Although the 6-foot-1, 212-pound boundary CB isn’t making any permanent switches, adding another layer of versatility both to his game and to the team’s defensive backfield can only be a positive.
The 30-year-old has 18 career interceptions and 99 passes defensed in seven seasons lining up on the outside, including three picks — with his first-ever score — and 17 deflections for the Eagles last year on his way to second-team All-Pro honors.
He’ll line up there again opposite teammate Darius Slay, with Avonte Maddox slated to be the go-to in the slot, but Philadelphia’s other four corners on the 53-man roster have 11 games played (all by Josh Jobe) and zero starts combined among them.
Bradberry’s time fine-tuning his craft by checking out life as an inside corner, where run support is more crucial and there’s far more commotion, should help him bring the younger core up to speed while preparing him to step in for any injuries or to aid creative play-calling by new defensive coordinator Sean Desai.
“He just asked me to get in there to pretty much, one, help me with my overall knowledge of the game, and then you just never know how the league works,” Bradberry said of Desai’s request. “Of course, we have a set number of DBs that are going to be in there. It’s a long season. Injuries always happen. You never know when my name and number might be called to get in there.
“Having me take some reps in there can help us for the future. You just never know. Offenses are so developed, and they’ve got so many weapons — like with tight ends, big receivers, they line up guys wherever. They also line up receivers in the backfield, so having a bigger corner who can line up inside and take nickel reps or even line up at safety, I feel like it helps you as a play-caller.”
For a defense that ranked first in passing yards allowed and top five in interceptions last year, Philadelphia doesn’t necessarily need to fix what isn’t broken by moving Bradberry around.
There’s no problem with enhancing an already championship-caliber defense, though.