Middle linebacker Stewart Bradley called the passing of Jim Johnson "heartbreaking" as he met with the media upon arriving for training camp.
Bradley, who got the defensive calls directly from Johnson via the helmet radios last season, said the late defensive coordinator had a profound impact on his life, both on and off the field. He also talked about Johnson's ability to communicate with players and coaches from all walks of life.
"The fact that he could relate to so many guys, I think, really was a testament to how good a coach he was," Bradley said. "We had guys who were in their 30s last year and guys who were in their early 20s ... He was someone who can really relate to people across the board. I think Jim did that well. He was just an overall great guy. We'll miss him."
There was no formal goodbye between Bradley and Johnson. In fact, the last time Bradley saw and spoke to Johnson was the final day of the post-draft mini-camp in early May.
"He didn't really look his strongest, but he was in great spirits and he still had his sense of humor and was still as sharp as he always was."
As for the business of football, Bradley firmly believes the Eagles defense will be as physical and nasty as ever under new defensive coordinator Sean McDermott.
"We have complete confidence in Sean," Bradley said. "He's a professional. He emulates all the positive things I think Jim brought to the table, plus some of his own wrinkles."
-- Posted by Bob Kent, 6:05 p.m., July 29