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Nigel Bradham Returns To Be A Part Of 'Controlled Chaos'

Posted Mar 15, 2018

"Controlled chaos."

That's how linebacker Nigel Bradham described the Eagles' defense in his press conference Thursday after putting pen to paper on a five-year contract.

Bradham was an integral part of the Eagles' defense over the past two seasons, leading the team's linebackers in tackles (184), sacks (3), forced fumbles (3), passes defensed (13), and defensive snaps played (1,913) in that timeframe.

His role expanded in 2017 after Jordan Hicks was lost for the season with a ruptured Achilles. Bradham wore the headset for the defense and was responsible for relaying the calls and getting the front seven lined up. Safety Malcolm Jenkins called Bradham an "unsung hero" of the defense.

Even though the Eagles could have re-upped Bradham's contract well before the start of free agency, the two sides didn't reach an agreement until Wednesday morning - just hours before the veteran could have signed with another team. Bradham never wanted to leave Philadelphia. Howie Roseman told him during the end-of-season exit interview that Bradham was a "top priority."

"I just kept confidence in him," Bradham said of Roseman. "He's a man of his word and if he tells you something he means it. He told me he wanted me back and I was a top priority and he was going to do everything in his power to bring me back. And you saw it."

The Eagles ranked first in the league against the run, fourth in total yards allowed, and fourth in points surrendered in 2017. Bradham returns to the mix and the Eagles have added defensive end Michael Bennett, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, linebacker Corey Nelson, and cornerback Daryl Worley. That doesn't include cornerback Sidney Jones' available on a full-time basis as well as Hicks' return as well. Bradham looks forward to reuniting with Hicks once again.

"It's special. The playmaking ability of what we can do, our communication, our chemistry. We just work together very well and we intend on playing together for some time, for a long time," Bradham said.

For Bradham to build upon the success that he's had in the past two years, he knows there's one glaring hole in his game.

"I know what I have to improve on, first and foremost my hands. I left a lot of pick-sixes out there," Bradham said with a laugh, fully aware of the missed opportunities last season. "It's just continuing to grow as a player. There's a lot of things I can improve on and I will continue to do that, continue to stay focused, and keep that chip on my shoulder. I still have a lot of things to prove. We're going to continue to grind, man. We know what it takes to get to the next level and what we have to do as a team and I'm going to make sure that my job and my role is on point for us to be able to get where we have to go."

Bradham and the Eagles aren't settling after winning the first Super Bowl crown in franchise history. And creating "controlled chaos" is a perfect way to get in position to contend again in 2018.

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