Sean Desai replaced Jonathan Gannon as the Eagles defensive coordinator, and one of the first things he did was add more flexibility to the secondary.
James Bradberry is an All-Pro cornerback who has excelled at shutting down wide receivers on the outside, but this summer, the veteran crossed-trained and took key reps at the slot cornerback spot (Nickel).
Bradberry discussed the adjustment after a recent practice via the team’s website.
“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.”
Philadelphia emphasizes cross-training at multiple positions on both sides of the football, but Bradberry’s slide inside could have huge ramifications, and we’re looking at the takeaways with added analysis.
Eagles won matchup nightmare
Bradberry is 6-foot-1, 212 pounds, and physically stout, offering added athletic ability.
Philadelphia has been terrorized in the past by opposing tight ends and slot wide receivers, so Bradberry’s ability to play the slot can now offset some production while giving the Eagles a Jalen Ramsey type ‘STAR’ in the secondary.
Eagles trust Josh Jobe
Jobe was impressive during training camp and will be a future starter at cornerback for Philadelphia.
Insurance for Avonte Maddox
Maddox is one of the top slot cornerbacks in the NFL when healthy, but he’s missed multiple games over the past two seasons and Josiah Scott struggled in relief last season.
If Maddox suffers an injury, Philadelphia can slide Bradberry inside when teams are playing three wide receivers, preventing any drastic dropoff in production.