Eagles should get leader of defense Bradley back

While the Philadelphia Eagles plot a course of action with the man at the center of their offense, they’re feeling better all the time about the man at the center of their defense.

The Eagles figure to trade quarterback Donovan McNabb sometime between now and the start of the draft. Where he’ll land and what they’ll receive in return remains to be seen. Meanwhile, middle linebacker Stewart Bradley is quietly working his way back from a torn ACL that knocked him out of all last season. He’s been participating in conditioning drills and is expected to be fully ready in advance of the start of training camp.

It was a gut shot for the Eagles when he was injured, one they never really recovered from. First-year defensive coordinator Sean McDermott was given quite a challenge in his first season on the job, taking over for Jim Johnson on the fly. The Eagles went through six different starting middle linebackers. They had 11 starting changes. And now Bradley is on his way back.

"All I can do is play my best and I think that should be enough to handle my position," Bradley told Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "I'm not thinking that I'm going to come in, the lights are going to come down, and the defense is going to change or something."

Bradley tore up his right knee last summer. He went through the same thing – a torn ACL in his left knee – four years earlier, so he knew what to expect the second time around.

"If you approach it like, 'OK, this sucks, this is a drag, I want to be playing,' then it can really hamper you and you can be behind," Bradley told McLane. "But if you take it as an opportunity, you can come back as a better player – bigger and stronger."

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