In our ongoing effort to get you to familiarize yourselves with the key players who will be counted upon to make an impact this season, we take a look today at middle linebacker Stewart Bradley. Bradley, of course, is returning to the field after missing all of the 2009 season after tearing his ACL last summer before the season began. The 6-foot-4, 258-pound Bradley is one of the cornerstones for the Eagles defense and was named to Peter King's All-pro team following the 2008 season, his first full year as a starter.
1. Since injuring his knee last summer, Bradley spent the full 2009 season rehabbing step for step with teammate Cornelius Ingram, who also tore his ACL during training camp. Said Ingram of the experience: "Stew is by far the most competitive and hardest worker I've ever met. I don't think I would have been able to do this without him. He was just positive every day and he pushed us both to the limit. He's non-stop. How much he wants it and the way he prepares - I don't think you could compare him to anyone else."
2. Bradley also suffered a torn ACL during his collegiate career at Nebraska - something he thinks helped him the second time around. "Being through an injury similar to this in college really helped me along," Bradley said. "There's definitely a mental hesitancy that I think people feel when they come off these knee injuries and, having gone through it once, I don't think I'll experience that. I noticed through mini-camp and OTAs and through off-season conditioning and preparing for this training camp that I felt great and I really trust that my knee is strong. I feel good coming out of my breaks and I feel almost like I'm faster than before I got hurt because I spent so much time focusing on my leg strength and my form."
3. Bradley has a wide variety of interests off the field, ranging from literature and architecture to the French language and self-sustaining farms. He's also versatile athletically, as he's a three-time national champion in a different sport. In high school, Bradley was a standout rugby player, and his team won three straight national titles.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 1:38 p.m., July 1