters on Wednesday and talked about his return to Philly, how he feels about some of the new defensive coaches, and why he doesn’t consider last season his best.

“I think I played very well last year, and of course we had a great team — overall, had a great offense, had a great d-line, so they definitely played a part in my season, because it’s a team, at the end of the day. I wouldn’t say it was my best season, overall. I feel like my fourth year in Carolina was kind of like, when I felt like my best and when I was playing really well. As far as accolades, I mean, you gotta put it up there, because I did get second team All-Pro.”

Here’s what else the CB had to say:

On returning to Philly

“I had a lot of uncertainty going into free agency. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be back or not, but I definitely wanted to come back and I’m glad it worked out this way because it’s a great situation here and I love being here.”

Bradberry said that the overall team, the talent they have and the coaches, all make it a great situation for him. The CB joked that he also loves the cafeteria — there’s always great food — but the training room staff, equipment staff, pretty much everyone across the board is great.

He later said it’s great to be able to try and run it back with Darius Slay, and to have that familiarity with this teammates and coaches. Bradberry also said he’s looking forward to being with Reed Blankenship again, someone he has a good rapport with, but he noted they have a bunch of good guys in the DB room he’s excited to still play with.

On the defensive coaching changes

“Coach Desai, seems like a real smart guy. I feel like I’m a smart football player, so I love being around smart coaches that can kind of help us, put us in position to make plays.

And then D.K. [McDonald], I’m familiar with with D.K. from last year, of course he was an assistant DB coach for us, and I feel like he did a good job in that role. I definitely feel like it was time for him to have a promotion, so I’m glad he’s got a promotion, and I look forward to playing alongside him this year.”

Bradberry said that he was surprised that Dennard Wilson ended up leaving for a different coaching opportunity, but at the end of the day, the CB understands it’s a business. He doesn’t know what happened on the front office side, but he was sad that Wilson left.

He talked about Desai, emphasizing that he seems like a smart guy and was able to teach the guys his philosophy. Bradberry acknowledged that it’s going to be a lot of work to learn the new verbiage, but that comes with playing under a smart guy — the scheme seems flexible and will allow the guys to make plays.

Still, so far, Bradberry said that the scheme is similar, but certain coverages and things like that will be different. He noted that when they install man coverages, those are similar, but the way they do zone coverage will be a little different.

Other notables

  • Bradberry said that he’s been a vet for a few years now and so he always looks forward to see the new talent that joins the roster, and is excited to help them develop. Two of the rookies are big corners, so he’s eager to see them and how the open up on the field.
  • As far as specific goals for the upcoming season, Bradberry just wants to have a good season like he did last year. He mentioned interceptions — he had three last year, with one in the postseason — as a stat he’d always like to improve on.
  • The CB said it’s tough to say how motivated guys are at this point in the offseason, noting that some guys are still coming back from injuries and bodies are still recovering. He’s just excited to start getting back in shape and moving around fast.
  • He was asked about the Valentine JuJu Smith-Schuster posted following the Super Bowl loss, and while Bradberry admitted that he’ll have to see how he feels in the week leading up to the Eagles-Chiefs rematch, right now he’s not even thinking about it.

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