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Spadaro: James Bradberry cherishes a new challenge  

Bradberry (3)

James Bradberry is up for the challenge. A career-long outside cornerback, and one of the best in the league there, Bradberry is cross-training with some practice reps inside in case he is needed in that spot. 

It's something the Eagles do at a lot of positions on both sides of the football, and it makes sense: The more perspectives you have on the game, the more it helps your overall knowledge of spacing, responsibility, and purpose. 

At least that's the way Bradberry sees it. 

"It's been fun," Bradberry said about spending some time as the nickel corner. "It's a different world in there that I'm not used to. I'm trying to get adjusted to it and learn more. I think it's helping my overall knowledge of the game." 

The game is much different inside vs. being an outside cornerback. Whereas everything is in front of an outside cornerback, there are different levels to consider from the inside perspective. There is a lot of traffic from different directions and the commotion can be unsettling. There is also the element of supporting against the run and tangling with offensive linemen and tight ends. 

Bradberry is a big body (6-foot-1, 212 pounds) and he's strong, so from a physical standpoint the position cross-training is not a problem. It's just about gaining more experience with the new view, and that's why Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai asked Bradberry about taking some time inside to expand his game. 

"He just asked me to get in there to pretty much 1) Help me with my overall knowledge of the game, and then you just never know how the league works," Bradberry said. "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."

Check out who will be repping the green and white on the 53-man roster this season. (Photos are ordered by position and in numerical order)

With Avonte Maddox, the Eagles are in an enviable position when it comes to the nickel position, but giving Bradberry some practice time there and preparing him just in case is also a smart move – the more versatility the secondary has, the better it will be for the long regular season about to begin. 

The Eagles have a nice blend of experience – Bradberry, Maddox, and Darius Slay – at cornerback and they've got some young talent on the rise – Josh Jobe, Kelee Ringo, Mario Goodrich, Eli Ricks – so the goal is to have the players able to pitch in and help when they are called upon to do so. The game demands that players are adaptable and, in truth, Bradberry has taken some reps inside throughout his career when the situation has called for it – when a receiver, his man, has gone in motion, for example, and lined up inside. And when he played in Carolina, Bradberry "messed around" with some reps inside. 

Doing all of this now is making sure that all t's are crossed and all i's are dotted. Proper preparation prevents poor performance … 

"Having me take some reps in there can help us for the future," Bradberry said. "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 playcaller."

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